Britons to spend billions on ‘throwaway’ Xmas fashion, sequins add to plastic waste

Environmental charity Hubbub said a survey has shown that people will spend on average almost £74 each on partywear, but a fifth of people say they don’t wear the same outfit to more than one party or event. That may not have seemed anything to worry about a few years ago and in fact it might have been celebrated in boardrooms worldwide until relatively recently. But in the current business environment that’s very focused on the negative aspects of throwaway fast fashion and the need to recycle, it puts the fashion industry firmly in the spotlight as far as its role in the creation of waste is concerned.

The charity, which spoke to more than 3,000 UK adults, said its findings are another example of both the environmental and financial impact of throwaway fashion that contributes to the excessive use of valuable resources and to the climate crisis. Unsurprisingly, Hubbub is recommending that consumers buy secondhand, but also that they consider options such as swapping and rental. This latter recommendation is interesting given the growing number of rental services that we’re seeing these days, something that even big names such as H&M are getting into.“Vintage and pre-loved clothing has never been so on-trend and it’s only going to get bigger, as people realise the massive environmental impact of the fashion industry,” said Sarah Divall, project co-ordinator at Hubbub.The survey also found that younger consumers (those aged 16-24) are most keen to try to do something sustainable this year and 36% said they’ll swap clothes with friends, while 30% will look for finds in charity shops.Of the near-£74 spend per person, Hubbub also said that men will spend more on average at just over £88, compared with women spending a little over £63 each.It’s interesting too that only 24% of those surveyed realised that the glitter and sequins on their party clothing contain plastic. The charity looked at a selection of 169 dresses from 17 retailers and e-tailers and found as many as 94% were partly or fully made from plastic or materials derived from plastic.
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