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Exposing the True Cost of Fast Fashion

Think before you buy is the motto that Vestaire Collective want us to remember.

In a world where anything is available at the click of a button and waiting seems like a thing of the past, Vestiaire Collective, the world's leading global platform for pre-loved luxury fashion, is continuing its mission to change the way people consume fashion with the release of their latest research, which shows that the world cannot afford fast fashion. Beyond fast fashion’s devastating climate consequences, the report reveals it’s a false notion that fast fashion is more affordable. As price barriers remain a significant consideration for consumers, Vestiaire Collective takes its mission a step further by introducing an innovative approach to understanding the true value of fashion: the cost-per-wear metric. Through this study, Vestiaire Collective aims to shift consumers’ perception of an item’s price, encouraging them to invest in financially, as well as environmentally, sustainable pieces. 

The cost-per-wear metric reveals the true cost of an item based on its frequency of use, total lifespan, and its resale value. While fast fashion items might initially appear more financially attractive, the report proves that select pre-loved curated fashion items are a more financially sound investment in the long term.


Key findings on Vestiaire Collective vs. fast fashion:

  • When looking at comparable price ranges:
    • Pre-loved curated fashion coats are worn 4+ times more on average vs. new fast fashion coats (worn 28 times). This results in a cost-per-wear of US$1.72 vs. US$4.82 for new fast fashion coats
    • Pre-loved curated fashion dresses are worn 8+ times more on average vs. new fast fashion dresses (worn 9 times). This results in a cost-per-wear of US$1.56 vs. US$5.66 for new fast fashion dresses
  • Pre-loved designer bags have a ~72% lower cost-per-wear as the resale value is more significant
    • US$2.56 cost-per-wear vs. US$9.05 for new fast fashion items
    • Fashion consumers are encouraged to take better care of their items thanks to their resale value and invest in long-lasting, quality items.
    • Across all categories and all price points, pre-loved curated fashion pieces offer about 33% lower cost-per-wear vs. fast fashion items, which are worn 2+ times less on average
    • Pre-loved curated fashion consumers hold on to their items 31% longer than average, with the highest gap in the shoe category (+48% vs. average)

“In today’s climate of inflation, it is obvious: neither people nor the planet can afford fast fashion. 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." Fanny Moizant, President and Co-founder of Vestiaire Collective

"Fast fashion is a false economy. Buying cheap fast fashion is deceptive, as in the end you end up replacing items again and again. 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." – Dounia Wone, Chief Impact Officer at Vestiaire Collective