In major environmental boost, young people are turning away from fast fashion and choosing second-hand clothing.

  • A quarter of the young adults rented or bought used Christmas clothes. 
  • The fashion industry consumes an estimated 98,000,000 tons of nonrenewable resources
  • Younger generations are much more likely to shop for second-hand gifts and clothes for Christmas.

Research shows that young adults reject fast fashion, and instead choose eco-friendly secondhand clothing.

Half of the 18-24-year-olds said they rented clothing for festive parties or even bought second-hand.

58% also said it was likely they would do so in the coming years.

Only 5% of over-55s said that they rented or used clothing for Christmas.

According to the University of Hull’s YouGov survey of 2094, adults, younger generations are much more likely than older ones to shop for second-hand clothing or Christmas presents.

The fashion industry uses an estimated 98 million tons of non-renewable resources and creates 92 million tons of waste a year

Fashion industry generates around 92 million tonnes of waste per year and uses 98 million tons non-renewable materials.

According to the university: Sharing, renting and reusing clothes have been brought into focus by celebrities who are keen to raise awareness about ethical and environmental issues.

These include the Prime Minister’s wife, Carrie Johnson, who rented a dress for their wedding in May, and the Duchess of Cambridge, who has developed a reputation for rotating her outfits.

An estimated 98,000,000 tons of nonrenewable resources are used by the fashion industry each year. 92 Million tons of waste is generated annually. 

Professor Dan Parsons, director of Hull University’s Energy and Environment Institute, said: ‘This study clearly shows that – whether driven by an environmental or ethical motive – young people are increasingly turning their backs on fast fashion.

The university said that renting, re-using or sharing clothes has been thrust into the spotlight in recent years by famous faces keen to highlight environmental and ethical considerations

According to the university: Sharing, renting and reusing clothes have been brought into focus by celebrities keen on highlighting environmental and ethical issues in recent years.

‘We will have to live with the consequences of our throwaway culture for decades, if not centuries, to come, and discarded clothing created by the emergence of fast fashion has played a significant role in what is a tsunami of microplastic waste around the world.

‘It is encouraging to see that young people are now driving a move towards a new environmentally conscious and aware society, renting and hiring clothing, and moving to saying “no” to fast fashion is an important step in the right direction.’

Professor Parsons added: ‘The volume of plastics now in circulation globally means we have effectively entered a new geological period – geoscientists call this the Anthropocene [an age in which human activity has a significant impact on the planet].

‘But the prevalence and distribution of waste plastics in the environment means I think we will eventually call this the Plasticene, the plastic age.’

Hull University stated that shoppers shun fast fashion because of its dependence on modern slavery and exploitation.