What is the TRUE cost of this button up shirt ?

In light of a new insanely cheap 'natural' linen range at Best and Less we have decided to show you the costs involved in making the Baby Bobby Button Up shirt. 

Best and Less are selling their linen/cotton blend button ups for a ridiculous $12!!!

If you stop to consider the costs involved in production including fabric, buttons, and LABOUR then add a substantial profit margin for Best and Less it seems IMPOSSIBLE that these button ups are sold so cheap. 

Most retail apparel brands utilise Keystone Markup, a pricing methodology that multiples the cost by a factor of two (sometimes can be up to 5x) to dictate the price for next rung in the value chain. Therefore if the final retail price is $12 then the wholesale price would be $6 then one could only assume it would cost approx $3 to make! 

Unlike Best and Less our baby button ups are;
-  made locally
-  utilise sustainably sourced 100% linen
-  use natural coconut shell buttons - not plastic 
-  feature 100% cotton lables - no poly 
-  are sewn with 100% organic cotton thread
- sustainable packaging 
- made with love by Ellen herself

Here is a breakdown of the costs involved in producing a Baby Bobby Button Up Shirt:


100% Linen
Sustainably sourced. Fabric produced with China REACH Regulations.
approx 0.6m needed per garment

plus fusing (to stiffen up the collar)
cotton/poly blend 

total fabric cost - $13.80





Coconut shell 

Made in India
Natural and biodegradable at end of life
4 buttons plus one spare 

total button cost - $1.40





100% cotton

Most labels are synthetic - and not biodegradable at end of life or nice against baby skin. 

Made in Sydney  brand, size and care tags

total labels cost - $1.20






We either use 100% organic cotton GOTS certified thread, rPET recycled polyester or poly depending on colour match. 


based on approx 150m used including overlocking.


total thread cost - $4.50






4hrs - press, cut, sew and package.

Pay myself a low wage $10/hr 

Button up shirts are quite time intensive to make even when small as they have lots of components in comparison to a t-shirt. 

total labour cost - $40





acid free and FSC (Forest Stewardship council) certified tissue paper - $0.42

 soy-based ink stickers - $0.21

compostable post bag - $0.38

business card/thank you card made from recycled cotton tees- $0.72


total packaging cost - $1.73





other costs that have not been 

factored in:

-  washing expenses

-  electricity to run machines, lights,  

    iron etc.

-  sampling costs - fabric used etc.

-  pattern making 

-  post to customer

-  depreciation of machines.






excluding labour



including labour









including labour


Excluding labour





When you purchase a garment from any sustainable/ ethical brand you are helping supporting more people than you think. You are actually becoming apart of the change this industry needs, putting your money somewhere powerful, all while looking (plus bubba) great wearing some pretty incredible garments.


1 comment


What a beautiful process. Definitely a more ethical option than best and less.

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published