Last night I replaced another zipper. This was in an old winter coat of Owen's that I want to get operational for the Little Emperor for this winter. After studying the construction, I decided that I couldn't do the quick cheat of cutting off the teeth on this one. I set to work picking out the stitches holding in the old zipper. Get this: each half of the zipper was held in by no fewer than 4 rows of stitching! Yes! Now, why go to such lengths to over-engineer the sewing on the coat and yet, not spend 50 cents extra per zipper for a more durable finished product? It defies logic.
Then Owen & I had to have a discussion on the merits of fixing an old coat vs. replacing. Ok, I spent a couple hours in all picking out all that sewing, basting in the replacement, and stitching in by machine. A cheap big-box winter coat would cost about $50. Probably the zipper would break in February. A Lands End coat that would last the little guy until he outgrows it would run over $100. But both coats would probably be made by sweatshop workers in a third world country. And any new coat would have had some environmental impact. Even if I researched the most environmentally responsible coat on the market and paid whatever it cost, no new coat would have as little impact as repairing the functional coat we already own. So, a $4 zipper and a couple hours of my time is worth it to me.