The enthusiasm around sustainable fashion, combined with the current financial pressures have made us all much more conscious about how and where we spend our money. There is tendency at times like these to shop for cheaper clothes but is that the clever move?
We have put together a few different ideas for how you can continue to look great while saving money and the environment at the same time.
What is Cost Per Wear?
it’s a way of calculating whether or not a garment, regardless of price, gives you value for your money. Simply put “cost per wear” is a methodology of breaking down the initial upfront cost of a garment by how many times you’re actually going to wear it. For example, if the price of a garment is £100 and you wear it a hundred times before getting rid of it, then the effective cost per wear is £1. Meanwhile, if you buy a much cheaper garment for £50 but only wear it twice, you’re effectively dealing with a cost per wear of £25, which is much higher and less efficient, and no doubt means you have spent more money on other clothes in the meantime - which one becomes the more expensive?
I recently posted on social media about Bens much loved Pajotten studio jacket, it is just under seven years old, for the first five and a half years he wore it every single day apart from when it needed a wash - that sounds excessive but he loves the jacket - He now wears the same cut but in a different cloth and rotates the two jackets (he is a creature of habit) so at a conservative calculation of 1500 days of wear for a jacket that costs £170, that makes it 11p per day so far, and getting cheaper every day.
Surely the true value of a garment is measured by how it makes you feel, how often you want to, and can wear it, how it fits into your lifestyle, certainly the first sting of the purchase is often forgotten once you realise something has bought value to your life.
Avoid high fashion trends
Did you know that in the UK the average amount of times a garment gets worn in its lifetime is seven, while many fast fashion brands work on the assumption that your clothes should be able to last for thirty wears. Think about your favourite garments - my guess is you have owned and worn them for years and they still don’t feel dated. Choose classic cuts and styles you are much more likely to get value from them and want to wear them for longer, this can apply to colours as well as designs. Secondary to this its worth thinking, when buying new clothes, which of your existing garments they will work with, building a wardrobe of co-ordinates rather than one-off items mean you will get more use from them.
Buy cheap buy twice
It may sound obvious, certainly we acknowledge this when buying electrical goods have you ever wondered why cheap clothes don’t last? There are a lot of reasons, but one of the main ones is SPI (stitches per inch) the more stitches per inch, the longer lasting a garment will be, our average SPI is about 17, a lot of high street brands struggle to reach double figures.
Another thing you can look out for is seam construction, a lot of fast fashion brands simply overlock their seams, when shopping, look for garments with felled or french seams - this means that each seam has been reinforced and therefore last you longer.
Choose natural fibres - cottons, linens and hemps are extremely long lasting and hard wearing, they are also easy to remove stains from.
Look with garments with tight weaves, the tighter the weave the more chance of the garment lasting for longer, avoid man-made fibres - synthetics, as well as being bad for the environment tend to damage more easily than natural fibres.
Second hand / swap
When is the last time you shopped in a vintage or charity shop, or swapped clothes with friends? Not only is it cheaper than buying new, but as well as bargains to be had you know you aren’t adding to the clothes mountains.
Care and repair
We are currently working on a web page that will go into this subject in a lot more detail, and show you how you can repair your clothes at home, but in the meantime try these methods for making your clothes last longer.
Avoid spin drying - as well as being expensive it destroys the fibres in your clothes, and can lead to piling.
Wash your clothes when they are dirty rather than automatically after every wear - brands that create raw denim jeans often encourage you to avoid washing them for at least six months. (I know!)
It was a revelation to me when I realised not everything needed to be washed at 60 degrees for over an hour with a 1500 spin, 15 minutes at 30 degrees on a slow spin cycle works just as well - not only does this save you money but if there are no stains on the clothes its perfectly sufficient to clean them.
Look for brands that supply spare buttons with your garments - and hold onto them.
When shopping online it is sometimes tricky to get a feel for the colour and cloth, similarly measurement charts tend to be generalised.
Look for brands that will send you free cloth swatches ahead of a purchase (like us many sustainable brands will)
Take time to check the measurement charts, and if possible measure yourself so you know in advance the garment is the right size, we have a measurement chart for each garment, on each of our product pages.