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Clothes sharing on the rise for thrifty under-30s

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Clothes sharing on the rise for thrifty under-30s

‘Clothes swapping’ and sharing is being driven by the pandemic, new technology and a rise in eco-awareness among young Brits, new research has found.

Half of the under-30s questioned bought second-hand, swapped or borrowed more in 2020 than 2019, according to a new survey by Censuswide for the North London Waste Authority (NLWA).

It also found that one in five of under 24-year-olds belong to a virtual swap group, while a third have been re-wearing clothes more frequently, and over a quarter of all respondents (26%) intend to do this more often.

The NLWA encourages people to “Reduce, Reuse and Recycle” and recently ran a series of virtual clothes swapping events.

The influencer marketing platform Wearisma found a 47% increase in engagements for #clothesswap content in Q2 2020 compared to Q2 2019 across all key social media platforms.

Market research for 2020 both pre and post COVID-19 pandemic points to the fact that second-hand fashion is the fashion sector’s biggest growth area.

In June, US consignment company thredUP’s 2020 Resale Report predicted the second-hand clothing market will surpass fast fashion by the end of the decade, and 20% of UK citizens say the pandemic has changed their approach to fashion.

Chair of NLWA Cllr Clyde Loakes said: “We ran our first clothes-swapping events in north London in 2013 and we’ve seen appetite for them grow and grow. Attendance at the first events was 338 people, but last year’s events saw over a thousand people coming through the door.

“It is encouraging that young people are realising they need to be more sustainable, but we cannot afford to lose momentum on tackling the climate emergency. Clothes swapping is invaluable. It’s inclusive, free, and is definitely a step in the right direction. We need to wake up to the fact that endless consumption is taking its toll on our planet.”

The NLWA advises people to find your closest charity shop or clothing bank and join swapping events or swap with friends and family.

Taking care of clothes helps them stay in good condition and last longer, while repairing or altering clothes can bring them back to life and save money.

When clothes and other textiles cannot be repaired, they can be reused or recycled.

Try browsing your local charity shop or vintage clothes shops for some bargains, or even sites like Ebay, Gumtreeor Freecycle for good value or freebies.

For special occasions you can find local hiring companies on Love Your Clothes.