Owner of sustainable fashion brand Two For Joy opens up the conversation on ethical sourcing

Transparency in the fickle world of fashion has previously been hard to come by. Not the see-through contraptions modelled by Hollywood’s finest at red carpet events kind of transparency, but ethical honesty.

The conversation on how our spending habits impact the world around us is changing. From campaigns encouraging the adoption of stainless steel water bottles to cut plastic wastage to the sweeping trend to go vegan, conscious consumers are changing the way brands sell to us. And fashion is finally taking note.

Thanks to the militant ethical activism of top designers like Vivienne Westwood and Zandra Rhodes, sustainable fashion is trickling down into the high street, with the likes of H&M’s conscious collection shining a light on affordable ethical clothing. Consumers are increasingly heeding Westwood’s wise words; “Buy Well, Choose Well; Make it Last” (Guardian 2014).

Well sourced, sustainable clothing is the focal point of Two for Joy, a Manchester based fashion label founded by entrepreneur Sarah Jerath. The label holds an ethical ethos at its core, with 60% of the collection crafted from sustainable fibres including viscose, cotton and wool. Extra measures are taken to minimalise the environmental impact of the label, such as the transportation of goods by shipping rather than air and the refrain from using harmful dyes in the manufacturing process.

“Increasingly consumers want to know where their products are coming from and how they’re made,” comments Sarah, on the change in consumer attitudes.

“We’ve seen an enormous shift in attitude towards food and thankfully the fashion industry is starting to follow."

Consumers have the right to see and understand how money flows across fashion’s supply chains

17 07 13 Two For Joy V Neck Jumper Dress Navy 17 07 13 Two For Joy Rose Full Skirt 17 07 13 Two For Joy Chambray Dress Blue 1600

The mum of two made the life changing decision to launch the fashion brand back in 2015, after a twelve-year career in teaching. Targeted at women aged 30 plus, Two for Joy offers fairly and honestly-priced wardrobe essentials that are ethical, made with good quality fabrics and fit well.

“Consumers have the right to see and understand how money flows across fashion’s supply chains; the cost of materials, garment worker wages and the price that we pay for our clothes and really understand what they are paying for.”

Whilst the conversation on ethical clothing is growing, work still needs to be done to break down the façade of fashion when it comes to pricing. It’s a tricky subject that Sarah hopes to address through publishing production costs.

 “I was getting frustrated with the lack of supply chain information available to shoppers on the high street, and quickly realised I needed to create a brand that really spoke to women like me,” she says. 

Honest and fair pricing is at the core of the Two for Joy brand, with breakdowns of products available on request. By publishing production costs, including material costs and taxes, for all shoppers to see on the website, Sarah strives to promote a more honest approach to retail.  

So just how much does it really cost to produce a wardrobe staple? 

According to the Two for Joy website , not much at all. The website offers a comprehensive breakdown of the costs behind the tie-front sleeveless blouse , a popular summer essential on the High Street. The cost of materials (£3.55), garment handling (£4.25) and taxes (£0.95) tot up the total product costs to around £8.55. Two for Joy retail the blouse at £25, whilst the website states that many other retails offer similar designs for a starting price of £50 (similar styles found so far – Net-a-porter £155). The transparent costing highlights the inflated price many garments are given on the high-street. Such honesty is impressive – few brands offer such a comprehensive breakdown of where a customer’s money is going, if any. But how kindly customers will take to the difference between the cost of the product manufacture and the retail price, is yet to be revealed. 

​ How much does it cost to make a sleeveless blouse?

Just £8.55:

  • The materials in the garment are £3.55
  • The various other costs associated with the garment including making and handling the garment are £4.25
  • The taxes are £0.95

The Two for Joy collection features a range of timeless pieces from jumpsuits to dresses, all designed to put an end to fickle throwaway trends and fast fashion. Priced at £17.50 to £70, the range offers a carefully curated selection of pieces from everyday staples to party wear. 

“Throwaway fashion has never sat comfortably with me. I don’t believe something can be well made and a good quality, and yet cost peanuts to buy. It just doesn’t add up.” Sarah comments.

Classic striped t-shirts, A-line skirts and waterfall cardigans offer a whole new meaning to the capsule wardrobe; these are wearable and sustainable trends that stand the test of time. 

Shop Two for Joy on the website: www.2forjoy.co.uk