Buy Cheap or Expensive Clothes?

Everyone has to buy clothes. With the prevalence of department stores like Primark that sell cheap clothes, the question is whether it is false economy to buy cheap.

More and more brands, even 'higher end designer brands', are producing clothes in the same dodgy factories and there have been numerous stories of poor industry practices that have shown stores up. For example, this story demonstrates the use of sweat shops by some of the best known high street stores.

Some clothing production is mainly focused on profit, whereas some clothes are crafted with care and quality is the focus. Some clothes last a year and others can last a lifetime. With there being an upsurge in popularity of locally made, hand-crafted, products, there is a reason to consider whether it is better in the long term, financially and morally to spend more on clothes and know more about where they came from, who made them and have more of a connection with the production process. This hopefully would then translate into a better value and overall experience.

Of course, I'm not suggesting buying locally made, handmade clothes entirely is in any way practical, feasible or economically viable in everyday life. Nevertheless, it does make sense.

Buy Cheap


  • Replace more often.
  • Change with the fashions.


  • Won't last as long.
  • Don't wash as well.
  • Ethical questions.

Buy Expensive


  • Buy more classic items.
  • Should last longer.
  • Should be nicer experience to wear.
  • Should look better.
  • Better quality materials / craftsmanship / designs.


  • More of a financial outlay.
  • Need to know better what you want / need.
  • Not very accessible on the high street.
  • More time consuming.


It is not that easy to find shops online that hand make stuff. Searching for 'handmade cycling clothes', 'handmade clothes in the UK', brings up many results, but not all of them give details about the what, how, where, who of the products. I did come across Old Town handmade in Norfolk

In respect of cycling clothes, brand Swrve make their _blk line in their Los Angeles shop but their other garments are produced elsewhere according to WRAP standards. Fox Wilson cycling gear, handmade in the UK.



Perhaps there is a business opportunity for an accessible retailer to make simple, classic clothing items that are a bit more expensive but last longer.

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