A dress is not just for summer

Brits spend over £700 million on 11 million outfits brought purely for the holiday and never worn again,

Brits spend over £700 million on 11 million outfits brought purely for the holiday and never worn again,

By BEL JACOBS


Summer. Time to get the holiday ‘capsule' wardrobe, the bikini, the festival wear, a floaty new floral dress to wear to your bestie’s wedding? Unfortunately yes, but maybe it’s time to re-think exactly where we pick up the perfect outfit. 

According to a new poll conducted by Censuswide for Barnardo’s, Brits spend an average £79.76 on a wedding outfit, nearly 10m of which are expected to only be worn only once - meaning that we are potentially forking out nearly £800 million on single-use wedding outfits alone. 

But by far the biggest indulgence is outfits for holidays, Brits spend over £700 million on 11 million outfits brought purely for the holiday and never worn again, damaging people’s purses and the planet. In fact, this year, Britons potentially will spend an extraordinary £2.7 billion on fashion that will only be worn once.

Part of this is cultural. Currently a quarter (25 per cent) of people would be embarrassed to wear an outfit to a special occasion such as a wedding more than once – rising to 37 per cent of young people aged 16-24 (although just 12 per cent of those over 55 feel this way). And more than half (51 per cent) of people say buying new clothes for a festival or holiday adds to the excitement of the build-up,

Quite apart from the environmental costs of making new outfits and the tonnes of wasted clothes which then end up in landfill, further idiosyncrasies are divulged by buying new: 26 per cent of people polled have turned up to a special occasion in the same outfit as another guest. So much for originality.  

This summer, Barnardo’s, which runs more than 710 charity shops around the UK, is asking people to think ‘pre-loved’ before buying new and check out the gems to be found at their local Barnardo’s store.

“Choosing to buy pre-loved clothes is 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,” says Barnardo’s Chief Executive Javed Khan said. Plus, buying from Barnardo’s means you will be helping to transform the lives of vulnerable children across the UK. 

The report unearthed lots of positives as well: that 55 per cent of people would like to get more use out of the clothes they buy to reduce their impact on the environment. To help Barnardo’s are launching a special in store booklet with tips on finding and styling occasion wear from its stores. There is also a short film with tips from sustainable fashion experts Paloma in Disguise, and Jade from NotBuyinNew. 


Visit www.barnardos.org.uk to find out how you can get involved.

 



 
 

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