If you missed our blog post on 3 easy steps to building a sustainable wardrobe, check it out here. Today, however, we're breaking down the stigmas around prices and sustainability by showing you how to calculate your average cost per wear, and giving you some attainable style options if budget is a constraint for you.
Cost Per Wear (CPW) is fairly simple. It's the purchase price / # of wears.
Here's an example:
You buy a shirt from your (old) favorite fast fashion shop that cost you $25 but you only achieved 3 or 4 wears out of it before it started to unravel, fall apart, or start to fade in color. That's an average of $6.25 per wear. Now, say a shirt of much better quality costs $120 but you get 2 to 3 years-worth of wearing it. (You want to always think minimum 30 wears) So, say you wear a shirt at least 1x a month (if not more). So 12 x 3 years = 36 wears. $120/36 is an average of $3.33 per wear. So really that shirt cost you less than the ‘fast fashion’ shirt in the long run because the need to go buy another one is not necessary, and you get way more use out of it. Hopefully, this will offer a new perspective the next time you're browsing for sustainable brands to add to your wardrobe.
While higher-quality, typically implies higher ticket prices, that’s not necessarily always the case. In fact, we've gathered up some of the best budget-friendly sustainable brands to help you start your journey to building a sustainable closet, one piece at a time.
If you are not sure where to start, here’s a list:
Jeans (vintage) here
An everyday LBD
Navy Blazer here
Read more about these brands below:
WARP + WEFT’s entire mission is "sustainable denim for everybody and every body" ranging from sizes 00-24. WARP + WEFT aims to educate consumers on the impact of denim and how they're striving to make a difference. On average WARP+WEFT uses 1400 fewer gallons of water per jean vs. regular jeans. 20% of their fabric is made of recycled denim, plastic, and cotton and they represent over 75 sizes and body types. Now you can shop denim that makes you look and feel good with a price tag less than $100 USD per pair.
Did you know organic cotton uses 91% less water during the production process? PACT's very mission is to make organic cotton clothing accessible to all. This sustainable fashion brand offers affordable prices ranging from $12-$80 with most items on average $45-$50 USD. Their Give Back, Wear Forward initiative allows you to donate your gently-used clothes (not just Pact brand) to inspiring nonprofits that need them. And second, to reduce packaging footprint by making it easy to reuse boxes for an awesome cause. Can you say win-win? They even provide a prepaid shipping label for your charitable wearables. Without a doubt, PACT matches our 3 C's - cute, comfy, and for a cause.
Thought Clothing designs contemporary clothing that's light on nature's resources. Think effortless pieces, sustainable fabrics. They've been championing eco fibers such as hemp, bamboo, and organic cotton since their humble beginnings in the mid-1990s, producing quality affordable garments, ethically. With prices averaging around $65 USD, this is one sustainable brand you won't want to miss out on.
Born in Los Angeles in 2004, LAmade has and continues to be the embodiment of Southern California style. As a leader in the Los Angeles fashion community, this contemporary clothing brand is made and designed in a family-owned factory in LA, with a focus on premium, ethically, and locally sourced fabric. All of LAmade's designs are devoted to impeccable fit, quality and effortless sexy sensibility. T-shirts range from $40-$50 USD on average, but you'll find most items are under $100. With everything from leisurewear to everyday essentials, there's something to accommodate every style at a price that won't break the bank.
If sustainable sneaker brands like Veja are out of your price range, then you may enjoy Tretorn as an equally fashionable and more price-conscious alternative. This ultra-cool Swedish sneaker brand is inspired by the 1960's tennis shoes. Their sneakers are made from recycled and fully recyclable materials, with an average price point of $85 USD.
Shop Tretorn Women's Sneakers→
Another price-conscious method of building your sustainable wardrobe is through consignment. This environmentally-friendly shopping process allows your gently-used items to find new life instead of ending up in a landfill.
The future of fashion is circular. That's the motto The RealReal lives by, an online consignment marketplace empowering buyers and consignors to extend the life cycle of their luxury items. So if you're a designer brand enthusiast but don't want to cough up $$$, then The RealReal is a great option for you. And, when you're ready to part ways with your sustainable items, consign them to The RealReal and receive up to 85% of each item’s sale price.
The average woman throws away about 82 pounds of clothing per year. Renting things you’d only wear a few times can be a more sustainable answer. And more people sharing clothing means less clothing waste. Renting your wardrobe has become increasingly popular over the past few years. It allows you to have a curated closet of items you love without the commitment and have a wardrobe that adjusts to your lifestyle.
Rent the Runway encourages consumers to power the sharing economy and rent instead. They have transformed the retail industry by making the designer dress and accessory experience more accessible. Women can rent dresses for a special event or just add game-changing pieces to their everyday style. Dresses come in sizes 0-22, and customers can choose a free backup size. They also have more than 25 stylists on hand to help women find the perfect look. Imagine a closet that has exactly what you want. Takes up no space. And does all your dry cleaning. You’ve got 100,000s of options at your fingertips. Designers include Vera Wang, Opening Ceremony, Narciso Rodriguez, Reem Acra, Badgley Mischka and much more. Yes, please!
Tell us more about your day-to-day routine and style needs. Let us curate the best sustainable fashion options for you. It's free!
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