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70% of UK consumers recognise financial benefits of circular fashion, survey finds

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A new study has found the majority of UK consumers acknowledge that second-hand shopping, repairs, or rental services could be cost-effective for them. However, the report stressed that there is a notable gap between attitudes and actual behaviour.

Klarna’s 2024 Circularity Insights report found there was a high awareness of circularity’s cost-saving potential. Repairing items is seen as the biggest cost saving opportunity (44%), followed by secondhand shopping (39%) and rentals (20%).

While, the idea of repairing broken goods is increasingly resonating with consumers the implementation is still in its growth phase. Despite its perceived cost-saving potential, 77% of consumers chose not to repair clothing items the last time they broke, 87% for shoes and accessories. The study said this disconnect presents a substantial opportunity for brands and businesses to encourage and facilitate repair options.

Read more: Clothing repairs platform Sojo back at Selfridges permanently

The survey, of 3,000 adults (16 years or older) in the UK, USA, and Germany, also found there is a growing appeal of second-hand shopping with one third of consumers welcoming second-hand clothing items into their wardrobes over the past year. It noted there remains an opportunity for further adoption, as 67% of consumers opted for only new items when shopping for clothes in the past year.

The convenience of buying new items was one barrier to circular fashion at 30%. Other barriers included feasibility (28%), utility (26%), and cost (20%). Depreciation also hinders second-hand shopping, with 21% of consumers citing low clothing resale value. 

“If we really want consumers to repair or buy second-hand, we need to make the service fully accessible, put it front and center in the store, and back it with your marketing budget. If buying new remains the easy choice, that’s what people will do,” said Hasna Kourda, founder of Save Your Wardrobe.

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