More than 80 per cent of shoppers are buying clothes they never wear, study shows


evening standard - sustainable fashion - fast fashion - mi apparelSome 83 per cent of consumers are buying clothes they never wear, a new study has found.

As fast fashion continues to dominate consumer habits, shoppers are less inclined to invest in sustainable brands. 

Despite increasing awareness around the impact of fashion on the environment, the study revealed young people's attitudes towards buying clothes are far less sustainable in practice.

London-based college Fashion Retail Academy referenced a survey carried out by Onepoll in September and October this year which sampled 2,000 respondents aged 18-35. 

It showed 61 per cent of buyers have no interest in well-made, long-lasting clothing, reflecting the ongoing appetite for cheap trend-based items that consumers have no issue with throwing out after one season. 

Although Generation Z generally claim to support sustainability, few consumers are willing to spend more money on these brands. Over 70 per cent of buyers admitted to liking the idea of sustainable clothing but a third (33 per cent) said they would not pay more than £5 extra for a sustainable garment. 

Lee Lucas, principal and CEO of the Fashion Retail Academy stressed the importance of investing in sustainable brands: “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.”

The issue of careless spending on disposable fast fashion comes to fruition when combined with the wasteful processes people are using to dispose of unwanted clothes. As opposed to recycling clothes, 12 per cent of consumers are throwing them away, which is going straight to landfill.  

Lucas continued: “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.

Giving unwanted clothes to second-hand shops as well as buying second-hand garments helps lessen the waste produced by the fashion industry. Interestingly, 35 per cent of consumers refuse to buy second-hand clothes, with women 16 per cent more inclined to wear them than men. 

“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."

Article from The Evening Standard

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