Choosing whether to buy sustainable clothing is not just a matter of price.
It's about the future we want to live in and the values we decide to support.
Those of Rifò are quality, sustainability, and responsibility, and you can find them in every garment of ours you choose.
What differentiates Rifò from a fast fashion brand?
· QUALITY – achieved through the use of natural materials for our garments, meticulously crafted by local artisans. Choosing biodegradable, recycled and recyclable materials instead of synthetic or mixed materials benefits not only the environment, but also those who wear our clothing.
· SUSTAINABILITY – in the use of recycled and recyclable materials and in local production within 30 km of our office. We choose to be a regenerative business that reuses existing textile resources instead of making new ones. By keeping our supply chain in our area, we manage to minimize the transportation of our garments and further reduce our environmental impact.
· RESPONSIBILITY – is given by a traceable and transparent production chain. Social sustainability means ensuring that the manufacturing of our garments takes place with full respect for the rights of those who work to create them.
How is this reflected in our prices
Acting ethically and responsibly is more expensive than not doing so:
· Labor Costs. Producing in Italy instead of outsourcing to non-EU countries, such as China, Bangladesh, Vietnam, Turkey, and India, known for extremely low labor costs, is much more expensive. Just think that the hourly wage for a textile worker in Italy is around €8 per hour, while in countries like Bangladesh it is less than $1 per hour. All without any kind of rights and protections.
· Cost of recycled materials. The idea that recycled materials cost less than virgin materials is just a belief. This is for two reasons: 1. recycling represents an industrial cost; 2. recycling processes occur on a small scale, which does not allow for lower unit costs.
No to overproduction
The more I produce, the lower my costs will be. This is a rule that Rifò rejects, and one of the main reasons that differentiates us from fast fashion brands.
What does that mean exactly? Larger manufacturing companies use assembly lines that take a large amount of time and energy - and therefore money - to set up. For this reason, they prefer to produce large batches of products that are all the same, allowing them to give larger discounts as the order size increases. It is a mechanism of economies of scale, which Rifò rejects because it signifies overproduction.
An anti-waste discount: the presale
Overproducing is accepting the consequences of polluting the air and filling landfills with unnecessary amounts of unused clothing.
To avoid this, we implemented a presale system: we launch our products by collecting orders in advance for the artisans and in exchange, there is a small discount for waiting while your products are sustainably made. Naturally, this discount decreases the closer we get to the scheduled delivery.
Only what we need
This approach is exactly the opposite of large-scale production, a key feature that allows so many brands to put garments on the market at bargain prices but also creates a lot of unsold inventory.
The orders we place with our suppliers are therefore based on real demand and are always small in size. For this reason, the artisans we work with are not able to apply scale discounts in order to lower the unit cost.
Why a no sale policy?
Seasonal sales stem from the necessity of major brands to eliminate unsold items that burden their warehouses. When this is not feasible, these goods are simply destroyed. However, this approach lacks rationale: wouldn't it be wiser to plan ahead and avoid devaluing a product whose production already had an environmental impact? Why should an item that cost €100 just two months ago be priced at half during the sales period?
Rifò does not participate in seasonal sales for this reason, and also because we do not believe in induced needs that push people to buy without considering their actual requirements.
No hidden costs
What are they? Those that are not included in the price tag, but that sooner or later we will all pay.
Fast-fashion companies, on the other hand, owe a debt to the planet and its inhabitants.
The extremely low prices at which their products are sold do not include the costs that the environment and its inhabitants have to bear. These "hidden" costs, which are difficult to calculate, include water consumption and pollution, carbon dioxide emissions, poorly managed waste and disposal, child labor, and workplace exploitation of women.
And who ends up paying the price in the end? All of us.
We are a regenerative, not an extractive business
A regenerative company gives, while an extractive one takes, without compensation.
Our dedication is focused on minimizing impacts on the ecosystem by reusing what has already been extracted.
On the other hand, the extractive approach withdraws natural and energy resources from the planet, whether finite or not, without concern for the consequences.
Furthermore, it perpetuates an endless cycle of production, leading to items that will likely end up destroyed or in landfills, significantly amplifying their senseless impact.