By Sirin Kale
More and more of us are giving up fast fashion. But could you go for 10 years without shopping? Guardian readers tell us how – and why – they have
When the former Blue Peter presenter Konnie Huq told the hosts of Loose Women that she had not bought any clothes in a decade, she was met with consternation and shock from the show’s famously forthright panellists. “You’re not still wearing Blue Peter clothes!” exclaimed Janet Street-Porter. Huq acknowledged, sheepishly, that the lilac cardigan she was wearing did in fact date from her days on children’s TV.
Huq’s decision to step away from consumerism and wear the clothes she already has is to be commended, given that the UK sends around £140m-worth of clothing to landfill every year. And, as the public becomes increasingly aware of the social and environmental impact of the fashion industry, it is likely that more will do the same. Already consumers are turning away from fast fashion. New research from the Fashion Retail Academy finds that 51% of Brits are opting to purchase expensive but longer-lasting clothes, rather than cheaper throwaway items, up from 33% a year ago. Many attribute this move towards more sustainable consumer behaviour to the so-called “Greta” effect. (Famously, the 17-year-old Swedish climate activist, Greta Thunberg, doesn’t buy new clothes, telling Democracy Now that she shops secondhand, or wears other people’s hand-me-downs.)