Hot off the Church recently announcing an all-new temple garment design for women, we’ve learned of an interesting new development. Temple garments contain sacred symbols that have traditionally been stitched into the fabric. That’s now changing, per a little card included with new garment orders.

So there are two things to learn here. First, symbols are now silk screened to the inside of the textile to allow comfort and be less visible from the outside. (Brethren who make the poor choice of too thin a white dress shirt can tell you about this.)

But the second paragraph on the card is what gets me. The markings are designed to last “beyond” the garment life. This either means the marks are designed to last approximately 50 washes and the garment life is less, or the garment lasts 50 washes but the marks persevere. Either way, it does not seam that garment life is particularly long. For the garment-wearing among us, that seems incredibly short, assuming my temple garment is only a temple garment so long as it possesses the characteristics that distinguish it from a regular t-shirt.

Also, “plenty of cool water” is not plenty environmentally friendly.

So with that said, is the new normal that I don’t get to keep my old garments for 10-15 years and need to resupply before they wear out? The average men’s top runs about $3.50 and a bottom is $3.80. So if I only had 7 pairs, I’d be out about $51 per year, or $1 per week. That’s not crazy money, but I’m also a middle class, white-collar worker who can afford a $50 swing if I have to.

There’s huge upside to this, namely that if one truly did replace an entire set of garments each year, the garments would remain white and not turn that grey color many of us know all too well. It can also encourage us to think more actively about our garments and the care of them, not letting us hold onto fabric that is well past its expiration date in terms of durability and, erm, lack of holes.