Fickle Fashion: Over 80% of consumers are buying clothes they never wear


This article is brought to you by Retail Technology Review: Fickle Fashion: Over 80% of consumers are buying clothes they never wear.

Fickle fashion is killing off sustainable clothing as eight in 10 (83%) consumers admit to buying items they never wear, according to data from the Fashion Retail Academy.

Consumers are leaving their clothes to waste away in their wardrobes with the price tag still attached as nearly a quarter (22.5%) admit they have bought over ten items they have never worn. The research also reveals that over one in 10 (11%) people don’t wear over half the clothes in their wardrobe.

It highlights the growing issue of mass wastage in the fashion industry due to a new generation's insatiable appetite for the latest trends casting aside last month’s garments. Almost two thirds (61%) of buyers have no interest in quality long lasting clothing, with over a quarter preferring cheaper clothes that only last one season.

Consumers are also shying away from second hand clothes with over a third refusing to buy them. To add insult to injury, 12% of consumers are actually throwing away their clothes rather than recycling them. Oddly 60% of those consumers who throw away their clothes would buy second hand clothes themselves.

Women seem to be more open to wearing second hand clothes than men and 16% more women recycle their clothes than men. Despite Generation Z claiming they support sustainability, few are willing to spend more money to make it happen.

The data shows that 78% of 18-22 year olds and more than 71% of all consumers, like the idea of wearing sustainable clothing - but a third (33%) say they would not pay more than £5 extra for a sustainable item.

Lee Lucas, principal and CEO of the Fashion Retail Academy, comments: “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.

“At the FRA we are teaching our students why we need to become more sustainable in the fashion industry and how to work with eco friendly materials. 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.”

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