George Young

Senior Media Relations Officer

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02 January 2019

Polling from the Charities Aid Foundation (CAF) reveals that the UK public would be willing to change how they shop for clothes if it helped to reduce waste or the ethical effects of fast fashion production.

Fast fashion refers to low-cost clothes produced quickly and sold by high street retailers. Critics argue that there is an economic and environmental cost as the clothes are difficult to recycle and are often thrown away within 12 months of purchase.

CAF is calling on people to donate their unwanted clothes to a charity shop, rather than see them ending up in landfill. Their research also shows that more than 6 in 10 people (65%) would buy fewer clothes in order to reduce waste. Only 14% said they’re willing to accept some waste in order to keep up with the trends they like.


CAF’s Head of Research Susan Pinkney believes that the fashion industry has begun to wake up to the good business sense of putting sustainability at the heart of operating models.

Adidas recently doubled production of their Parley line of running shoes, constructed from reclaimed ocean plastic, whilst scientists are beginning to make carbon-neutral clothes out of algae to offset the fashion industry’s carbon footprint.”

According to a report from Quantis, the fashion industry accounts for more than 8% of global climate impact – the equivalent of 3,990 million metric tons of carbon dioxide in 2016. In recent months, the fashion industry has come in for particular criticism from the environmental pressure group Extinction Rebellion.

CAF’s polling also found that over six in ten of us (63%) would be more likely to buy fashion from retailers that pay their workers a living wage, and nearly half (48%) would pay more for clothing that’s produced ethically. 

However, over half (53%) of people admitted that when it comes to what they buy, they’re more concerned by price than how clothes are produced. CAF’s Pinkney adds: “Fast fashion practices are a worry for shoppers and increasingly on their radar, but the UK public seems to be, at least to some extent, still attracted to the low price tags on cheaply produced fashion.”

Notes to editors: 

For more information please contact:

Press office direct line (24 hours): 03000 123 286

Press office email:    

George Young,

Office: 03000 123 715 / Mobile: 07969 296 646

About CAF

All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc. Total sample size was 1,125 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between the 16th and 30th October 2019. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all GB adults (aged 16+).

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We are CAF and we make giving count.

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