Dec 4, 2018
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Throwaway culture: 60% of UK shoppers have no interest in long-lasting clothing

Dec 4, 2018

Major high street brands including Asos, Boohoo and Missguided have been recently summed by MPs to address concerns about the rise of cheap, disposable clothes, but a new report has revealed that while 71% of consumers like the idea of sustainable clothing, a third would not pay more than £5 extra for an eco-friendly style.


In fact, 61% of buyers have no interest in quality long-lasting clothing, with over 25% preferring cheaper clothes that only last one season, a survey of 2,000 respondents aged 18-35 from the Fashion Retail Academy has showed.

The results come on the back of an inquiry launched by the Environmental Audit Committee earlier this year to investigate the environmental and social impact of the UK’s fast-fashion culture.

According to the survey, 83% of consumers have bought items they never wear, with 22.5% having in their wardrobes over 10 items they have never worn. In addition to overbuying, young consumers are shying away from sustainable practices such as embracing second-hand styles and recycling unwanted clothes.

Whilst 12% of consumers are throwing away their clothes rather than recycling them, over a third of those surveyed refuse to buy second-hand clothes, the survey showed.

“Fashion waste is on a whole new level and it’s down to the consumer to do something about this,” Lee Lucas, principal and CEO of the Fashion Retail Academy, commented.

“With this new tech generation there are now so many more ways to recycle clothes, not just through charity shops but through Ebay, Depop and other second-hand selling apps.

“Recycling clothes is not only good for the consumer who can purchase clothes more affordably but also massively reduces the environmental impact of our clothes and lessens our personal fashion footprint,” he continued.

The report suggested that while the industry is progressing with eco friendly materials, consumers need to be willing to spend a little extra for sustainable clothing.

“Sustainable clothing is becoming more readily accessible and if consumers are willing to pay that bit extra for their items now, they could really reap the benefits in the long term,” Lucas concluded.

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