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Average Brit owns 118 clothing items according to new report

By Rachel Douglass


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Image: Unsplash

A new report commissioned by the Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP) has detailed UK consumers’ increasing interest in circular models of purchasing clothing and the typical life expectancy of certain items.

In autumn 2021, the nonprofit contracted two large scale pieces of online consumer research on the topics, the first of which covered clothing longevity in the region.

In a release, the organisation said its research led to insights about a total of 44,807 items of clothing across the UK, with the data to be used to update its most recent report on the subject of longevity, which it last reviewed in 2013.

When compared to its previous report, WRAP said the predicted length of time UK shoppers are keeping a range of clothing items has increased.

Preloved clothing is kept longer than new purchases

Its second element of research explored citizen behaviours and receptivity to various circular business models, including rental, subscription and preloved.

The research found that preloved and second-hand vintage tends to be kept nearly a year and a half longer than new purchases, at an average of 5.4 years.

Meanwhile, repairing clothing reportedly extends an item’s lifespan by a further 1.3 years.

However, WRAP noted that 23 percent of people in the UK had said they regularly buy clothing with the intention of using it for a short time period.

This figure was mirrored in the results for unworn items, with the average Brit owning 118, of which just 26 percent have not been used in the past year.

Additionally, WRAP suggested that recognition and use for circular business models is currently low in the UK.

There was evidence, however, that showed a potential for these models to become more mainstream in the region, as 40 percent of respondents said they would be likely to use a subscription service and 58 percent for repair.

Circular Fashion