We believe all clothing brands should be committed to being fully transparent; that way, you know what you are paying for and the reasoning behind the prices you pay. This section will break down the cost value of our garments and how we set overall prices. Each piece has its own set of costs, including material, hardware, production, and transportation.
Material: We use high quality, sustainable 100% Alpaca wool from fully certified Bolivian farmers. Additionally, many international factories use hazardous chemicals in the dyeing and treatment of fabrics, which is dangerous for the environment and the workers; we choose to use certified WTFO shops because it enables us to ensure worker safety and environmental standards. We interact directly with the wool suppliers to ensure that all our ethical and sustainable standards are met. We personally guarantee that the alpacas are well looked after. In fact, we believe the secret to the luxurious feel of our products is because of the extra measures we take to make sure our animals are treated fairly and with the uttermost respect.
Hardware: Kniter ensures that all our hardware, from buttons to labels, are sourced from all-natural or compostable materials, so you will not find plastic button or polyester labels on any of our garments. Any piece or product that we cannot handmake from the wool is made by our local Bolivian carpenter, who hand-cuts recycled wood with precision to make each of our additional pieces for our products. The rough cost for this is about 50 cent per piece. Our clothing and care labels are also made from 100% organic cotton.
Hand-made production: Our vision is to connect people around the world through collaboratively inspired products. All our clothing for the June collection is hand-made in Bolivia. Please see our "Kniter: Vision behind our designs" blog, which details how our artisan workers work. Each of our garments requires exquisite attention to detail to ensure the perfect fit and finish. We have paid all our artisans at least double the minimum wage in Bolivia for the June Collection.
The result of our meticulous process is that we can end up paying anywhere between 20 dollars for smaller items and 150 dollars for larger items just for the production stage. Further, we regularly track our entire production chain, from the origin of the wool at the farm where it's sheared to the processing of the fabrics in the mills to the artisans' homes where most handcrafting occurs. We keep in constant contact with all departments through our excellent Bolivian contact Anna who knows all the locals. We can guarantee all workers are treated fairly and everybody involved has an acceptable quality of life. Through our regular dialogue with Anna, we can also ensure that our high sustainable and ethical standards are met.
Transportation: In addition to the production costs we must also pay transportation costs. This includes all costs to transport the wool from the farms to the dyeing factory to the workshop and then the finished garments to our warehouse. We pledge to pay everyone involved fairly. The average cost per time required for transportation and the facilities needed to transport each item from its raw materials phase to the UK is about 30 dollars (included taxes and customs fee).
All of this we think of as the "true cost" of the garment, and we multiply the "true cost" by an average of four to cover the costs of running our business, such as our employees, our warehouse, and our design team.
Each garment goes through multiple stages, from sketching by hand to prototypes and fittings until we finally decide on the ultimate design for you. If we were not a direct-to-consumer company, and we relied on wholesaling our clothing to retailers, we would multiply our costs by three to get a wholesale price and then by three again to get the retail price. By cutting out the retailers, we can sell genuine hand-made luxury clothing at a lower price than traditional designers.
We believe that Kniter is only as good as the people who are sharing and carrying our vision. Therefore, we prioritise investing in human capital, from paying our amazingly talented artisans to our lead manager in Bolivia, Anna and everyone in the UK who have committed to making our vision a reality.