Sustainability is not a top priority for UK shoppers
There is a growing importance for sustainability in all aspects of our lives. With an EU drive for sustainability in clothing and an awareness of the need for change when it comes to fossil fuels, a recent report ended in some surprising results!
More and more consumers are shopping with sustainability in mind, however, more than half of UK consumers don’t place this factor at the top when deciding to shop online and in-store for fashion.
What was in the research?
Damart, a French firm recently polled 2,000 adults in the UK and the results showed that 55% don’t consider sustainability when shopping. When combined with the fact that retailers are seeing increased sales, it is no surprise that the average UK resident has around nine items of clothing in their wardrobes that haven’t ever been worn.
With an average spend of £415.18 on new clothing per year, UK adults are going to have to prioritise their spending in light of the continued cost of living crisis. Growing inflation causing pressure on household bills and a lack of wages growing in line with inflation simply has to have an effect at some point.
So do shoppers really not worry about sustainability?
The short answer is yes, shoppers do consider sustainability when it comes to fashion but the reality is not when it comes to buying things. Rather it becomes a more significant topic when looking at how to get rid of older clothing items.
The research found that 91% of respondents regularly donated clothing to charity, dwarfing the use of in-store recycling opportunities led by retailers. When we go deeper into these numbers, we see that 28% donate every three months and 48% every six months.
Another interesting point to note is that many people report choosing to donate clothing to their family and friends, with 50% of the people who claimed to do so, donating on a frequent basis.
Which areas of the UK focus on sustainability in fashion?
Interestingly, the research by Damart has broken down the areas of the UK based on a score out of 100. Some of the most sustainable locations for fashion include Norwich, Newcastle and Southampton. The areas that scored poorly include Swansea, Liverpool and Nottingham.
Is there a relevance to these findings? It would require further research to understand why some areas focus on sustainability more than others. Could it be that more affluent areas can afford to build sustainability into their purchasing decisions or could it be simply that different areas have different priorities?
A final thought
This research may surprise many and it will be interesting to see the impact on the cost of living crisis. Could an increased awareness of where spending goes cause people to think more about sustainability? Or could it cause people to focus on the best offers at the time? Only time will tell.