I used to think that the $2.99 top I found was a steal. And it turns out it was. Just not in the way I originally thought.
Now, I know that the $2.99 top I wore for two months stole someone’s childhood. It stole wages from a single mother. It stole precious resources from our earth that we can never get back. It stole so much more than I could comprehend or wanted to admit.
We’ve been taught to believe that these are good prices. That buying 20+ items for $100 is an amazing haul. Something I fell victim to a lot, especially growing up in a social media age where hauls were so prominent. When I first started on Youtube, I was unemployed, broke and still spent every penny I had on clothing just so I could make a haul. And still, I never felt like they were big enough.
So naturally, when we’re presented with the idea of ethical fashion, more the price of ethical fashion, we’re taken aback. It can be really hard to shift our mindset.
The Cost per Wear Forumula
That’s where the Cost Per Wear Formula comes in. And it’s really quite simple. It’s helped me to reframe the way I see my clothing. To start seeing them as investments, thoroughly thought out investments rather than fleeting trends.
So here it is. You take the price of an article of clothing and divide it by the number of times you’ll wear it. I told you it was simple!
But when you break down a $200 sweater with an estimate that you’ll wear it at least 20 times, the sweater becomes $10 per wear! Seems much less daunting right?
I know that a $200 investment up front can still seem like a lot. And it’s not something we can expect to invest in all the time. Trust me, I get it.
But when you start to frame clothing as investments, it makes a lot more sense. Even if you can’t invest in them all the time. But reframing clothing to not be seen or treated like the disposables we were made to think they are.
Yes, fast fashion moves…fast and there will always be new trends and new things for you to buy. But it’s a waste of money when you’ll outgrow that style and it’ll fall apart quickly. Whereas seeing these ethically made, more “expensive” items as investments causes us to slow down thoroughly think about our purchases and not buy trends on a whim.
Because whims are fleeting. And because we won’t wear them very long, the cost per wear can sometimes be more. But if we buy these more expensive items with the intent of keeping them for years and years and wearing them consistently, they become cheaper than their fast fashion counterpart.
So the next time you think that ethical fashion is too expensive, consider the cost per wear formula. Consider your clothing purchases as investments that will live in your closet for years to come.
I hope this post helped give you a little insight into reframing how we see our clothes and gave you the amazing cost per wear formula to use when purchasing clothing. Please don’t forget to share this post and follow me on Instagram for daily slow fashion inspiration!