I recently featured some unique crochet pieces that are sold by Anthropologie. However, I failed to post this top, which I found via nymag. I think it’s a beautiful piece and I have to give credit to this store for having only the best crochet items!

This brings up an important topic, though, which is the whole idea of whether or not you should buy crochet from chain stores. Crochet is not something that can be made by machine, it must be made by hand, which means that all of the crochet you see on the shelves was made by hand by someone. Many companies pay their workers a fair wage for this hard work and I tend to think it’s fine to by your crochet in the store if that’s the case. Some even specialize in doing this. For example, check out the company Bebe Ravi, which provides a decent living to women in Kenya who create luxury crochet garments that are sold in Barney’s.

I actually don’t typically shop in big stores so I lean in favor of buying crochet from independent sellers but I realize that’s not a viable (or even necessarily a desirable) option for everyone. I think if a store has fair wage practices then it’s fine but as a consumer it’s part of your responsibility to do some background research into a company’s practices for paying people for their hard by-hand stitch work!

The above top has an $88 price tag which suggests that there’s a good chance that someone was paid a fair wage for their work. I can’t say for sure, though, since I haven’t done any research into Anthropologie’s practices in this area. Or actually I guess the top is made by Epilogue so it’s their practices that would need to be reviewed. Being a responsible consumer this way is definitely difficult but I think it’s important if you’re going to buy from big stores.

What do you think about buying crochet in the big stores?


San Francisco based and crochet-obsessed writer, dreamer and creative spirit!


  1. Markups in stores are 100%, which would mean that top cost them $44 and seems pretty intricate to think it’s a fair wage to someone, but that’s my opinion. I know a few people, who when they get the Anthropologie catalog, do try and make a similar item if they really like it.

    I see stores like Old Navy and such have crocheted tanks, etc and they sell for about $20 full price, but have seen them marked down to $8.00. Heck, four years ago Wal-Mart had crocheted tunic top for $10, saddened me really and no, I don’t buy crocheted items from stores.

    • Kathryn Reply

      It’s hard to say. Even $44 for a top can be a fair wage if it’s being given to someone who lives in a country where that goes a lot further than it does here (assuming that they offer fair treatment in the work environment, etc.) but I definitely get your point. Thanks for adding to the conversation!

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