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… as groundswell of consumers wants to see an end to unsustainable fast fashion

More than three quarters of consumers say it is “super urgent” that the fashion industry changes – and does so quickly – to save the planet.

According to a recent survey undertaken by sustainable retail platform Unfolded, 76.6% of people said that the fashion industry needs to make rapid changes, while 88% of those questioned stated they would rather buy from brands who take a stance on global issues.

The fashion retail industry has a bad reputation notorious for its poor environmental track record and for paying its workers poorly, the recent growth in fast and throwaway fashion has really exacerbated this. For example, 80 billion new clothing items are made each year and 30% of these items are never sold with many heading straight to landfill. Current estimates claim fashion accounts for 10% of CO2e emissions and is on track to rise to 25% by 2050 based on its current trajectory.

But consumers are no longer willing to accept this and are increasingly basing their purchase decisions on more sustainable values. According to the survey, undertaken last week, UK consumers now rank the most important factors when purchasing new clothes to be; 86.1% want sustainable fabrics, 81.1% consider factory working conditions and 78.6% choose based on price.

And in what could signal the end of the fast fashion trend, only 15.9% are concerned with fast delivery.

Furthermore, it appears that those questioned aren’t just paying lip service to change but plan to actively play their part by voting with their wallets in 2022; with 73.1% planning to shop less, 62.2% planning to choose brands who invest in good causes, 61.2% planning to upcycle and reuse and 57.2% planning to ditch fast fashion altogether.

Unfolded has a vested interest. It is offering affordable, sustainable clothes, created without any waste that create impact in the world. Based on an entirely new retail model, one powered by data, community input and factory to consumer delivery, every item purchased from Unfolded creates impact by not only paying garment workers better but by supporting children’s education in manufacturing communities, through our partner organisation Pratham

Clothes are designed in conjunction with consumers and items are only produced once orders are placed, removing overstock and ensuring demand is matched to production. The latest collection launches later this month.

Cally Russell, co-founder and CEO of Unfolded, says: ‘Consumers have changed hugely in the last 24 months, driven by their experience and the impact of Covid. There is now a clear majority wanting their clothes to have a positive impact in the world rather than just being the latest fad. This can only be positive for the planet and society – although more brands need to rapidly change thier practices for this to really count.’

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