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  • Writer's pictureAlice Pearson

How Buying Preloved Designer Can Save You Money: Understanding Cost Per Wear

Updated: May 12, 2021

Many people when debating over a new purchase often focus on the initial upfront cost. Although the initial investment might be the deciding factor that tilts your decision to purchase from one brand over another, other factors contribute to the overall cost of a new garment that goes past the moment you remove the tags.

Today, the concept of becoming a sustainable consumer can be overwhelming and the execution as a student seems well…unsustainable.

With fast fashion brands offering conveniently priced steals, with next-day availability, it’s hard to justify other options as a student. Why buy something expensive that you’ll wear as long as the current micro-trend, right? Well, It’s not as good of a deal as it may initially seem.

Here at Loved Clothes Last, we can help you build a conscious closet that doesn’t just benefit the environment but also your wallet:

Understanding Cost Per Wear

Cost per wear (CPW) is a simple formula for consumers to get the most out of their purchases. CPW divides the upfront cost of the garment by the number of estimated times you will actually wear the item.

There are two mains factors that limit the number of times we wear a piece of clothing:

1. Quality

It goes without saying that the main difference that separates the cost point of garments lies in their individual quality and production. The convenience and cost of our go-to fast fashion brands, is embodied in the quality of the garments.

According to the Wall Street Journal, Fast fashion pieces are worn on average seven times before it’s either thrown away or begins to fall apart.

Those clothes were physically made to last just as long as the transient trend they were designed for. Fast Fashion Brands thrive off of this concept, knowing most people will only want to wear their clothes a handful of times before they’ll go out and buy another trendier version.

But when we buy these pieces, we spend more over time on either upkeep or when we buy more clothes, as soon as it goes out of style or begins to fall apart. Ultimately, contributing to a higher CPW and spending more in the long run.

This unsustainable cycle has created an emotional disconnect to the clothing within our closet.

2. How Trendy an Item Is

If the item in question lends itself solely to a passing micro-trend, the likelihood of that piece’s longevity is often as limited as the relevancy of the trend itself. From production to the number of wears the garment can sustain, the CPW is solidified in the transient trend of a passing micro-season.

Did you know that fast fashion brands, such as Zara, now produce up to 52 micro-seasons a year?

Fundamentally, the best way to achieve a lower CPW is by buying clothes you genuinely love and that will be durable enough for your life, not just a few wears and then to the landfill.

When buying quality wardrobe staples and statement pieces you love, ask yourself:

Could you wear this garment for years to come?

Would you want to wear this garment for years to come?

Did you know 10,000 items of clothing gets sent to the landfill every five minutes? This equates to over £140 million in value every year.

it’s easy to sound preachy when talking about efforts towards sustainability, but Cost Per Wear really does benefit your wallet and the environment at the same time.

As students ourselves, we are fully aware that the restraints of student loans and the prices of desirable sustainable brands, make it unachievable to expect an instant eco 180.

Simply, a great place to start is by trying to buy less, buy better, and wear for longer.

Because the patchwork of life attaches itself to the clothes we love. And ultimately, you’ll gain something unavailable at any fast fashion brand: a closet comprised of truly one of a kind clothing that only you possess.

Here are some amazing sustainable small businesses and clothes we love:


we are doing a £250 Versatile collective giveaway.

Vestiaire Collective is the leading online marketplace to buy and sell authenticated pre-owned luxury fashion. The sustainably driven company helps to make fashion more circular.

We are teaming up with the platform to help make quality luxury brands more accessible to students, whilst kickstarting your conscious closet.


It’s simple. Just tell us about your favourite piece of clothing and the memories that make you love them.

Either comment your stories + tag 3 friends on our giveaway post on Instagram

Or tag us in a post about your memories with a picture of the clothing and using the hashtag #LOVEDCLOTHESLAST.

During our Loved Clothes Last giveaway and campaign, we want to highlight clothing's ability to become materialised memories in an ever increasing digitalised world. To ultimately, try to reconnect with our clothing and reduce fast fashion's impact on the environment.

One participant will be chosen to receive £250 gift card to spend on the luxury platform as they please.

Here’s a few of the amazing pre-loved luxury pieces available on Versaiture collective:

Make sure to follow our @LOVEDCLOTHES.LAST instagram account to win and for future collaborations with the brands you love!

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