Britons throw away ‘72 items of clothing every year’

More than 70 items of clothing are thrown away every year from the average wardrobe, a new survey has found.

In a survey by British Wool, nearly two-thirds of people admitted to throwing items of clothing into landfill that could be recycled or sent to a charity shop.

The figures suggest an extremely high turnover in the wardrobes of the average shopper. The survey found the average person owns just 76 items of clothing but throws away 72 every year. The average British person buys more new items of clothing every year than any other European country.

Charity shop donations may not solve the problem of decaying synthetics. Earlier this year, an investigation by The Telegraph found clothes donated to Oxfam were ending up in landfill in Ghana, where unwanted goods are often dumped on beaches.

The survey was carried out online among a representative sample of 2,000 people for British Wool, which is owned by sheep farmers and lobbies for the wool industry.

It also found a limited understanding of how clothes are made and their impact on the environment.

It found that 74 per cent of respondents were unaware of the environmental impacts of viscose, which is a plant-based fibre but uses large amounts of energy, water, and chemicals.

Some 62 per cent of respondents also said they did not know that nylon was a non-biodegradable synthetic.

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