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  • Writer's pictureHazel Verbo

Shifting the focus from the fashion industry: consumer consumption behaviour

Buying clothes has never been easier. 80 billion items are manufactured every year. We are putting too much product out there, and most of that product is ending up in landfill.

Is the fashion industry the real problem?

So called ‘fast-fashion’ allows consumers to buy more, but they are wearing these garments less often and disposing of them at an unprecedented rate. This is when the sharing economy comes in, which changes the whole reputation of the fashion industry for the better.

From Wearout’s point of view, there is a lot of pressure and focus in pointing the finger against the fashion industry. We cannot blame the fashion industry as it is a business model oriented industry and produces in that way because of the way we consume and there is high demand for it.

Savannah rags

This is where wardrobe castoffs end up. Savannah rags is a clothes recycling and processing plant in Nottingham, England. They process discarded clothes from recycling bins around the country. Majority of it will go to Africa and Dubai, and they send some of it to Europe. Globally, sorting plants like this only deal with around 25% of discarded clothes. In Britain, more than 300,000 tonnes of clothing end up in landfill every year. It’s the fastest growing category of waste in the country. But this is a global problem. Expanding middle classes in emerging markets are hungry for more and #cheaper #fashion. It's estimated that by 2050, global clothing sales could more than triple.

Quality of the material

One of the things that we’ve noticed is that the quality of the actual material being used has gone down. We’re now having to process a lot more just to get the same quality of goods that we can sell on.

But how can the fashion industry continue to grow while addressing the environmental need for people to buy fewer clothes?

Wearout is a clothing #rental #service which allows you to rent everyday clothes in a form of monthly subscription. You are cycling through clothing quite fast but you are borrowing it with other people so other people get to wear the same thing that you are wearing as well.

On average, only 20% of clothes are worn on a regular basis. Wearout’s mission is to change consumers' relationship with the clothes they wear. Rather than buying something only getting to wear it maybe three or four times before you decide to give it away or throw it away, an item is worn a lot more when it is being shared across different people.

What we need to start to tackle, in order to see a significant change - the climate change is happening at an unprecedented rate right now - in our environment is to support and move/shift towards a #sharing #economy. If we keep consuming the way we do, despite the regulations and policies coming out it won't stop the waste and we will always be at the same stage.

In order to tackle the throwaway culture, brands and consumers need to change their behaviours. Industry pioneers are proving that there are viable business opportunities in selling less, others need to follow suit.

#circulareconomy #sharingiscaring #sharingeconomy #accessibility

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