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CONVERSATION

Robyn Weaver is the backbone of PERA MAY. There is barely a garment produced that hasnt touched her magical hands at some point in the production process.

 

Read below

'Robyn vs Fast Fashion.'

Katie Mills | 10 February 2022

Glassons

 

2 for $35 tees = One Robyn hour. 

 

Robyn, Could you make two of these in one hour? To what quality? 

“Yes I could, it would take me approximately 45mins, the quality would be there because that’s me. But you would expect to pay $30 just to make those, what about the other costs of cutting, fabrication, labels, pressing, patterns etc. It’s absolutely impossible - corners are being cut big time and you best believe it’s not ethical.” 

PSA: I guess we can infer the “planet conscious” claim doesn’t include people then does it…

Princess Polly

 

Puffer Jacket: $50, Robyn hours: 1.4 

 

Robyn, Could you make this in one and 1.4 hour? To what quality? 

“Oh God no! At least 2 hours. Again, good quality, because I take pride in creating garments.”

*Also, PSA, Sale red flag…. 2757 styles JUST on the sale tab….. Wonder where these are ending up later..

Dotti

 

Dress: $45.49 , Robyn hours: 1.3

 

Robyn, Could you make this in one and 1.3 hour? To what quality? 

“Yes I could make this in an hour and a half and the price it’s selling for would be my production cost. Then you have every other cost again and profit for the designer…there is absolutely no way this garment’s materials alone could cost this much. We seriously need to consider what we’re buying into - ethics and morals people, you have to consider the conditions that people are working in to make this garment for this cost!“

*PSA 100% Polyester = 100% plastic

If you wouldn’t buy a plastic bottle, why would you buy a plastic garment ?

All in all, Robyn was pretty offended by the examples we showed her. In two out of three examples, Robyn would be able to make the garment within the time the retail price dictated. In the case of the Puffer Jacket, Robyn refused to entertain the idea of sewing it in 1.5 hours. Achieving quality and upholding the standards of her craft were far too important to her. 

 

However, as Robyn pointed out in her responses, all of the examples above just take into account how long it would take for Robyn to *sew the damn thing*. Sorry to bore you with fashion jargon but each garment also must be costed for design, patternmaking, sampling, grading, materials, cutting, SEWING, pressing and finishing. Not to mention overhead costs such as rent, power, marketing and retail staff. The sewing of the damn thing is a small part of what goes into a garment and even our extremely experienced Robyn can’t sew fast enough to keep inside the costs of these fast fashion garments. To reiterate Robyn’s own words: “corners are being cut big time and you best believe it’s not ethical.” 

 

As seen in the Princess Polly example, fast fashion retailers produce garments in the thousands, often dropping new styles daily. At this scale, costs can be reduced greatly in the production process, allowing them to bring garments to you at a lower price. However, when your wallet saves money in this way, the cost is often passed on to the environment and to the people that make the garments. Producing at this scale, means a lot of retailers are accepting the fact that many garments will never make it to the consumer and instead, end up in landfill. They are also accepting that their garment workers may never receive a fair wage.

 

As much as we would love to introduce Robyn to each and everyone of you and share how much of a valuable woman she is, nobody has the time for that! Like we said, at its simplest, Robyn is a human and she holds value. We never plan on shortchanging her value, nor could we ever justify exploiting people and the environment, just to bring another $30 top into the market.

From sampling, to production, to moral support in the workroom, Robyns technical skill and unconditional support touches everything we do. Her value extends beyond her machinist skill. She is a close friend of PM, who cares deeply about bringing the PM vision to life. 

 

Whilst we shouldn’t have to prove to you how valuable Robyn is (she’s a human being, just like the rest of us), we’ve noticed consumer expectations for New Zealand made garments don’t really respect her value. SO welcome to “Robyn v.s Fast Fashion”, a little piece that will hopefully help you to understand why you don't see a website full of $30 tops at PERA MAY. We went to a bunch of “Fast Fashion” retailers and worked out how many minutes of Robyn time you would get to make each garment.

