The world's trusted guide to sustainable and ethical fashion

The world's trusted guide to sustainable and ethical fashion

Learn This Eco-Friendly Fashion Concept: Cost-per-Wear

Zady cost-per-wear

This post is my first contribution to Zady‘s blog. Read the original post in its entirety!

Good morning, class! Today we’re going to talk about cost-per-wear.

It’s hard when you’re walking past a huge window display filled with sparkly, colorful, stupidly cheap fast fashion to hold yourself back. Modern retailers have become a candy store for adults, where you can fill your bag with sweet goodies for just a few dollars and walk out on a fashion high.

And when you’re trying to stick to a budget, buying a $20 embroidered skirt seems like a fantastic deal. I mean, that is one-twentieth of the price of a similar designer skirt, amaright?

But go take a look under your bed, in that bin where you keep all your “extra” clothes that you never wear. How much would you say you’ve spent on meh tops, pants you bought because they were on the clearance rack and dresses that have pilled, stretched and faded?

There’s a better way to be fiscally responsible about your fashion, and it’s called cost-per-wear.It’s a simple concept, but something you should keep in mind as you paw through the racks on your next shopping trip.

Think about how often you’ll wear a new garment or accessory in a typical month. Now multiply that times 12 (six if it’s a seasonal piece), and then multiply that by the number of years you think it will stay useful in your closet. Divide the cost of the piece by the resulting number.

Hey, you don’t need to be super-accurate—a ballpark figure will help you decide if the sweater with the embellished neckline is a worthy investment or a money pit.

Let’s practice this new concept with some examples … 

Read the rest of the story on Zady!


  • Alden Wicker

    Ruth Alden Wicker is the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of EcoCult, and author of To Dye For: How Toxic Fashion Is Making Us Sick – and How We Can Fight Back. She also writes for publications including Vogue, The New York Times, Wired, The Cut, Vox, and many more.

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