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Britons spend billions on wear-it-once summer fashion for holidays, weddings

Published
today Jul 11, 2019
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UK consumers are predicted to spend as much as £2.7 billion this summer on over 50 million season-specific locks that they’ll wear only once, a new survey shows.


Summer holidays are one of the key wear-it-once occasions



It underlines the throwaway nature of fast fashion and how Britons are among the world’s biggest culprits for the huge amount of fashion product that ends up in landfill.

The survey of 2,000 people was conducted by Censuswide for charity Barnardo’s and showed that clothing bought for summer holidays is most likely to be worn once and never seen again. Consumers will spend more than £700 million to buy over 11 million items for their holidays, results showed.

And wedding guests are also among the consumers least likely to give a particular outfit a second airing. Each guest will spend an average of just under £80 on their wedding day look and almost 10 million outfits will be worn just once, adding up to a total of £800 million. 

A quarter of respondents would be embarrassed to wear an outfit to a special occasion more than once with 37% of those aged 16 to 24 thinking that way but only 12% of the 55+ group. And 51% said buying new fashion for holidays or festivals added to the excitement of the build-up.

The charity warned of both the environmental and financial impact of this kind of behaviour as the fast fashion sector continues to come in for a huge amount of criticism over its contribution to a number of environmental issues.

Of course, as a charity that sells a huge amount of second-hand clothing, Barnado’s has a clear interest in promoting re-use rather than encouraging people to buy new. And its message clearly isn't falling on deaf ears as survey after survey recently has shown a great many consumers are thinking more carefully about the eco-implications of their fashion purchases, as well as the fundamental ethical issues they raise.

This has also happened at the same time as the resale market has seen huge growth with a number of big-name resale players such as Vestiaire Collective and TheRealReal joining long-established giant eBay in pushing the idea of not buying new much further.

Yet many Britons continue to buy vast amounts of fashion product, encouraged by social media influencers and historically cheap prices.

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