THE TRUE COST OF A QUALITY SHIRT
THIS IS WHY SOME SHIRTS COST MORE THAN OTHERS - BUT ARE NOT ALWAYS BETTER
RAW COTTON – A DIRTY TEMPTATION
Egyptian cotton. A sign of quality, right? Not always. Did you know that up to 90% of cotton sold as “Egyptian” is in fact grown in China. In these cases the word “Egyptian” refers to the cotton seed, not the location. Cotton is a global commodity with very large differences in fibre qualities. A simple way to measure cotton quality is by the length of its fibres. Long fibres mean stronger, softer, lighter and more durable fabrics. The highest grade of cotton is called “ELS” - short for Extra Long Staple. If your business shirt is not made from ELS cotton, well then you are not getting the premium. Sorry to break it to you.
Since cotton makes up the lion’s share of a quality shirts’ production cost, it can be tempting for a brand to save a few bucks getting a cheaper quality. All shirts look the same in the stores, right? Well, unfortunately it quickly tells when a shirt is based on poor quality cotton. The shirt will simply get dull quicker and wear for a shorter period of time. This means the cheap shirt can end up costing you more per use, than the pricier option.
At BARONS we source our cotton from suppliers in US and exclusively use Extra Long Stable cotton for our business shirts. More specifically STeP certified US-PIMA ELS cotton for the cotton-geeks out there😊
THE WAY IT’S SOLD MAKES A HUGE DIFFERENCE
There is no way to deny it. It’s really simple actually. The more middlemen the higher the price for the customer. When you walk into a fancy high street retail store, then you know that you are ultimately the one paying for the rent, the inventory, the employees, the marketing and so forth. Often there will even be a wholesale agent or distributor selling the products to the stores. This means yet another middleman.
Most people understand this logic, but most of us tend to forget it from time to time. This is the beauty and power of marketing. Don’t get us wrong - we fully recognise and appreciate a beautiful physical retail store with great service and a great assortment of products. But BARONS is an alternative for the customers who doesn’t care about boutiques and locations.
It’s all about creating TRUE value for money. That’s why we have eliminated all expensive middlemen that defines the traditional fashion industry. The result – we can focus on adding value to the shirt instead.
THE DEVIL IS IN THE DETAIL – EASY TO SAY, HARD TO ACHIEVE
Most hardcore shirt warriors know that - over time - a poorly made business shirt will reveal itself. Being 100% specialised in classic shirts, we have learned to respect the art of producing great shirts - at scale. Working with a delicate material where only a tiny mistake will lead to a defect shirt.
More than 40 highly skilled and specialised workers and seamstresses all do their part to ensure that your shirt will be fantastic. It requires a seriously detail-oriented personality being able to control all the various steps in the production process. Luckily, we are quite nerdy so we like deep-diving into topics like raw-cotton, yarn combinations and fabric finishing methods.
Focus on details increases price a bit, but the details are the key in creating the high-quality feeling and shirt abilities. Low-quality shirts will most often lack this such as: high-grade interlining for razor-sharp and durable cuffs and collars. The backside of the buttons will not be shanked, using a special thread with a patented machine, to increase the lifetime of the button fastening. It will have fewer stitches to reduce production cost at the expense of weaker and less elegant seams. Social responsible production and a shirt tested free from harmful substances will not be a given. This and many many more things…
THE HIPPIE STUFF – AND YOUR WELL BEING OF COURSE
Oeko-Tex 100. Not a very appealing word eh?
Have you ever wondered how much of your life is actually spent in that business shirt? Perhaps you are wearing one right now. If you are a hardcore shirt user, you will spend more than a third of your life wearing a business shirt. That’s a whole lot of hours! And this is the reason why it actually does matter if your shirt is certified as free from harmful chemicals. Be aware that if your old shirt maker does not tell you about this, most likely it’s NOT free from these chemicals.
At BARONS we only work with fabrics, which are certified free from harmful substances and chemicals using the strict OEKO-TEX 100® standards. Good for you and for the environment as well.
Read more about the details of a BARONS shirt here ->