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February 15, 2022

Clothing prices next to jump, by up to 10 per cent: report

It’s tough to sit here and say the economy’s resurgence, which has been seen modestly but seen nonetheless, has its pitfalls.

Istockphoto_13854541-shopping-bags But it does, relatively speaking, and it’s generally with respect to the wide world of consumerism.

Earlier this winter, it was grocery prices that were set to rise, and now – “as the world economy recovers and demand for goods rises,” one report notes – clothing prices appear next in line.

According to the Associated Press, a surge in raw materials and international labour costs may send North American clothing prices up 10 per cent starting this spring.

“All of our brands, every single brand, will take some price increases,” Eric Wiseman, chief exec of VF Corp., which makes Nautica, The North Face and Wrangler clothes, told AP.

The reason for the retail hike? Consumer demand has spiked since the recession eased, surely, but like the rise in food prices, an inflated cost of raw materials is to blame for sending clothing costs up.

Indeed, despite clothing prices having dropped for a decade thanks to cheap overseas labour, a jump in the price of cotton, for instance, may more than make up for that discrepancy.

According to something called the International Cotton Advisory Committee, cotton prices have reached a 150-year high, hitting $1.90 per pound at the end of last week. That figure isn’t perfect – it’s not adjusted for inflation, for one – but that cotton hasn’t been so expensive since the Civil War at least stands for something.

Add to that, the AP notes, the price of synthetic fabrics used to make clothes has also jumped about 50 per cent as demand for cotton alternative goes up.

Have you seen clothing prices, on anything from jeans to sweaters to socks, jump in Canada yet? If so, where?

By Jason Buckland, MSN Money



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Gordon PowersGordon Powers

A long-time fund company executive, Gordon Powers now heads up the Affinity Group, a financial services consulting firm. Gordon was a personal finance columnist for the Globe & Mail for many years, has taught retirement planning...

Jason BucklandJason Buckland

The modern-day MC Hammer of money, Jason can often be seen spending cash that isn’t his with the efficiency of a Wilt Chamberlain first date. After cutting his teeth as a reporter for the Toronto Sun, he joined the MSN Money team with...