The Cost of Making a 25l Pack

Recently I have been updating my costings and decided to share a  costing for a FP 25l Strong pack. 

I have a postgraduate degree in finance and have some real world experience costing things. My figures have some credibility.

Nearly everything in this pack is sourced From NZ except the fabric. The fabric came from the US before the recent slide  in the NZD, but shipping was USD4/yard. A yard is 0.9144 of a meter.

ITEM                                            COST(NZD)
Ladderlocks                                 0.264
19mm Side Release Buckles       1.386
25mm Side Release Buckle         0.649
25mm Tri Slides                            0.308
19mm Tri Slides                            0.251
Barrel Locks                                 0.231
25mm Polyester Webbing            0.716
20mm Polyester Webbing            1.885
12mm Polyester Webbing            0.087
10mm Polyester Webbing            0.159
10mm EVA foam                         12.601
3mm Shock Cord                          1.195
25mm Woven Elastic                     0.681
EPX200                                        12.528
EPX400                                          4.285
3D Spacer Mesh                            7.248
HDPE Gridstop                               2.146
Lycra                                               3.743
Press Studs                                     0.1
Thread                                             0.267
Needle                                             0.65
Tape                                                 0.5
Courier Bag                                      1.243
Labour 4hrs                                  114.0

Variable Costs                                167.13

Fixed Costs incl Rent,
Electricity, Office Supplies,
Accounting etc, No paid Admin.      50.13

Minimum Selling Price excl
Courier, incl GST, Card Fee            263.51


The main cost is labour. Labour includes 8% leave pay, 3% kiwisaver contributions, ACC levy.

Four hours is by no means generous. A learner with 4 packs under the belt could take 11 hours and is unlikely to produce a saleable pack. Sewing is a highly skilled job. My flowchart for this pack has 61 steps, each step often includes multiple similar tasks. Big bags are exponentially harder.

All the small costs add up very quickly.

There is a small allowance in my costs for cutting table waste, but if you make a mistake, you could loose hours of work and all the fabric used. I have not allowed for this cost.

Training costs have not been accounted for either.

If I am to be paid for my time, a 45l  pack must take 6 hours, a big pack  8 hours or so. Custom features are generally unwelcome, it can take a whole day of prototyping to make something semi good. One hour of  production time is worth around $70, so even a small request can cost a lot of money to produce.

I recently bought some $9 shirts for myself, I know how hard someone worked and I feel no pleasure from it. Next time you buy something cheap, ask yourself who worked for nothing to make your purchase. 

Buy ethically.

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