What a waste

We must admit that the findings of a recent survey of consumers’ clothes hoarding habits, as reported in the Daily Mail, came as little surprise to us. We have, after all, been banging on about unworn wardrobe contents for years.

Having founded our business to help give these hidden, hitherto unworn gems a new lease of life, we can honestly say there is nothing more satisfying than rehoming one woman’s (or man’s) expensive mistake with a new, appreciative owner who will love it and actually wear it.

We all know the clothes shopping routine and, if we are honest, can identify with the all too familar result. What may once have seemed like a dress/coat/top/skirt to die for ends up languishing at the back of the wardrobe for one reason or another, and now we wouldn’t be seen dead in it!

The latest research, conducted by the shopping channel QVC, just serves as a reminder of the extent of the ‘problem’ and highlights some scarily stark statistics.

British women have wasted an astonishing £1.6 billion on clothes they never wear but refuse to throw out.

If placed on a single rail, the 500million unworn items of clothing would stretch over 15,500 miles - that's four-and-a-half times the distance from London to New York.

The average woman hoards 22 items that she will never wear, worth a total of £285.

Over half have six or more tops that they would not be seen dead in, and a third have six or more unworn pairs of shoes.

There is a geographical divide, with London ladies topping the wasters’ league with £302.29 worth of unworn clothes, followed closely by the Scots (£301.90) and the Northern Irish (£290.28). The Welsh are by far the canniest women with only £223.96 of unworn items lurking in each of their wardrobes.

Men behave almost as badly, collectively wasting a staggering £1.2 billion on clothes they never wear. The average UK Joe has 19 unworn items of clothing, worth around £248, in the dark recesses of his closet.

Excuses range from guilt at wasting money and "waiting" (not wanting?) to lose weight, to hoping the faux pas might actually come back into fashion “one day”. Oh dear!

Sue Leeson from QVC says: “Finding out what you have already means that you can become a smart shopper and focus your wardrobe, buying key pieces that coordinate with each other properly.” Good advice, undoubtedly, but we also need to bear in mind which styles best flatter our body shape and which colours best suit us, all without breaking the bank.

Fortunately, help is at hand in the form of Gok Wan, who has just returned  to Channel 4  with his clothes roadshow, promising to get us all shopping, swapping and dressing smarter, and proving you don’t need to spend a fortune to look fabulous.  So no more excuses!

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