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Women Feel More Comfortable with Second Hand Than Men

WRAP has published a new report called 'Citizen Insights: Clothing Longevity and Circular Business Models Receptivity in the UK' in order to help tackle climate change and protect our planet by changing the way things are produced, consumed and disposed of.


The longevity of a range of clothing items has increased since 2013, presenting a key opportunity to increase the sustainability of clothing and help towards environmental impact reductions. Improving the longevity of clothing is a key focus for the Textiles 2030 Circularity Pathway, which has set milestones to agree good practice design principles for durability in key product categories, as well as communicating consistent citizen messaging on garment durability.


"On average, repairing an item of clothing adds 1.3 years to its life."

There is the potential to build on existing behaviours but also create new habits but changes don't come easy. Many people still do not know there is an alternative to buying new. Recognition of the circular business models (CBM) is also currently low, with levels of use/purchase even lower.


Here are few very interesting findings:

  • Two in five UK citizens (45%) purchase new clothing every month and yet a quarter of clothing in wardrobes not in use, on average;

  • Both age and household income are strongly associated with frequency of purchase. Around four in five (81%) 18-24s purchase clothing monthly. Over half (56%) with an income of £40,000+ purchase clothing monthly, compared to 33% of those with an income up to £20,000. Average monthly clothing spend is £76.53 (increasing to £133.06 among those who purchase clothing monthly);

  • Four in five (80%) buy at least some of their clothing at a supermarket, followed by medium-low cost retailers (76%), medium-high cost retailers (73%) and low cost retailers (70%). Two in five (40%) purchase at least some clothing from higher cost brands/retailers, while one in three (33%) buy from designer brands/retailers. Half of UK citizens (50%) say they purchase at least some clothing pre-loved from a retail charity shop, followed by online resale platforms (41%) and retailer/commercial businesses (32%).

  • There is a roughly even split between those who feel they deserve better than to purchase second hand/vintage clothing (46%) and those who say they are happy to purchase second hand/vintage (54%). Women are, on balance, more comfortable with the idea of second hand/vintage than men (60% vs. 48%). Those aged 65+ are also less comfortable compared to all other age groups.


Read the full report by clicking here.