UK charity calls for avoiding fast
fashion post lockdown
Though the British public are making do and mending clothes
during the lockdown, the government, industry and consumers
must do more to ensure avoiding a return to ‘fast fashion’,
says a report by the Royal Society for the Encouragement of
Arts, Manufactures and Commerce (RSA), which found the
lockdown has dramatically altered consumer habits and
RSA has urged the government to invest in sustainable
fashion and create a dedicated green ‘Beyond GDP’ resilience
fund to support burgeoning circular economy innovation
within clothing and textiles (and other sectors) to enable
greater regional resilience, to stimulate local demand and
create high skilled local employment.
This should also ensure that any job and training support
programme announced later this year supports growing
circular economy jobs within fashion, the charitable
organisation said in a press release.
The lockdown has forced changes in that way that we buy
fashion, with 35 per cent of women stating that they intend
to purchase fewer items of clothing in future and 28 per
cent of respondents finding that they are reusing or
recycling clothing more than usual.
The public wants more opportunities for repair and reuse (68
per cent) and less pressure from advertising (62 per cent)
and social media (65 per cent) to buy clothing. Fifty eight
per cent of the respondents reported having bought less
clothing during the lockdown.
There is a strong appetite for change in the fashion
industry after the pandemic. Fewer than 1 in 5 (19 per cent)
of respondents in the survey conducted by RSA believe that
the industry should return to business as usual and half of
them think that the industry should do whatever it takes to
become more environmentally sustainable.
Leading the charge towards sustainability are ‘generation
Z’, many of whom are planning on making changes to their
purchasing habits as a result of the lockdown. Young people
between the ages of 18 and 24 (27 per cent) are particularly
committed to supporting brands with strong social and
Thirty five per cent of 18-24 year olds intend to buy fewer
items of clothing after the lockdown has ended. This group
is critical to fashion marketing and for fashion companies
to attract new talent to the industry, RSA found.
But there are worrying signs the society could see a revert
to type: 40 per cent say they are looking forward to buying
clothes again, and only 34 per cent say that consumers
should be prepared to pay more for clothes. This is in spite
of 83 per cent agreeing that clothes should be designed to
last longer and be repairable.