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3.5 tonnes of clothing thrown away every five minutes

Thought-provoking new imagery launched during London Fashion Week raises awareness of the growing issue of clothing waste in the UK and its devastating impact on the environment.

In the UK every five minutes 3.5 tonnes of clothing is thrown away. To raise awareness The British Fashion Council has partnered with Vanish during ongoing London Fashion Week. This collaboration revealed the Rewear Edit – A highfashion shoot made entirely from discarded clothing.

New research commissioned by Vanish as part of the campaign reveals the scale of throwaway fashion in the UK, with 64% of consumers admitting to wearing an item only once, sending up to 350,000 tonnes of clothing to landfill each year.

With the help of fashion stylist and sustainability advocate, Miranda Almond, Vanish has created a captivating film and series of images to demonstrate how clothing can be re-worn, reused and restyled to create exciting new looks that could be found in any wardrobe.

Featuring everything from classic black dresses, sharp tailoring, chunky knitwear and conceptual denim, the Rewear Edit shoot launches at London Fashion Week to encourage everyday consumers to embrace more sustainable ways to care for their clothes, knowing single-use clothing costs the UK consumer £2.7bn each year on clothes that will only be worn once before being discarded. The activity is part of Vanish’s sponsorship of London Fashion Week, aimed at inspiring and raising awareness of the importance of mindful fashion to consumers.

New consumer research commissioned by Vanish displayed throwaway attitudes towards fashion, with over two thirds (64%) admitting to wearing an item of clothing just once, and half (50%) owning an item they have never worn. When asked what they’ve done with their unwanted clothes, nearly a third (31%) admit to disposing of items at a clothes bank or throwing them in the bin (16%), rather than considering more sustainable routes such as rewearing or sharing with friends and family.

“Before you go out and buy something new, before you throw away that item that’s been unloved and unworn lying in the bottom of your wardrobe, think again. With a little imagination, love, and restoration that item can be reworn and reimagined to have a super stylish second life. Think about rewearing as the most timeless style statement yet!”

Miranda Almond

Vanish is also a Founding Partner of the Institute of Positive Fashion, the BFC’s recently formed initiative which aims to help the British fashion industry become more resilient and circular through collaboration and action. In addition to the sponsorship of London Fashion Week, the alliance will also see Vanish:

●       Conduct research as part of the IPF’s launch project, ‘the Circular Fashion EcoSystem Project’, to understand what it will take to create a viable circular fashion industry in the UK

●       Establish a year-long consumer education programme to embed more sustainable fashion behaviours in collaboration with industry experts, fashion influencers and thought leaders

Photos by Marco Mori