Hoodies are an ideal type of clothing for cool temperatures.
The thick fabric keeps you warm, and the hood gives your head some insulation.
Hoodie prices can range from $35 to $350, and even beyond that, according to ABC News.
Considering that hoodies can sometimes be unflattering, you may wonder what makes them so expensive.
Here are 10 reasons hoodies are expensive.
Why Are Hoodies So Expensive? (Top 10 Reasons)
There’s no question that inflation is playing its part in making hoodies expensive.
The Washington Post reported that several products that consumers regularly buy have seen increased prices.
That includes clothing items.
Part of the reason inflation increases prices is that it forces everything from raw materials to the final product to cost more.
It all starts with raw materials.
Even before inflation struck, raw materials could fluctuate in terms of supply and demand and make clothing items more expensive.
With inflation, however, it’s received a substantial increase in terms of its cost.
Since it costs suppliers more to obtain or create their raw materials, they sell them at higher prices.
This then forces factories who buy those raw materials to make their products to take on more costs.
To cover their costs, they have to sell their final product at a higher price.
Not all businesses have to do this, however, as it’s clear that some businesses are generating more profit than ever despite rising costs.
That said, it’s clear that inflation is causing the price of hoodies to increase.
If inflation begins to stabilize, you may notice the price becoming lower.
2. COVID-19 Lockdowns
You can also trace the high price of hoodies back to the COVID-19 pandemic.
When the lockdowns started, consumers stopped buying clothes.
Forbes reported that apparel sales were down by 14.9% in 2021.
A large part of that is because people weren’t able to leave their homes.
Many of them either lost their jobs or weren’t too sure about their employment security.
They cut back on spending, which included buying new clothes like hoodies.
This led retailers to examine their inventories.
They had more than they were selling.
They also had more clothes on production lines in various factories.
Essentially, retailers were spending money making more clothes when they weren’t selling.
To offload costs, they ran discounts and let go of employees.
They also canceled orders from factories.
This created a supply problem when the lockdowns lifted and people started shopping again.
Retail companies suddenly found themselves with a lot of demand but little supply.
This led to an increase in prices on the clothing items that they did have.
While a hoodie may have been on sale during the lockdowns, it was suddenly far more expensive out of the lockdown because there were only a few of them available.
Retail companies hadn’t expected the lockdown to be as short as it had been.
They had expected it to last for the better part of the year or even longer.
It left them scrambling to get their supply back to meet demand.
Unfortunately, getting their supply back in order takes longer than getting rid of their supply.
As a result, the price of hoodies is expensive.
3. Work From Home Habits
The lockdowns also started a new work-from-home wave.
Businesses had to scramble quickly to stay active when their workers were no longer able to come into the office.
Some of them helped their employees get new computers and software to do their jobs at home.
As the lockdowns persisted, some even saw that productivity had increased.
Their workers were able to focus better in their own homes.
As a result, some of them chose to let their workers remain at home to do their jobs.
This has impacted the price of hoodies in a few ways.
The first is that when the lockdowns first started, it meant that workers didn’t need to go shopping.
Hoodies aren’t usually acceptable office attire, but there are some professions in which you can wear a hoodie.
Those workers weren’t buying hoodies, and that led to the supply problem which has, in turn, caused high prices on hoodies.
The second way working from home has impacted the price of hoodies is that people have continued to work from home.
When their employers allowed them to continue working from home, they no longer had to worry about wearing office attire.
They could wear comfortable clothes.
That meant breaking out the sweatpants and hoodies.
One of the reasons hoodies are popular is that they’re comfortable and warm.
Since employees at home don’t have to dress up, they can wear as many hoodies as they like.
This increased demand for hoodies and other comfortable types of clothing.
With supply problems persisting, the increase in demand only caused the price of hoodies to rise higher.
Hoodies are expensive because of the increase in demand caused by more people working from home.
4. Factory Layoffs
Supply problems are a major reason behind expensive hoodies.
Part of the reason many retailers are experiencing supply problems is the factory layoffs that occurred during the pandemic.
When lockdowns occurred, retailers had to cancel orders from their respective factories.
