Recently I have read a really interesting article about Cost per Wear and it has changed my mind! So often when we go shopping we prefer to get quantity instead of quality and we are not ready to pay a certain amount of $ for some clothes. As I’m trying to be a conscious customer, I decided to add more “ratio” to my shopping.
So, what does CPW mean? Cost Per Wear (CPW) has a simple idea behind it: the value of an item is directly related to how much you use it. Basically, it is a purchase price plus cost of maintenance divided by the total number of wears of this item.
For example, you bought a dress for a special occasion and you’ve worn it once, so the price you have paid for it will be its cost per wear. Another example: you have bought casual linen pants for $150 which you loved and worn for two summer seasons (about 60 times), so the cost per wear for your pants will be 150/60=$2.5 That’s really cheap!
And if you compare similar clothes but of different quality? Mass and Middle market for example?
Synthetic T-shirt from the mass market you can buy for $10, but it will look awful after you wear it a couple of times. Quality T-shirt from organic cotton will cost you $40 but you will wear it for a couple of years, making CPW really minimalistic.
Usually, we say, that good CPW is $1, so basically if you have paid $40 for a T-shirt you have to wear it 40 times.
If you actually analyze your shopping behavior using CPW criteria you may understand, that sometimes paying more means paying less in the end. Investing money in well-made basics that are easy to combine and have timeless style is much better than buying “must-have of this season” which you will never wear again (though fashion is cyclical, you may wear it again in 10-15 years haha!)
So next time when you go shopping, ask yourself how many times you will wear this item and will you wear it next season. I believe that it’s one of the steps towards sustainable living.