Third worry is that pre-loved items may be dirty, which Brits still depend on “fast fashion”.


Brits still depend on ‘fast fashion’Except for Gen Z, there is a third concern that pre-loved items may be ‘dirty’.

A study of 2,000 adults found that 54% are more likely than pre-owned to purchase brand new clothing when updating their wardrobes.

A quarter prefer to buy new clothes so they can keep up with the latest fashion trends – with £3.9 billion set to be spent nationally on new items this winter.

One in five also throws their clothes in the garbage to make way for newer clothes – resulting in 350,000 tonnes of clothes being thrown away each year.

Woman wearing grey jumper
Many are concerned that items they have loved might be ‘dirty.’

However, those under 24 years old are more likely to resist this trend and purchase most of their clothing from secondhand outlets.

And while 36 per cent of those do so because shopping this way is more sustainable, for 46 per cent it’s simply much cheaper.

Luke Harding, general manager of AEG UK & Ireland, said: “By caring for the clothes that are already in your wardrobe, and purchasing pre-owned pieces, everyone can do their bit, thereby helping to reduce the amount of clothes that go to landfill.

Woman wearing stylish outfit
One quarter would prefer to shop for new clothes to keep up with the latest fashion trends.

“We understand the importance of good clothes care and how this can help our favourite fashion pieces last longer.

“By washing less and using the right programmes we can not only look after our clothes better but also ensure we’re using less energy and being as sustainable as possible.”

The study also found a third of Brits will opt to buy new clothing instead of second hand because there is more choice, while 28 per cent find it easier to get clothes that match items they already own.

A further three in 10 don’t like the idea of their clothes having been worn by someone else before, and a fifth think it’s ‘too much effort’ to hunt through second-hand stores for gems.

More than one in three (36 per cent), however, believe they are buying more pre-owned clothes now than they did a decade ago, due to the social stigma reducing.

It also emerged that Brits have an average of three items in their wardrobe they have yet to wear, with one in 20 owning more than 10 unworn pieces.

Other ways Brits try and get sustainable with their clothing include putting their laundry through a ‘cool wash’ cycle, and only washing clothes when they really need it.