Fifty-one per cent of British adults say they throw away perfectly wearable clothes, resulting in a total of £12.5 billion worth of clobber going in the bin every year.
That works out as chucking an average of eight items worth £24 each per year, amounting to £192. Apparently people think an item of clothing becomes 'old' after 20 wears, or 50 days.
The data has been released by Vanish as part of its #LoveforLonger campaign which also features an ad showing clothes in landfill – 300,000 tonnes head there every year.
The research discovered other reasons for people binning clothes. Nearly a third (29 per cent) said they chucked clothes out because of stains, with 23 per cent never actually attempting to remove marks beforehand 'because the item was cheap'. A further 27 per cent have binned a garment due to an easily fixable hole.
Some 45 percent fully intended to donate a bag of clothes to charity but then ended up putting them in the bin, while 59 per cent of those said binning them avoided the hassle of going to a charity shop. Twelve per cent felt clothes 'simply feel old after you wear them a handful of times'.
The people polled – 90 per cent of them – freely admitted this is all part of a throwaway approach to clothes and fashion and 62 per cent of us feel guilty about it. But then four in ten said they had never given any thought to what happens to clothes when they get thrown away.
Vanish's #LoveforLonger campaign is about tackling stains (as you might expect from the stain-removing product brand) but there are plenty of other things you can do to make your clothes last longer, from sewing buttons back on to taking them to a swishing party.