HomeLifestyleThe True Cost of Crafting a Sweatshirt: From Fabric to Finished Product

The True Cost of Crafting a Sweatshirt: From Fabric to Finished Product

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When we come to mind about a sweatshirt what enters our mind is the style, color and size of that sweatshirt. Now, however, have you ever thought of the sophisticated mechanism on how it was made? The converting process of the raw material into the final product passes through various stages, which come with corresponding costs, be it the monetary value or the cost implication on the environment. This particular blog post provides an overall consideration of the procedure of construction of a sweatshirt and how much do hoodies cost.

1. Raw Materials

First of all it is necessary to note that the primary characteristic of the sweatshirt is its material. The cost, quality, and sustainability of the clothing item being produced are all affected by the fabric used. Cotton and polyester and various other blends are used when it comes to the production of sweatshirts.


Cotton is a natural origin fiber that is prized for its soft feel and breathability and comfort. Nevertheless, the growth of cotton as raw material is expensive. It discharges a large volume of water and needs fertilizers and pesticides, therefore, causing environmental pollution. However, more sustainable and healthier material is organic cotton, despite the fact that it is significantly more expensive, mainly because of the lack of synthetic chemicals and the necessity of using various forms of organic farming.


Polyester is a man made fiber extracted from petroleum, which is both, durable and highly absorbent. It is produced using less water compared to cotton; however, its production includes energy-intensive acts and the use of chemicals. Polyester though is more sustainable it cannot be biodegraded thus we assume its impact on the environment is not very friendly. Recycled polyester is a better choice as they are more environment friendly but the cost to process them is slightly higher.


Fibers made from a mixture of cotton and polyester are designed to incorporate the best characteristics of the two materials with which they are made. These they provide a balance between the comfort that they provide, their durability and the costs of having them. At the same time, the recycling of blended fabrics is possible, but difficult, which contributes to the problem of environmental impact.

2. Fabric Production

The next process that follows sourcing of raw materials is the making of fabrics. This comprises spinning, knitting or weaving and dyeing.


Spinning is a process of turning fibers into yarn. The cost of spinning depends on the types of fiber and technology that is utilised. The blocks of spinning, including ring spinning for instance, is more efficient in that it yields finer yarns as compared to the other techniques, though it is rather costly.

Knitting or Weaving

The material is there after knitted or woven into fabric by the use of yarn. Knitting, the typical application of which is sweatshirts, is another process faster and, therefore, less costly than weaving. But the type of knit, for instance, jersey or fleece, and the compactness of the fabric duly affect the price. Fabrics like winter sweatshirts weigh and have a greater density than thin fabrics; they need more yarn and time thus are expensive.


Dyeing process in textiles is the process of allowing the fabric to assumes the required colour. Conventional dyeing methods are water and chemical consumptive and hence present some complications to the environment. Advanced techniques of printing and natural dyes like digital prints are being adopted more now as they are environmental friendly but the cost is high. The colour used in the garment and the method of dyeing which is used to colour the fabric does influence the total cost of the fabric as well as the impact on the environment.

3. Fabric Finishing

It is followed by finishing treatments which are carried out to improve the characteristic of the textile material. Some of them are brushing that makes the fabric silk like and smooth, and treatments applicable for preventing the fabric from getting wrinkled, branded as water proof, stained proof and so on. Both processes increase the cost and have an impact on the environment of the fabric they are applied on.

4. Design and Pattern Making

Thus, the general concept of the sweatshirt is imagined before the cutting of the fabric is done. This include developing designs, selecting hues, and determining the accessories such as prints, embroideries, and labels. CAD is used in coming up with detailed patterns through the program used in the design of apparels.

Pattern Making

Pattern making duplication of the design into cutting patterns of the fabric is done. This stage entails the use of professional workers who make sure that the patterns match and that wastage is kept at a minimum. Another factor that causes high costs is related to the design of the garments because the more complicated the design is the end product’s pattern making cost will be.

5. Cutting and Sewing

Once patterns are prepared, pieces of fabric are cut. High-level factories apply automated cutting equipment, which is as compared to manual cutting but requires larger investments on capital.


The cutting of parts of forms the sweatshirt and the pieces are then joined or sewn to form the final product. Sewing is quite a manual activity and hence takes quite a lot of time. Depending on the design intricate, number of parts, and the level of expertise of the workers, the cost varies. Products with more details including pockets, zippers, and lining marks a remarkable difference in the time taken and expertise offered thus, raising the labor expenses for the production of sweatshirts.

