SUSTAINABILITY VS. SALE - TWO OPPOSITE AND CONFLICTING GOALS?

In our Chilly Surfstyle After Surfwear Sale we give you the opportunity to get quality products at reduced prices. At the same time, you may have doubts about the ethics of sales and whether it even makes sense for a sustainable brand to offer discounts. After all, the sale is a fast fashion tactic to get you to buy more things you don't need, isn't it? That's a good question, and one that we want to address as openly as possible in this article!

The conclusion up front: Sales can be sustainable if they are part of an ethical and sustainable production system.

Because.

The main problem with fashion sales is overproduction. It is made to seem as if the fashion industry is an efficient and frictionless money printing machine.

But if you look closely, you find that it is full of problems, one of which is overproduction.

What is overproduction?


Overproduction is the production of goods that a company or industry cannot sell. It is the leftovers, the waste, the collateral damage of a system that values speed, profit and consumption over efficiency and sustainability. Most overproduced garments end up in landfill.

Why is this so? Instead of finding out if a garment will actually be worn and by whom, the big fashion brands produce their goods in advance and hope they will sell. If they don't, they resort to selling them. T-shirts for 7 dollars. Jeans for 17. Big discounts that have bigger environmental costs. Sales not only serve as an excuse for overproduction, but can even become a company's core philosophy, driving it to produce clothes at knock-down prices. As the Harvard Business Review has observed, such companies turn to fossil fuel fibres such as polyester, which are cheap but polluting, as well as cheap, unregulated labour. It is this kind of behaviour that gives sales - and fashion - a bad name!

Critics of big sales events often say that this phenomenon encourages both overconsumption and overproduction. But they also admit that sales offer customers the opportunity to save money (which is more important today than ever). This suggests that sales need to be managed more sustainably and that fashion in general could benefit from a rethink.

For all these reasons, we plan to introduce the pre-order system, but also to order only minimum quantities with high quality. Instead of making clothes as fast as possible and trying to sell them even faster, we take the time to understand who orders each model and how much fabric we actually need. This makes us more resource efficient and more efficient in dealing with waste.

However, this does not mean that we do away with discounts altogether. Sales also play an important role in our "no overproduction" policy.

Why does Chilly Surfstyle offer a sale?

No system is 100% perfect, and some of our models remain behind due to cancellations or miscalculations. When we put them on sale, we hope that they will find a home with someone who really wants them, but perhaps didn't get the chance the first time.

At first glance, that's what makes our sales so special:

No loss of quality.
Garments are made with precision over several weeks and months in Northern Portugal. This is in contrast to garments that are made extremely quickly and then sold at knockdown prices.

A sustainable alternative to flash sales.
Our seasonal sales run for weeks, not days, so you have time to think about your choice.

Fair prices, not fake prices.
It is often said that when garments are very cheap, someone else (the worker) pays the price. With us, you can be sure that you are getting ethical and sustainable clothing, even if the discount is applied. If you want to know more about this, you can also read our article: 4 reasons why we produce our after surfwear in Portugal.

And that's also the key: all our garments are made from sustainable materials that have less impact on the earth. Our philosophy is to make long-lasting clothing for people who care about protecting the oceans.

If you're shopping in a clearance sale, we recommend....

  1. To buy less! And to choose better. Take your time to make a conscious purchase.
  2. Find out about the brand first. You can read more about our sustainability philosophy here.
  3. Check the fabric. If it's not organic, recycled or from natural sources, think again.
  4. Choose timeless over temporary. Will you wear the garment for more than one season?

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