Many of us enjoy shopping in charity shops, and this report from WRAP (Waste and Resources Action Programme) reveals many reasons to do so.

It sets out the environmental impacts of clothing from manufacture to laundry to disposal (not going into social impacts around the globe which is another huge area of concern). Particularly interesting nuggets of information include:

  • the wardrobe of the average person in the UK contains around £4,000 worth of clothing - but
  • around 30% of that clothing has not been worn for at least a year
  • clothing has very significant footprints in terms of carbon, water and waste. These could be reduced by 20-30% just by extending the 'active life' of clothing by 9 months before it is disposed of
  • more than 2/3 of adults have worn 'pre-owned' clothes in the last year, and many more people would be willing to do so
  • there is much that can be done to increase the 'active life' of clothing, ie making repair services more widely available, promoting clothing repair skills and encouraging gentler (eg lower temperature - which of course also saves energy) laundry habits.

Worth having a read of if you have time.

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