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Fast fashion in the UK might be starting to die out

It’s become a case of quality over quantity for UK shoppers, according to a new report

Though fashion has been pushing towards a more sustainable future for a number of years now, the fight against fast fashion feels like an uphill battle, as more and more labels peddling cheap, throwaway, trend-led clothing pop up like bad smells that just won't go away.

The good news, however, is that a growing number of UK shoppers are buying secondhand clothing, with a vast amount of fashion fans opting to recycle their cast-offs as well.

As detailed in a new report by the Retail Fashion Academy, the research found that the number of sustainable shoppers in the UK has increased by a third in the last 12 months, with millions choosing a more quality conscious approach to shopping, rather than opting to stuff their closets with a higher quantity of cheaply made pieces. 

“The focus on sustainability has finally been embraced by consumers in a big way,” said Lee Lucas, principal of the Retail Fashion Academy. “Shoppers are moving away from fast fashion and there are new waves of consumers who are willing to invest in higher quality items, acknowledging that more expensive price tags might mean more mileage from certain items of clothing.”

In the past year, this has proven to be true as the amount of Brits who favour clothes that will last has risen from just one-third to 51.4 per cent. On the other hand, in the same time period, the number of people in favour of fast fashion has lessened by 46.2 per cent – a success for Greta Thunberg fans everywhere.

Besides shopping the high street, most fashion consumers are making more sustainable choices with their old clothes – with 71.3 per cent opting for clothing recycling rather than tossing them in the bin. 

Thanks to secondhand apps like Depop taking over the internet and the rise in popularity of charity and thrift shopping, it seems that over two-thirds of the UK are ready to ditch wasteful nature of fast-fashion – and, statistically speaking, women are more for it than men.

“This shift towards… recycling and buying secondhand is not just about saving money, it is a reflection of how customers are increasingly mindful of fashion waste and the supply chain,” explained Lucas.