Will Zara Be Able to Keep Clothes Cheap as Labor Costs Rise?
Business of Fashion (BoF) published an op-ed asking the following question about the economic sustainability of the fast-fashion model: Can $5 T-shirts and $10 jeans really support a business these days? The answer is sort of. For decades, the basic tenants of the fast-fashion industry have been cheap materials, cheap labor and dizzyingly fast production schedules. Those principes yielded affordable, trendy products that consumers can't seem to get enough of (the top four fashion companies in the world are fast-fashion chains: Zara, H&M, Gap and Uniqlo). But now that labor costs in China are on the rise, BoF is saying only the strongest business models will survive.