You think you’re saving money, but fast fashion costs you 33% more

Pensi di risparmiare, ma il fast fashion ti costa il 33% in più

The assumption is that fast fashion is dramatic in terms of environmental and social impact, with its obscure supply chains in emerging economies. But, at least, it is affordable. Actually. It is not: research by Vestiaire Collective claims that a “fast fashion” product (a business model now competing with Chinese “instant fashion”, such as Shein’s) costs 33% more than a second-hand haute couture garment. Of course, Vestiaire Collective, which is an e-commerce for second hand, brings water to its mill. But the econometric reasoning remains valid.

It costs 33% more

How does Vestiaire Collective claim (as pictured) that a pair of Gucci loafers is cheaper than one of Zara loafers? The key word is depreciation, which is (in extreme and arbitrary synthesis) the calculation of the price of an asset not only at purchase, but in relation to its lifetime. This report, carried out with Vaayu on the basis of 13,400 interviews, comes to the conclusion that consumers use high-end shoes on average 30% more often than they do fast fashion ones. The difference in exploitation means that “cheap” shoes (so to speak) will cost EUR 3.17 per wear, while “exclusive” ones will cost EUR 2.49. The scissor is even wider in the case of leather goods, where customers wear luxury bags 45% more often, so that they will have cost them 78% less per use.

Critical consumption

Of course, Vestiaire Collective does its own calculations on the second hand. It would be interesting to know the differences in depreciation of first-hand luxury goods. In the meantime, the development trend of resale portals must be recognised as a positive phenomenon. As Roberta Sassatelli, sociologist of consumption at the University of Bologna, explains, it is the manifestation of a conscious choice. “If people with a wide cultural background, but low economic capital, cannot afford an item that meets certain quality standards, they do not buy goods with a lower value, but turn to the second hand”.

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