Here at Altar, a huge priority in our product sourcing is manufacturing guidelines that reflect ethical and sustainable practices. One of the most difficult aspects of adhering to this guideline is that products of this sort are, necessarily, more expensive. We understand that is a barrier to entry, and that is why you'll often see us styling our content with a blend of vintage/used goods--to suggest that we do not believe anyone can have a lifestyle singularly comprised of these types of wares. That expectation would not only be unrealistic, it would be classist. While we're striving towards making good choices in our shopping, no one is perfect.
We hope to inspire our customers to value independently manufactured goods because of the stories that are implicit in their creation, and our promise to you is that we also value these objects (even years after their purchase). Our small business stands by the products we sell to the extent that we have repaired (or contacted vendors to repair), altered, and followed up on pieces that have left our shop. We try our hardest to share the personal stories of our own lines and of the brands that proudly carry.
All of this said, we still struggle with the issue of accessibility. The challenge of making price points that proliferate the principles of ethical manufacturing (ie fair wage labor, sustainable sourcing, representation, etc) is one that our company will shoulder for as long as we are in business-- and it is possible that we may have found one tool that makes this slightly more approachable!
Last week, we added an application called Afterpay. Afterpay is a merchant servicer that enables our customers to break their purchase up into four interest free payments. Ordinarily, merchant services are not the most exciting topic, but to us, this actually opens up a lot of possibilities and is a bit more meaningful than we had even expected it would be! We are seeing larger corporations using Afterpay as well, but to us, it was a step that opens up new doors.
After attending and speaking at the Sustainable Fashion Forum, we had lengthy discussions about accessibility and, in the larger picture, we dug deep into the ways that capitalism has pitted consumers against their ethics. We know this is a tiny shred of a solution, but in our continued efforts to make products of this sort as available as we possibly can, we hope that Afterpay helps our customers find some forever pieces that they can pepper into their lives.