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Published
Jan 4, 2018
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Britons have £10bn worth of unworn clothes in wardrobes says survey

Published
Jan 4, 2018

Britons have a big problem with clothing they’ve bought but will never wear. That’s according to a survey that shows women have 588 million unworn items sat in drawers and wardrobes while men have 223 million.


Both women and men have huge amounts of unworn clothing hanging up or lying in drawers - DR


The research, from Weight Watchers, said this adds up to £10 billion in wasted spending, or £200 per adult.

The reason most of the clothes are kept and not returned to stores within the allowed returns period is that they were bought with the intention of being worn once the purchaser has lost weight. Or they were bought before the buyer put on extra weight. But it seems the weight loss goal wasn’t reached and the now-unreturnable items simply don’t fit.

The company spoke to 1,000 women and the same number of men and a quarter of them said they still intend to wear the redundant items once they’ve shed some weight. But clearly that leaves a much bigger number admitting that the clothes will never be worn.

In fact, overall women wear only 55% of the clothes that they own with the remaining 45% being worth £5.4 billion across the UK. Evening dresses, skinny jeans and tops head the list of unworn items. As well as those weight loss factor involved in unworn clothing, the presence of eveningwear on the list could mean that women are buying items for an occasion and then not having a similar occasion later that allows them to wear the piece again.

Men wear only slightly more (57%) with the left over 43% worth £5.1 billion and led by T-shirts, jeans and jackets. Again, as well as weight loss being a factor, this also suggests that men could be replenishing their T-shirt/jeans hoard but not throwing away or recycling old/past-their-best items.

As many as 10% of those surveyed admitted to hanging on to unworn clothes in case they come back into fashion.

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