Fabric, location and certification: how to buy an ethically made T-shirt

Figuring out whether a garment is sustainably created can be a complicated task but there are clues to look for

  • Australians spend an average of just $6.50 a garment. How much should a T-shirt actually cost?
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From the raw materials used, to the working conditions in the factory where it was made, to the number of times you wear it before throwing it away, a lot goes into determining whether a T-shirt is sustainable.

Unfortunately, the fashion industry is notoriously opaque about many of these factors. This problem is made worse by subcontracting between factories, and manufacturers buying reams of fabric made in far-away places without asking questions about the provenance of the materials. To make things even more confusing, as we discussed last week, the price of a T-shirt doesn’t necessarily guarantee that everyone along the supply chain has been treated well and paid fairly.

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