Festive fashion is no joke: £218 million worth of novelty clothes cast aside in the New Year

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- Short URL: https://www.oxfam.org.uk/mc/uhjmxh/

Shopping second hand festive fashion would prevent harmful emissions equivalent to flying from London to the North Pole more than 800 times, says Oxfam

  • A quarter of Christmas shoppers plan to buy novelty festive clothes this year
  • Over 12.7 million items will be cast aside after just a few wears
  • 18-24 year-olds are leading the novelty shopping trend

Brits are set to celebrate Christmas in festive fashion this year, with a quarter of shoppers planning to snap up a novelty item of clothing…. which they will barely wear.

Research from Oxfam reveals today that novelty clothing is no joke when over 12 million items will be cast aside after just a few wears. A study of 3,000 shoppers who celebrate the festive season, carried out by OnePoll for Oxfam, found that over a quarter of respondents (26 percent) plan to buy a novelty item of clothing in the run up to Christmas, with seven in 10 (72 per cent) revealing they expect to wear their jokey purchases less than five times, and 15 per cent admitting they’ll only wear them once.

Oxfam then calculated that if all UK adults planning to buy festive fashion items this Christmas bought them second hand, it could prevent a whopping 66 million kilogrammes of carbon dioxide emissions entering the atmosphere. This is the equivalent to a plane flying from London to the North Pole 822 times.

Oxfam, which has more than 550 charity shops in the UK is encouraging festive fashionistas to buy their Christmas-themed clothes second hand this year and donate them back to charity after the festivities to help tackle the climate crisis.

Lorna Fallon, Oxfam Retail Director said: “Throwaway festive fashion is devastating for the planet as the fashion industry is one of the worst offenders for greenhouse gas emissions. By recirculating festive fashion items – buying, wearing and donating second hand – we can help to reduce the demand for new. And this could in turn help to reduce the damage to our planet.

“Our research shows that many Christmas-themed clothes will be forgotten about after just five wears so we really hope that people will consider buying their Christmas jumpers and festive fancy dress second hand this year and then donate them to Oxfam when the New Year novelty wears off.

“Shopping and donating second hand is one step we can all take towards building a better, safer, fairer world, not just at Christmas but year-round.”

Data from the survey shows £17.20 is the average spend on novelty attire, with 18-24 year-olds most likely to be the ones purchasing. Further figures also show Wales tops Scotland and England for festive fashion shoppers.

Strictly professional dancer Katya Jones, is backing Oxfam’s campaign. She said: “I love rummaging in charity shops all year round, but especially at Christmas. There’s no need to splash out on a brand-new Christmas jumper, or festive pyjamas when you can extend the life of some pre-loved gems. It’s a great way to save money and is better for the environment.

“Over the past few years, I’ve grown to love charity shops more and more; they allow you to be more creative in what you buy. I always come out with something completely unexpected and It’s the joy of finding a unique hidden treasure that gives me a thrill.”

Other statistics from Oxfam’s study found that a quarter (24 per cent) of seasonal shoppers will be partaking in a Secret-Santa event this year, usually with friends, family or colleagues.

Of these, they’ll typically be involved in three Secret-Santas each, spending £16 on average per present.

And more than half (51 per cent) would be happy to buy their Secret-Santa presents in a charity shop, according to the OnePoll.com figures.

Lorna adds: “Whilst Secret-Santa can be a good way to save money - as the theory is you only have to buy one gift instead of lots - our research shows that shoppers are planning to spend on average £48 each on Secret-Santa gifts alone.

“That’s why we are encouraging festive shoppers do Secret-Santa differently this year. Buying charitable gifts and pre-loved presents makes the Christmas budget go that little bit further and has the added good cheer of helping to support people and communities around the world, including those hit hard by the climate crisis.

“Books are our most popular secret Santa gifts, so some of our shops even offer pre-wrapped Secret-Santa books, to make it even easier to give a gift that gives back.”


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