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Vestiaire Collective introduces cost-per-wear metric as part of its 2024 Circularity Report

By Vivian Hendriksz


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Cost-per-wear metric, from new Circularity Report Credits: Vestiaire Collective

French resale luxury fashion platform Vestiaire Collective has launched a new metric to highlight the impact of overconsumption and fast fashion within the fashion industry. Designed to help consumers develop a deeper understanding of the value of fashion, the cost-per-wear metric underlines the true cost of an item by breaking it down into cost per wear.

Part of the platform’s new Circularity Report, published on April 20, Earth Day, the cost-per-wear metric reveals an item's real cost by considering its use frequency, overall lifespan, and resale value. The innovative metric is based on Vestiaire Collective's latest consumer survey, which found that fast-fashion items are worn less on average, kept for less time, and have a lower resale value.

Vestiaire Collective introduce cost-per-wear metric

Together with the new study, the metric underlines the value of curated, pre-owned quality or designer pieces as they arguably offer better long-term financial benefits and last much longer. "In today's climate of inflation, it is obvious: neither people nor the planet can afford fast fashion,” said Fanny Moizant, president and co-founder of Vestiaire Collective, in a statement.

New fast fashion items cost-per-wear vs. pre-loved curated fashion items. Credits: Vestiaire Collective

“We want to educate consumers about the benefits of circularity while sounding the alarm on fast fashion's devastating impact. This report is a wake-up call to combat overconsumption and overspending, fueled by tempting low initial prices."

According to Vestiaire Collective’s consumer survey, pre-loved, curated fashion was found to be worn significantly more often than its fast-fashion counterparts. For example, pre-loved coats were found to be worn over four times more frequently than their new fast-fashion counterparts, with an average usage of 28 times. This leads to a significant disparity in cost-per-wear, with a price of 1.72 USD per wear for pre-used coats versus 4.82 USD per wear for new fast fashion coats.

Extending to dresses, secondhand designer fashion dresses were found to be worn eight plus times more on average versus new fast fashion dresses, which were worn on average nine times. Overall, the difference in cost-per-wear is significant, with 1.56 USD for pre-loved dresses versus 5.66 USD USD for new fast-fashion dresses.

Designer bags highlight an even greater cost advantage in pre-loved fashion, with an approximate 72 percent reduction in cost-per-wear due to their substantial resale value: 2.56 USD versus 9.05 USD for new fast fashion items. This economic gain is prompting consumers to not only care more diligently for their possessions, appreciating the added value of resale, but also to gravitate towards investments in durable, high-quality items.

Cost-per-wear Credits: Vestiaire Collective

Across all categories and price points, pre-loved, curated fashion was seen as the financially smarter choice, offering a cost-per-wear roughly 33 percent lower than that of fast fashion items, which are worn at least two times less on average. Secondhand shoppers were also found to hold on to their items 31 percent longer than average, with the highest gap being evident in footwear (plus 48 percent vs average).

"Fast fashion is a false economy. Buying cheap fast fashion is deceptive, as in the end, you end up replacing items again and again,” said Dounia Wone, chief impact officer at Vestiaire Collective, in a statement. “We champion circularity as it not only benefits consumers' wallets, but also protects our planet. Pre-loved luxury items are more cost-effective over time with a longer lifespan. Our mantra 'Think First, Buy Second' makes more sense than ever."

Vestiaire Collective’s Circularity Report, entitled 'Exposing the True Cost of Fast Fashion,' underlines the economic implications linked to fast fashion as well as its environmental and social impacts. In line with the report’s publication, Vestiaire Collective is also rolling out the next phase of its Think First, Buy Second campaign, which includes a mix of videos, testimonials, and memes launching across its social platforms on April 22.

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Vestiaire Collective