No one was buying clothes, which meant if they took on more clothes, then they’d have a huge inventory that was costing them money.
To survive, retailers put a hold on their orders.
This meant that factories producing hoodies and other clothes weren’t making money either.
No one was buying clothes from them.
Since they had no way to make money, they had to let go of employees as well to save on costs.
That impacted their production levels.
While it was a solution that worked at the time, it quickly became another problem when lockdowns lifted.
Since the lockdowns were lifted more quickly than expected, factories found themselves scrambling to find more workers to fill the positions they had opened.
Orders were coming in from retailers as consumers flocked to stores to spend their stimulus money.
Although they now found themselves with tons of orders, they no longer had the workers they needed to support the increased number of orders.
This stunted their production levels which means retailers weren’t able to get enough supply to meet the demand.
Since demand still outweighed supply, the price of hoodies has increased even further, making them more expensive than ever.
Some factories still struggle to get workers to operate their assembly lines.
Those who got fired are wary of trusting the employers again.
Others are looking for better wages or benefits before deciding on which employer to join.
As factories continue to have problems with their labor shortages, the supply of hoodies will also struggle.
5. Foreign Factories Still Experiencing Lockdowns
If labor shortages in hoodie factories weren’t enough of a problem, the continued shift into lockdowns is.
Many retailers have their hoodie and clothing factories in other countries.
India, Cambodia, and China are just some of the few countries that have apparel factories.
The problem is that these countries also continue to have problems with the COVID-19 virus.
China, in particular, has a strict policy when it encounters a new outbreak.
Its workers are unable to leave home and have to quarantine themselves until the virus passes.
Cambodia is another country that continues to experience new outbreaks of the virus.
According to Human Rights Watch, Cambodia is especially sensitive to lockdowns.
The government doesn’t have any securities built into its infrastructure already to deal with the sort of mass-scale unemployment that it’s experiencing.
Those in the garment industry have lost their jobs, and some factories have closed because they were unable to get new orders.
Even as factories try to reopen, any new outbreak forces them to close down again.
Sometimes the factory can stay open if they’re able to isolate a person who is carrying the virus.
In most cases, however, because it can take a few days for the symptoms to appear, a good number of workers have already been infected by that point.
This forces the factory to close since it has to send home a good portion of its workers.
Each time this happens, it stalls the factory’s production.
They’re unable to get new hoodies to the retailers.
Meanwhile, the retailers are facing a supply shortage.
That leads to higher prices on hoodies.
6. High Cotton Prices
Another reason hoodies are expensive has to do with the price of cotton.
While several materials and fabrics make up a hoodie, cotton is its primary material.
When cotton prices rise, the cost of producing a hoodie also increases.
This leads to a higher price tag for the consumer.
According to Yahoo Finance, cotton prices have risen by 40% and most experts believe the price will continue to increase in the next few years.
There are a few reasons behind the increase in cotton.
The first is the weather.
The United States is the leading exporter of cotton.
A lot of that cotton comes from Texas.
Texas has been experiencing serious problems with its weather.
Freezing temperatures in the winter have killed off some crops.
Extremely hot temperatures in the summer have made its drought problems even worse.
Without water, crops either can’t grow or don’t grow well.
Farmers get a poor yield.
That means there’s a reduced supply of cotton to go around.
Farmers then have to import water from elsewhere to feed their crops.
That adds cost to their operations which means they need to sell their cotton at higher prices to make up for the expense.
Another reason cotton prices are high is that it wasn’t always an expensive commodity.
For a long time, cotton was quite cheap.
To make an income, farmers ended up switching their cotton fields for crops that earned them more money.
This means there are fewer cotton farmers to meet the demand for cotton.
With less supply, the price goes higher.
Finally, the demand for cotton has never been higher.
China, especially, has had an increasing demand for cotton.
With high demand and supply problems plaguing cotton, the price has gotten higher.
Hoodies, which contain a lot of cotton, end up becoming more expensive.
7. Shipping Container Problems
Even when factories are able to produce enough hoodies, there’s another problem that is leading to more expensive prices on hoodies.