6. Quality Control

It is necessary to ensure that the sweatshirt developed possesses the quality that is required. This concerns the inspection of the fabric for faults and flaws, measurement of the correctness of the cuts and examination of the standard of the stitches. Anything that is wrong may have to be redone during this stage and this costs more money in the long run.

7. Packaging and Shipping

After the sweatshirts clear a quality check, they are packed for distribution. Packaging items like the local plastic bags, tags, and the local cardboard boxes which are used for packaging all increase the cost. Eco friendly packaging such as recycled and biodegradable packaging costs more but help in the conservation of the environment.

Shipping cost depend with distance, mode of transport, and finally volume of shipping. Air freight is quicker compared to sea freight but pricier means and not as environment friendly as sea freight. This option includes determining the choice of shipping method via considerations such as the time of delivery and cost.

8. Marketing and Retail

Marketing and getting the sweatshirt into the market also entails other costs such as marketing and retail costs. These include:


Brand awareness is therefore very important if a business is to appeal to the target consumers. This entails developing brand images, making brochures, developing web based interfaces, and other similar services. The services of professionals branding are often expensive yet productive when one is setting up his or her market on the business.


Advertisement expenses are also flexible depending on whichever channel is chosen and the intensity of the campaign. Currently, business promote their goods and services through digital marketing particularly through social media advertising and working with influencers because of the many benefits as highlighted above. It is important to note that companies that use traditional techniques of advertising such as circulars, newspapers, Television and radio are more costly as compared to the other techniques but they are effective to target a direct niche market.

Retail Operations

Retail sales of sweatshirts may come with expenses incurred for rents and bills for the outlets, and wages for the employees on the selling floors. E-tailing minimizes some of these costs though capital is needed in creating, maintaining the site and offering virtual assistance to customers.

9. Environmental and Social Costs

Besides capital expenditure, the process of designing a sweatshirt is marked with immense environmental and sociological repercussions. Solving all these costs is the key to achieving a sustainable product.

Environmental Costs

Fashion Industry is one of the major polluters of the Environment. Key environmental costs include:

  • Water Usage: Clothes manufacturing and production of fabrics such as cotton require water, and due to its use a lot of water is used, which causes a shortage of water in some areas.
  • Chemical Pollution: In cotton farming the excessive usage of pesticides is a major problem in soil and water pollution and chemicals used in dyeing and finishing affects the same.
  • Energy Consumption: Synthetic fiber production, fabric making, and clothes assembling are a process that uses energy and thereby contributes to the emission of green house gases.
  • Waste: This waste is generated throughout the processing of new textiles as well as from used clothing that finds its way to the dustbin and ultimately the landfills.

Social Costs

The social costs of the manufacturing of a sweatshirt are experienced by the workers and are hence social costs. Key issues include:

  • Labor Conditions: Employees in the textile industry and especially from developing nations suffer from various aspects of job misery including working conditions, hours of work, and wages.
  • Health and Safety: Chemicals used in farming and manufacturing are unsafe to workers’ health in cases where they are exposed to them.
  • Fair Trade: For social imbalances, it is equally essential to maintain a set of fair wages and ethical methods throughout the supply line.

10. Moving Towards Sustainability

The cost of producing a sweatshirt therefore is not just the financial cost involved in creating the item. This paper aims at exploring sustainable fashion strategies on reducing the effects of environment and social responsibilities.

Sustainable Materials

Using environmentally friendly fabrics like organic cotton and recycled polyester is the way to minimize it. Others include biodegradable fiber and sustainable approaches in dyeing processing are also emerging in the market.

Ethical Manufacturing

Paying attention to the applicable minimum wages while practicing proper labor relations at the same time, offering proper working conditions for the workers, and establishing and maintaining the right approaches to the stakeholders involved are vital. There is assurance of ethical standards from certification a company like the Fair Trade and SA8000.

Circular Fashion

Laying down a circular fashion approach, that involves recycling, upcycling or designing clothes that are long-lasting decreases the amount of clothes that would have been dumped. Many companies are seeking to open forward take-back programs and actions for garments with the objective of giving a second lifetime to them.

Transparent Supply Chains

The fourth implication of transparency in the supply chain is there is informed consumer consumption. It is thus clear that firms are giving out more information on where they source, how they produce, and whether they have sustainable practices or not.


Making of a sweat shirt is a process that entails very many aspects and different costs starting from the inputs to the final products. In this topic, financial cost is complimented by two factors commonly known as cost of sustainability and cost of socially responsible business. Sustainability and Ethics, can positively impact the fashion industry and the world in general since it can produce trendy and comfortable wear that is also ethical and sustainable. Next time that you put on your sweatshirt, it is good to have in mind that how much it has passed through, and the kind of effort put into making it.

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