Glassons

2 for $35 tees = One Robyn hour. 

 

Robyn, Could you make two of these in one hour? To what quality? 

“Yes I could, it would take me approximately 45mins, the quality would be there because that’s me. But you would expect to pay $30 just to make those, what about the other costs of cutting, fabrication, labels, pressing, patterns etc. It’s absolutely impossible - corners are being cut big time and you best believe it’s not ethical.” 

PSA: I guess we can infer the “planet conscious” claim doesn’t include people then does it…

Princess Polly

Puffer Jacket, $50 = 1.4 Robyn hours. 

 

Robyn, Could you make this in one and 1.4 hour? To what quality? 

“Oh God no! At least 2 hours. Again, good quality, because I take pride in creating garments.”


Also, PSA, Sale red flag…. 2757 styles JUST on the sale tab….. Wonder where these are ending up later..

Dotti

 

Dress: $45.49 , Robyn hours: 1.3

 

Robyn, Could you make this in one and 1.3 hour? To what quality? 

“Yes I could make this in an hour and a half and the price it’s selling for would be my production cost. Then you have every other cost again and profit for the designer…there is absolutely no way this garment’s materials alone could cost this much. We seriously need to consider what we’re buying into - ethics and morals people, you have to consider the conditions that people are working in to make this garment for this cost!“

*PSA 100% Polyester = 100% plastic

If you wouldn’t buy a plastic bottle, why would you buy a plastic garment ?

All in all, Robyn was pretty offended by the examples we showed her. In two out of three examples, Robyn would be able to make the garment within the time the retail price dictated. In the case of the Puffer Jacket, Robyn refused to entertain the idea of sewing it in 1.5 hours. Achieving quality and upholding the standards of her craft were far too important to her. 

 

However, as Robyn pointed out in her responses, all of the examples above just take into account how long it would take for Robyn to *sew the damn thing*. Sorry to bore you with fashion jargon but each garment also must be costed for design, patternmaking, sampling, grading, materials, cutting, SEWING, pressing and finishing. Not to mention overhead costs such as rent, power, marketing and retail staff. The sewing of the damn thing is a small part of what goes into a garment and even our extremely experienced Robyn can’t sew fast enough to keep inside the costs of these fast fashion garments. To reiterate Robyn’s own words: “corners are being cut big time and you best believe it’s not ethical.” 

 

As seen in the Princess Polly example, fast fashion retailers produce garments in the thousands, often dropping new styles daily. At this scale, costs can be reduced greatly in the production process, allowing them to bring garments to you at a lower price. However, when your wallet saves money in this way, the cost is often passed on to the environment and to the people that make the garments. Producing at this scale, means a lot of retailers are accepting the fact that many garments will never make it to the consumer and instead, end up in landfill. They are also accepting that their garment workers may never receive a fair wage.

 

As much as we would love to introduce Robyn to each and everyone of you and share how much of a valuable woman she is, nobody has the time for that! Like we said, at its simplest, Robyn is a human and she holds value. We never plan on shortchanging her value, nor could we ever justify exploiting people and the environment, just to bring another $30 top into the market.

From sampling, to production, to moral support in the workroom, Robyns technical skill and unconditional support touches everything we do. Her value extends beyond her machinist skill. She is a close friend of PM, who cares deeply about bringing the PM vision to life. 

 

Whilst we shouldn’t have to prove to you how valuable Robyn is (she’s a human being, just like the rest of us), we’ve noticed consumer expectations for New Zealand made garments don’t really respect her value. SO welcome to “Robyn v.s Fast Fashion”, a little piece that will hopefully help you to understand why you don't see a website full of $30 tops at PERA MAY. We went to a bunch of “Fast Fashion” retailers and worked out how many minutes of Robyn time you would get to make each garment.