It’s been recently reported that shoppers in the UK own £10bn worth of clothes they never wear. Is it something you’re guilty of?
I resolved to avoid the sales this Christmas. With a wardrobe, a chest of drawers and a hall cupboard crammed with clothes, shoes and accessories, half of which I rarely wear, I knew the temptation to add to this collection would prove too much if I hit the high street.
I gave in, eventually – escorting a friend to Marks & Spencer in her search for a winter coat. She didn’t find one. I did. A black, mid-length wool affair for an all-time bargain price of £36. I didn’t even know I needed it.
Room for more
What this does mean is that I’m going to have to find space somewhere for it to hang.
I’d like to say I’ll give my clothes cupboards a spring clean, perhaps donate a few garments to charity, take the ones beyond repair to a clothes bank or flog those complete with store tags on Ebay, but attempts to do that in the past have usually failed.
I’ll create little piles of clothes on my bed, give each item careful consideration and then, more often than not, put them back in the cupboard, sending just a small bag to charity. Most of those I put back don’t even fit or are so out of fashion that I’d look like a museum exhibit if I tried to wear them. Even so, I keep them – just in case.
The great unworn
I’m not unique. According to a new survey by Weight Watchers, 55% of the clothes in an average British woman’s wardrobe and 47% in a man’s are never worn, with 11% refusing to throw out or give away redundant clothes.
Added up across the country, women spend more than £5.4bn on more than 365 million items of clothing they will never wear. Meanwhile, men spend more than £5.1bn on more than 223 million unworn clothes. As the UK shopping population comprises about 50 million, that means the average person owns about £200 worth of unworn clobber each.
When asked to give a reason for not wearing items in their wardrobe, 30% of the survey’s respondents said ‘not fitting’, with 25% believing they would one day lose enough weight to fit into their old clothes. Another 8% said they were waiting for the clothes to come back into fashion.
All are reasons I identify with, but when I think about what I could do with that £200 I may have stashed in my wardrobe, I reckon I can afford to be a bit more ruthless with my spring cleaning…
Do you have clothes in your wardrobe that you never wear? What stops you from getting rid of them? What sort of items are most likely to go unworn?
What do you do with your unworn clothes?
Donate them to charity (69%, 800 Votes)
Keep them in my wardrobe (17%, 204 Votes)
Take them to a textile bank (7%, 77 Votes)
Sell them (3%, 32 Votes)
Turn them into rags (2%, 21 Votes)
Swap them with friends or family (1%, 16 Votes)
Bin them (1%, 16 Votes)
Total Voters: 1,166