Most consumers buy apparel they never wear, survey finds


LONDON – A new survey conducted by the Fashion Retail Academy has found that the majority of consumers aged 18-35 have purchased garments they never wear, with almost a quarter claiming to have bought ten or more items which have simply been wasted.

Results were, on the whole, consistent with a trend the survey’s authors refer to as ‘fickle fashion’. Fashion Retail Academy’s CEO has now called on consumers to “do something about this,” in order to change the culture of linear fashion.

83 per cent of those surveyed claimed to have purchased an item they have never subsequently worn, with 22.5 per cent claiming to have done this on ten or more occasions. 11 per cent of respondents also confirmed that they utilise less don’t wear over half the clothes in their wardrobe.

These figures, Fashion Retail Academy claims, highlight the growing issue of mass wastage in the fashion industry due to a new generation’s “insatiable appetite” for the latest trends.

Perhaps the most alarming statistic of all, 61 per cent of consumers stated they have no interest in quality long lasting clothing, instead preferring to buy cheaper clothes that only last one season.

12 per cent of consumers confirmed that they choose to throw clothes away rather than recycling them, with only 60 per cent of those who do recycle saying they buy second clothes – highlighting a peculiar gap in the buying and disposal habits of fashion customers.

More than 71 per cent of those surveyed (and 78 per cent of 18-22 year olds) did, however, confirm they like the idea of wearing sustainable clothing, but 33 per cent would not pay more than £5 extra for a ‘sustainable’ garment.

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

“For those who like to hit the high street, remember you can pay a little extra for higher quality and sustainable clothing.”

Categories: Apparel, Business, Retail, United Kingdom

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