Clothing business owner breaks down the cost of making a garment

Sera Choat encourages consumers to continue supporting small local fashion retailers.


Sera Choat encourages consumers to continue supporting small local fashion retailers.

A clothing business owner has shared a breakdown of the cost of making a garment to encourage transparency in the fashion industry.

Sera Choat owns My Keeper, with a collection of 70s-inspired clothing made from nostalgic fabrics.

She designs and manufactures all of her own rental clothing, rental kits, bespoke clothing, sewing patterns and fabrics.

“The majority of fabrics are designed by me and printed on natural fibers.”

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But with inflation rising and the cost of running the business rising since she started it eight years ago, she decided to share with her Instagram audience the cost of making a dress, as people opted for cheaper clothes.

Most of her clothes sell for around the same price and use similar amounts of fabric. She broke down the cost of the Milo dress, which has a recommended retail price of $340.

The cost of four yards of fabric is $120, its labor $10 for cutting time and $90 for three hours of sewing, and $4 for cotton, add GST and the total cost of the dress is $257.60, making a profit of $82.40

But there are hidden costs.

“Costs that people don’t often consider: rent, electricity, internet, website costs, payment of external providers such as Afterpay and Laybuy, taxes, administration, gasoline, accountant fees,” she said. declared.

Choat, who lives in Auckland, hoped splitting the cost allocation offered more transparency to his customers and allowed people to better understand and appreciate why smaller shops were a bit more expensive.

“Fast fashion comes at absurdly low prices, and that’s become the norm,” she said.

“Naturally, some people can only afford to buy fast fashion, and I totally understand, especially with the current inflation going on.

But she wanted to encourage consumers who could afford a more expensive piece of ethical fashion to do so.

“For me, it’s about encouraging people who can afford ethical fashion but choose not to.”

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