Because people were unable to shop in person at stores, many of them took to online shopping for their needs.
This led to more boxes shipping across the seas and a need for more shipping containers.
However, there weren’t enough shipping containers to be had.
This led to high prices on shipping containers which made shipping more expensive for retailers.
They needed to cover that expense by increasing their prices.
The shortage of containers also meant that fewer hoodies—as well as other products—could make their way to the appropriate ports.
Factories had to wait to load their hoodies until a shipping container became available.
This made the supply problem even worse.
Some people’s answer to this problem was to use bigger vessels that could carry more shipping containers.
While this does mean that more products can move across the ocean at a time, it still creates a problem at ports.
Since they’re larger, they take up more space at the port.
This means there’s less room for other vessels to dock and start unloading their containers.
Since fewer vessels are able to dock and unload, they’re stuck waiting until the bigger vessel finishes.
This can create a backlog that occurred quite a few times over the past two years.
When a traffic jam occurs, it means shippers aren’t able to unload their products.
This takes longer for retailers to get their hands on their new hoodie products.
Hoodies are expensive because of the problems that a shortage of shipping containers caused.
8. Higher Labor Costs
Retail has also faced its own problems with labor.
Since so many stores had to lay off a good number of employees to cut costs, many of those employees weren’t thrilled about returning once the businesses started hiring again.
Retail also has notoriously low wages for its workers.
Add a lack of benefits and a lack of a clear career path, and many former employees have been looking for work elsewhere.
This becomes problematic because it means there are fewer workers to man the shops.
They may not be able to help as many customers throughout the day.
They may not be able to restock hoodies since they’re busy handling something else.
Since the shop becomes less productive, they earn less money, which means they have to raise prices to make the profit they want with the numbers they have.
Some retail businesses have increased wages to attract more workers.
Since they’re taking on higher labor costs, they cover those expenses with higher prices.
Since hoodies sell relatively well, they know that they can put a higher price on them and earn the profit they need to cover their costs.
Hoodies are expensive because of the labor problems that retail businesses are experiencing.
9. Designer Hoodies
While some may consider hoodies to be streetwear and cheap, there are many brands of designer hoodies as well.
Designer hoodies tend to be a bit trimmer than basic hoodies.
Some come with tall collars or high-quality zippers.
Others just feature unique designs and graphics on them.
Designer hoodies are more expensive than standard hoodies because they’re usually made with premium materials.
They use the best cotton available, for example, to make extremely soft hoodies.
They’ll use heavy-duty zippers to ensure they don’t break for a long time.
Others will hire artists to make exclusive designs and graphics specifically for their line of hoodies.
All of these details require money and investment.
To cover the expense of designing and making hoodies, the retailer sells them at high prices.
There’s no question that brand name also plays a part.
Certain branded hoodies will cost more than generic hoodies because the brand is usually associated with something.
That association might be high-quality products, luxury goods, or even just better durability.
Whatever it is, if the hoodie has a brand attached to it, it’s going to be more expensive.
Hoodies are expensive if they carry a brand or designer logo on them.
10. Luxury Hoodies
While designer hoodies are expensive, luxury hoodies knock them out of the park.
You can expect to see names like Gucci and Dior involved in making luxury hoodies.
One such hoodie from Dior is the Oversized Dior Jardin Hooded Sweatshirt.
It’s worth $1,800.
It features things like cotton fleece, a brushed interior that’s soft, and ribbed cuffs and hem.
One of the reasons this hoodie is expensive is that it contains organic cotton and other high-end textiles.
Organic cotton is more expensive than standard cotton because it costs more to grow.
The Dior brand adds an expense all its own.
When you shop at either Dior or Gucci, for example, you’re not going to see cheap or affordable prices.
That’s because it makes its products for a certain high income bracket.
Hoodies are expensive when you buy them from luxury brands.
Hoodies can be as cheap as $30, but their prices can go as high as $2,000.
While some of these hoodies are expensive due to their branding, others are expensive because of the costs associated with making them.
Inflation, supply problems, and labor problems also have increased the price of hoodies.