Transparency, Exploitation & Throwaway Culture - The True Cost of a Cactus Tee

Fashion Revolution I Made Your Clothes Albion Clothing and Cactus Outdoor NZ

Last week was Fashion Revolution Week 2021.

Don't worry, we haven't lost the plot... we know our Supertrousers have no place on the catwalk. We do, however, have a place in the wider clothing/apparel industry, and it's no secret that this is one of the least ethical and most environmentally damaging industries on the planet.

Fashion Revolution are a global non-profit organization and activism movement, whose purpose is to create a fairer fashion industry. A few of the key issues in the clothing industry they aim to address are:

  1. A lack of transparency and accountability.
  2. Human and environmental exploitation.
  3. Throwaway culture and excess waste.
Issue: A lack of transparency and accountability.

Cactus Value: Be Customer-Centric.

For the purpose of increasing transparency in the clothing/apparel industry, we have released the true cost of a $69 Cactus cotton tee:

Keep in mind that this $20.82 margin goes towards the cost of business, which includes everything from staff salaries and shop rent, to loo paper for Cactus HQ.

Only the money left over after this goes into our pocket.

Issue: Human and environmental exploitation

Cactus Value: Be Good to the People & Good to the Planet.

We own the factory where our clothing is made, right here in Christchurch, NZ.

Cactus HQ is in the same building as this factory, so we can physically see our gear being made from our desks, and we probably just had a shared lunch with the makers.


We can also see with our own two eyes that there is no toxic sludge leaking into the Avon nearby, or piles of excess material being burnt into the atmosphere. Two things you can't necessarily promise with offshore manufacturing.

Our factory is ISO accredited, carbon neutral and we have systems in place to make sure we use as much of our precious fabric as possible. Including a bit of upcycling to save materials from landfill.

Issue: Throwaway culture and excess waste.

Cactus Value: Gear That Wears In, Not Out.

This is something we absolutely pride ourselves in here at Cactus.

From materials, to design, to our post-purchase repair service - we make sure that our products are built to last.

None of that planned obsolescence crap!

What can you do to avoid contributing to these issues in the clothing and apparel industry?
  1. Ask the companies you buy from "Who Made My Clothes/Bags/Shoes?" and if they can't answer, don't give them your cash.

  2. Buy NZ made if you can. We have strict employment and environmental laws compared to countries with cheaper labour costs - you are paying more to protect the people and the planet from exploitation. This means NZ pays a minimum wage, there is no child labour, we have safe working conditions and pollution is managed. Buying local also means you're supporting the economy and creating jobs for fellow kiwis.

  3. Buy less, higher quality items of clothing that will last a long time. Always choose to repair or upcycle your clothing instead of throwing it out.