Britons Will Buy 50 Million Outfits This Summer That They Will Only Wear Once

A survey has found that despite warnings of fast fashion's impact on the planet, UK consumers will spend £2.7 billion on clothes they'll only wear once

britons spend billions on clothes they only wear once

by Hannah Banks-Walker |

Summer tends to bring with it some tricky sartorial conundrums. Dressing for hot weather is, after all, not something we have to consider very often in the UK and weddings tend to require something altogether more formal than our daily outfits. This could be why a new survey has found that consumers in the UK will spend £2.7 billion this summer on outfits that will be worn only once.

The poll was conducted by Censuswide on behalf of Barnardo's, with research indicating that the most clothes were bought for holidays – consumers spend £700 million on 11 million items that won't be worn again. Similarly, wedding guests spend an average of nearly £80 on something new to wear on just that one occasion.

Javed Khan, Barnardo’s chief executive, said: “Choosing to buy ‘pre-loved’ clothes for a special occasion means you don’t have to worry about bumping into someone wearing the same outfit. It is also kinder to the environment and your wallet, getting more wear out of clothes which might otherwise only be worn once and end up in landfill."

Just last month, the government rejected proposals outlined by the Environmental Audit Committee, which aimed to tackle fast fashion's impact on the planet. That happened while Missguided was running a promotion on a £1 bikini, prompting questions about the ethics of cheap clothing and its manufacture.

If, in fact, you are going on holiday and looking to buy something new, consider one of the below swimsuits. They're all made sustainably and will last, meaning you won't need to replace it next year, contributing to another 11 million items that will most likely end up in landfill.

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The Best Sustainable Swimwear

Paper London, Strappy Swimsuit, £195
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Peony, Floral Print Underwired Bikini Top, £80
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Peony, Floral Print Bikini Bottoms, £75
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Monki, Ruffle Swimsuit, £30
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Galamaar, Contour Top, £60.29
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Galamaar, High Bottoms, £47.93
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Reformation, Leopard Print Swimsuit, £75.75
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Madewell, Second Wave Tie-Front Bikini Top, £46.95
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Madewell, Retro High-Waisted Bikini Bottoms, £42.68
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Paper London, Tie Side Swimsuit, £165
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Mara Hoffman, Belted Stripe Swimsuit, £290
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