Is Buying Local Fashion, A Luxury?

This morning I listened to an interview on the radio station, encouraging buying local products from obviously, local companies. It makes sense. You contribute to your country’s economy instead of a big corporation with offshore headquarters and the prices should be cheaper, considering that there are no import taxes, transportation costs, etc. Even in the fashion industry.

Except it’s not!

It is not cheaper to wear local designers, neither in Romania, my motherland, or in Sweden, where I live. Let’s say local brands are manufacturing their products locally as well. Unlike the big fashion brands that produce in Asian countries.

In Sweden, I could basically understand. The taxes are higher, the workforce is really expensive, and most probably the materials are really qualitative. In some cases, not, though!

Now, I haven’t investigated why do local brands cost so much, but I do know, something is not right when a simple pencil cotton dress costs over 600 Euros on an unknown designer. Or when a simple long dress made of polystyrene, advertised as “handmade” costs over 1000 Euros. Because the specific brand/designer has a nice logo, website and well-positioned friends.

On the positive side, there are many talented local designers who actually deserve the fame and price tag of Dior, Chanel and other high-end fashion houses. I know them, admire them and wear them. I imagine the reason their prices are almost as those luxury brands is because they manufacture in their homelands and keep the quality standards high up. Better craft, materials and communication with the fabrics.

But maybe I’m wrong. I would like to hear the story behind local designers, new and old ones.

I’m sure about one thing:

Wearing, eating, travelling locally, should be a normality and not a luxury.

If you have any more information about this subject, insights or you just want to let me know your opinion, write a comment and let’s have a chat. I’m really curious about what others think about this.

In the meantime, take a look at this video behind the scenes in Elie Saab’s headquarters, in Beirut. Look at  how many artists and artisans, and how much work it takes for a dress so beautiful to be made. That should give us some ideas about how much fashion in our countries should be worth.

How is it in your country? Do you wear local designers?

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