I know you’re tired of talking about money. We are too, to be honest. If society were up to us, we would joyfully make products that we would give for free to anyone who needs them. And we would never have to think about budgets or costs, because everything would be taken care of in a reciprocal way by a society that valued people for the simple act of being alive.
Unfortunately, we know that’s currently unrealistic. And as much as we’d love to give everything away for free, we know that if we did, our company would quickly have to close. And if we were too close, then we wouldn’t be able to help the thousands of people who rely on us for products that keep them safe, healthy, and loving their bodies. So, here we are, talking about the nuts and bolts of money.
Our prices are increasing this week
We are continually doing our best to run a functional business, which means finding a balance between being profitable enough so we can stay open and making prices low enough so our products can be accessible to people that need them.
This last month we sat down and did a price assessment, and what came out was that, unfortunately, we do have to increase our prices a bit. And since we always want to be transparent with you, our community, we thought we’d take the time to explain why it’s happening.
Why other companies are cheaper
When it comes to undergarments, we often see extremely distorted prices. We’re used to seeing bins of “5 panties for $10” in our local mall, or packs of “3 bras for the price of one,” etc. But let’s take a second to talk about what it means when you see prices like that.
Most cheaply priced undergarments are from Asia, where they’re made on mass in huge factories by workers who aren’t paid a living wage. Even in the places that aren’t technically sweatshops (places that violate 2 or more labor laws), the average garment worker only makes between $95-$200 a month, while working an average of 48-60 hours a week. Recent studies are finding that over 20% of people in the Asian garment industry suffer from depression and suicidal ideations because of working conditions.
These companies also cut costs by sourcing fabrics milled in the cheapest way possible. They use artificial fibers like polyester and nylon that aren’t good for you, aren’t good for the planet, and aren’t going to last. That’s why you get holes in your undies within a year and have to chuck them out to replace them with another pair of $2 underwear. And as a bonus, those thrown-away products will take hundreds of years to decompose in a landfill.
We cannot, and we do not want to compete with companies like that
We believe that everyone deserves a living wage and a high quality of life, and we don’t want to add to the suffering that exists in the world by outsourcing to crummy factories overseas. We hire locals and treat our team like family. We offer above-competitive wages, safe and supportive working conditions, health benefits, and even things like mental health and menstrual leave days.
We also believe that fabrics should be produced in a way that doesn’t harm the Earth, so we choose high-quality eco-friendly fabrics that cost more. We also want your high-quality undergarments to last you for years so that they don’t prematurely end up in a landfill. We also make our garments by the order, so we never have to throw away excess overstock.
Why our prices are going up
We do our very best to keep our prices as low as possible while maintaining our ethics. However, the last few years have seen some changes in what it costs us to run. Here are some of the things that have happened that are leading to the rise in our product prices.
Caring for our employees
This year all our sewers got a substantial raise. We did this not only because we value them highly, but also to offset their increased cost of living. Like many places right now, cost-hikes are a reality. Inflation in Quebec hit a four-decade high in 2022, and it doesn’t look like it’s stopping any time soon.
The cost of food, rent, transportation, electricity, and many other things has increased drastically since 2020. We want our team to have a high quality of life, and a huge part of that is ensuring that they’re not constantly stressed about meeting their basic needs. We want to pay them in a way that values and cares for them.
Increased shipping costs
Canada Post generally increases its shipping cost every year, but this last year the price increase has been higher than ever before. They too are getting hit by economic stressors, in particular the higher gas prices and staff shortages.
Increased basic costs, fuel surcharges, and lack of guaranteed delivery times are all things that have been affecting our shipping in the last couple of years. Unfortunately, there’s not much to be done about it. We love being an online business because we can ship necessary products to anyone who needs them. But we do have to adjust our prices because of shipping issues.
The increased cost of materials
The cost of our materials has increased by up to 20% across the board. Material shortages and supply chain issues are a difficult reality since the pandemic. Not only have our raw materials gone up in price, but many fabrics we used to use are no longer available. We had to find more expensive alternatives to maintain the quality of our product.
We stand by our desire to make high-quality undergarments that will last you for years. We want to ensure that quality doesn’t dip because the world is in turmoil right now, and we don’t want to switch to poor quality and environmentally unfriendly fabrics just to cut costs.
We added in custom gusset measurements
One of our commitments as a company is to be inclusive and provide much-needed options for our queer and trans community. The very exciting thing that we came up with in the last year is our “girth measurements.”
With all of our bottoms you now no longer have to tell us what’s in your pants, you just have to choose how much room you want down there. This allowed us to remove the binary from our undergarments, and any of our bottoms can now be worn by anybody.
We’re honestly super proud of this invention. We’re the first company anywhere to figure out a system of fashion technology that removes the binary from such intimate pieces. We believe that it’s super important to have this option for our trans community.
However, one of the side effects of this new technology is that it does take more patternmaking time. Since we make each piece custom for every body we now have to include an extra measurement with every bottom, which does minimally increase the price.
What can you expect to increase in price?
We’ve done our very, very best to only increase prices where we have to. We will always try to make our pricing as inclusive as we humanly can. And to be honest, we’re still cheaper than many other options out there, and we’re doing it all without compromising on the quality or ethics.
You’ll notice some items have gone up by more than others. This is because we’re directly pricing things based on the factors we've mentioned. The materials we use, supply issues, and the time things take are the largest determiners in the new prices.
Some gaff styleS will increase by $5
Binders will increase by $5-$10 depending on the style
Jocks will increase by $5
Some of the older swim pieces have increased by $5
Mesh shirts will increase by $10
Bras will increase by $10-$13 depending on the style
Strapons will increase by $10 at most
Undies will increase by $3-$12 depending on the style
Also, just a heads up that high-quality mesh is becoming extremely hard to find. So in the coming months, we will likely discontinue the mirror garter, mesh v bodysuit, mesh garter dress, power mesh bra, mesh high waist thong, mesh crop bra, and eventually the mesh tees. Buy your mesh things while we still have them!
Thanks for your understanding
When it comes to pricing and running a business, the issues are complex. But as always, we will do our best to be a community organization first and foremost. We always want to be transparent with you and we will always strive to be as inclusive in our pricing as humanly possible.
For anyone who finds these new prices prohibitive, please check out our community programs. Our ethos is still to get gender-affirming garments to anyone that needs them, and we work with 30 organizations to give our products away for free. We donate over 400 garments a month!