Brits to spend £2.7bn on outfits they wear once this summer

'This is wasteful, expensive and unsustainable'

Olivia Petter
Wednesday 10 July 2019 14:10 BST
Woman shopping for clothes inside a clothing store
Woman shopping for clothes inside a clothing store

Britons are expected to spend more than £2.7bn this summer on outfits they will wear just once, new research claims.

The survey of 2,000 people, conducted by Censuswide on behalf of children’s charity Barnardo’s, found that summer events such as weddings, barbecues and festivals can fuel fast fashion culture because consumers buy cheap clothes to wear to them and throw them away afterwards.

According to the survey, British shoppers will spend roughly £800m on wedding outfits (the average spend per outfit is £80) that they won’t wear again.

An additional £700m will be spent on single-use holiday clothes, the poll found.

“This is wasteful, expensive and unsustainable, both in terms of the environmental costs of making new outfits and the tonnes of wasted clothes which then end up in landfill,” the charity said in a statement.

The research found that one in four of those surveyed would feel embarrassed wearing an outfit to a special occasion more than once. But the shame surrounding outfit repetition is more prevalent in younger shoppers, with 37 per cent of them saying the same.

Comparatively, just 12 per cent of over-55s said they’d be embarrassed to repeat an outfit at a special event.

In order to combat this, Barnardo’s is encouraging shoppers to invest in pre-loved clothes for special occasions.

Barnardo’s chief executive Javed Khan said: “Choosing to buy pre-loved clothes for a special occasion from a Barnardo’s shop means you don’t have to worry about bumping into someone wearing the same outfit.

“It is also kinder to the environment and your wallet, getting more wear out of clothes which might otherwise only be worn once and end up in landfill.”

The report comes days after Oxfam launched its "Second-hand September” campaign, encouraging people to pledge not to buy any new items of clothing for the duration of the month.

The charity launched the campaign at Glastonbury Festival with a number of celebrity backers, including Johnny Marr and Kylie Minogue, who donated items from their wardrobes to the organisation.

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