Learning about Productions Costs

Hi everybody! I am doing a course at Parsons about Fashion Industrial Essentials that make me do some exercises and write about them and its conclusions. Therefore, I have decided to post them here and make them public because they may be interesting for somebody who is crafting items and selling them in Etsy for example. So let´s go!

Once we have a creative idea and we have designed it, we should make a sample of it. If you like it, you have to analyse its production cost in order to know its viability and profitably. I am going to do an example with an accessory I have done in an assignment before in this course. I did a recicled cardboard box bag using an item from my Inspiration Mood Board called «A Chic Sustainable Board» and some inches of fabrics and trimmings I had at home bought in the Fashion District, when I was in New York City.

  1. I have the documentation of the prices per inch of the differents types of trimmings I used to make the sample bag
  2. I took note how many inches of each type I used for the sample
  3. Multiply 2 by 1
  4. Multiply the time it took me to create the item by the amount I would expect to be paid per hour ( supposing I worked in a local clothing retailer ). I expect $9 per hour.
  5. Add materials cost to my wages ( profit I want to have ) to arrive at the production cost

Let’s see the grid below:

At this point I have to think if the item could be sold for this amount. In my opinion this is an item more for displaying or catching attention in a showcase than wearable. I asked my friends what they would be willing to pay for this item and come up with an estimated retail price. I obtained 5 answers:

The first one said she would never buy a cardboard bag because she likes durable things and she hasn’t found any sense in this item. The second one said she would pay for this item is she would need a cardboard box and she wanted a very cool one. The third one neither would buy the bag but she values the design and the idea. The fourth person said that in some handcraft market in London it would be sold for 10 or 15 pounds but she would not buy it as well because she is concerned about the little weight you can put inside it. So I won’t continue with my idea because is a decor bag and nobody is going to buy it in a clothing store. Conclusion: I have to change the main material for another sustainable one, and make a bigger bag and stronger item talking about durability and weight to carry.

I would like to add the following conclusion: I bought more meters of fabric, trims and boxes than I needed to do the sample. Just in case it would had been viable, I could make 24 bags ( the limit comes from the meter of the red crepè fabric ). I would have to sell the 24 units to pay the cost of the materials I bought, so I have to buy less inches to make the sample, pay attention! I´ll try to use them for other things but keep in mind please 🙂




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