Consumers are expected to get rid of 680m pieces of clothing as they spring-clean their wardrobes, the survey shows. However, the annual fashion detox will be damaging for the environment, with a staggering 235m of the garments expected to end up in landfill. People will dispose of an average of 19 items, with seven going straight in the bin.
Over the past 10 years, clothing has been the fastest growing waste stream in the UK. In partnership with the charity Oxfam, Sainsbury’s is urging consumers to donate unwanted clothes to its collection points alongside the traditional recycling bins in its store car parks.
The study also uncovered the reasons people do not donate or recycle clothing, with 49% saying they did not think they could because the clothes were worn out or dirty. A further 16% said they did not have time to visit a charity shop, or could not be bothered to sort items, while 6% did not realise clothing could be recycled.
Men are more likely to send clothes to landfill, with 82% saying they would bin items this spring compared with 69% of women.
“If clothes go out with the rubbish, they’ll end up in landfill, so we’ve teamed up with Oxfam to help Britons become more charitable and environmentally savvy this spring,” said Paul Crewe, head of sustainability at Sainsbury’s. “No matter if they’re worn out or grubby, we’re calling on shoppers to donate their unwanted clothes at recycling points in our stores across the UK.”