If Your Wardrobe Looks Like This, You're Ruining The Planet

Spring decluttering can actually end up flooding landfills with unnecessary waste.
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cDespite three in ten (19%) cleaning out their homes once a month, the average Brit hoards £173.42 worth of unworn clothes in their wardrobe, amounting to £9.2 billion in unused outfits sat in homes across the country.

The reality? The majority of this will eventually up in landfill.

Globally, an estimated 92 million tonnes of textiles waste is created each year, according to data from the Environmental Protection Agency.

In a recent study, Hammonds Fitted Furniture surveyed 2,000 UK adults to find out what we’ve got stashed in our wardrobes – and as it turns out, we’re a nation of clothing hoarders.

Despite frequently culling our homes of unwanted possessions, 50% of survey participants claim to have £150 of unworn garments they don’t want to part with.

This number rises for certain age groups – 18 to 24-year-olds were found to have £189 worth of unworn clothes in their home.

But why do we end up clinging onto so many unworn outfits?

Hammonds spoke to Style and Confidence coach at The Style Editor, Samantha Harman, to find out why we hold onto items we have never worn.

According to the expert, we shop not ourselves, but for the person we hope we’ll turn into.

She says: “We save things ‘for best’ or ‘someday’, and then day-to-day we’re wearing the same old scraggly items that don’t make us feel good, and don’t support us to take the bold actions we want to take.

“We aren’t lusting after a dress; what we’re really searching for is the feeling of accomplishment/happiness we think we’d have if we were the type of person who wears that item. And then in a clear-out, we end up keeping the clothes we’ve never worn, promising ourselves we will change. A month, six months later, we’re clearing out again and realise we still haven’t worn those items. It’s a perpetual cycle of shaming ourselves, when our wardrobes should be a celebration.”

Want to stop buying clothes you don’t need? Harman advises:

  • Watch your mood - if you’re sad, tired or emotional, do something other than shop.
  • If you are considering a new item - sleep on it. Online stores employ clever psychological techniques such as ‘X people are looking at this item right now’ so you’ll buy quickly, without really considering if you need it.
  • Have a way of documenting your clothes digitally – you’ve got a million things in your mind, it’s unrealistic to expect yourself to remember all the clothes in your wardrobe too. When you’ve got them on your phone, if you see something you like when shopping, you can quickly check whether it goes with what you already own.
  • Don’t buy it if you can’t think of at least five ways to wear it.

Ready to clear out? Follow Recycle Now’s guidance to make sure your clothes don’t end up adding to our global textile waste problem.

Or want to make some money and save the planet? Selling your clothes via apps such as Vinted, gives your clothes a second life with someone else – which doubles the enjoyment without doubling the manufacturing emissions.