Almost a third of clothes 'hanging around' unworn in UK wardrobes

Cancer Research UK
Almost a third of the average UK adult's wardrobe goes unworn, according to new statistics released as part of TK Maxx's 'Give Up Clothes For Good' campaign, which raises money for Cancer Research UK for Children & Young People

Almost a third of the average UK adult’s wardrobe goes unworn, according to new statistics published today. People claim to have 58 items in their wardrobe, yet around 17 of these they don’t wear anymore or have never worn. The survey of over 2,000 UK adults marks the return of TK Maxx’s ‘Give Up Clothes for Good’ campaign, one of the UK’s longest running charity clothes collections which raises money for Cancer Research UK for Children & Young People.

“We want to encourage everyone to dig deep in their wardrobes and pull out those quality items to donate to the Give Up Clothes for Good campaign. Not only are you helping more children and young people survive cancer, you’re also giving your pre-loved items a second life and doing your bit to help the environment. The more people that take part, the more money we can raise!”Jo Murphy, TK Maxx

The survey, conducted by Censuswide, showed that women tend to have larger wardrobes than men, with women claiming to own an average of around 65 items and men only 51. The results also revealed that women claim to have on average more trousers in their wardrobe at 10 pairs, while men only have eight. According to the survey, there are two unused pairs of trousers within the average wardrobe.

The survey also revealed some of the possible reasons behind the fast fashion trend.  Almost a quarter (24%) of UK adults admitted they bought clothes they’ve rarely worn or don’t wear on impulse, and over a fifth (22%) admitted that it was because the items were cheap. Over a quarter (26%) cited buying outfits for special occasions, such as weddings or birthdays, and almost a quarter (23%) said they thought the clothes would suit them at the time.

When asked why they still have items they have never worn in their wardrobe, respondents said it was because they didn’t fit (33%), they’d gone off the look of them (18%) and the fact that they felt bad for throwing them away (16%). 1 in 11 (9%) UK adults also said they had items they’ve never worn in their wardrobes because they were no longer fashionable.  

The survey found that 22% of UK adults keep clothes they no longer wear in the hope they’ll fit into them again in the future, while 13% of people keep them in case they come back into fashion. Over half (55%) of UK adults claimed they regularly donate clothes they no longer wear to charity, however, on average, they last donated over five months ago.

The statistics have been released as part of TK Maxx’s ‘Give Up Clothes for Good’ campaign which encourages people to donate their pre-loved quality clothes, homeware and accessories in any TK Maxx store.  The clothes are then sold in Cancer Research UK shops, with money raised going to Cancer Research UK for Children & Young People. As well as raising money to help more children and young people survive cancer, with a good quality of life, the campaign also provides an environmental benefit through the re-use and recycling of goods – with over 7,518 tonnes of unwanted items being given a second life and diverted from landfill since the campaign began in 2004.

Each bag donated could raise up to £30 for Cancer Research UK for Children & Young People when sold in Cancer Research UK shops. TK Maxx stores accept customer donations all year round. 

Since 2004 TK Maxx has raised over £32.5 million for Cancer Research UK's work into children's and young people's cancers. Since the beginning of the Give Up Clothes for Good campaign, TK Maxx associates and customers have helped in the collection of over 1.5 million bags of clothing and household goods. This amounts to over 7,518 tonnes of unwanted items that have been given a second life through Give Up Clothes For Good. Every tonne of clothing donated results in a net saving of approximately 4.5 tonnes of greenhouse gases or over 33,000 tonnes to date.

For more information visit:

https://www.tkmaxx.com/uk/en/give-up-clothes-for-good

ENDS

For media enquiries please contact the Cancer Research UK press office on +44 203 469 8300 or, out-of-hours, the duty press officer on +44 7050 264 059.

Notes to Editor

  • The research was conducted by Censuswide, with 2,056 general respondents aged 16+ in the UK between 23.08.2019 – 27.08.2019. Censuswide abide by and employ members of the Market Research Society which is based on the ESOMAR principles. 
  • Respondents were asked to estimate how many of each specific type of clothing (trousers, skirts, jackets, shirts, tops, dresses, ‘other’) they had in their wardrobes, and of those how much they spent on each item.
  • Respondents were asked to estimate the number of items in bracket intervals of five (i.e 1-5, 6-10) with the bracket’s midpoint being used for calculations. The maximum option (more than 40) was calculated in line with the existing scale with a midpoint of 43 as a precise number was not provided by respondents.

About Give Up Clothes for Good:

  • Since 2004 TK Maxx has raised over £32.5 million for Cancer Research UK's work into children's and young people's cancers.
  • As one of the UK’s longest running clothes collections, Give Up Clothes For Good asks the public to simply donate a bag of pre-loved quality clothes, accessories and quality homeware and bring it to TK Maxx stores. The donated clothes are then sold at Cancer Research UK shops to raise much needed funds for Cancer Research UK for Children & Young People.
  • Each bag could raise up to £30 for Cancer Research UK for Children & Young People when sold in Cancer Research UK shops.
  • The campaign launches in September 2019 with September marking Childhood Cancer Awareness Month
  • Cancer Research UK Children & Young People raises money to help more children and young people survive cancer (with a good quality of life). 
  • TK Maxx, the biggest corporate supporter of research into children’s cancers for Cancer Research UK.
  • The campaign will run all year round, giving people more opportunities to donate and support, raising more funds for Cancer Research UK for Children & Young People
  • All the money raised will help fund research into cancers affecting children and young people (aged 0-24).

About the Cancer Research UK for Children & Young People Children’s Brain Tumour Centre of Excellence, supported by TK Maxx:

  • TK Maxx has committed to entirely fund the Cancer Research UK for Children & Young People Children’s Brain Tumour Centre of Excellence, which is improving how drugs are developed for children with brain tumours. The funds raised will be generated through customer donations and associate fundraising.
  • The Cancer Research UK for Children & Young People Children’s Brain Tumour Centre of Excellence is linking up researchers at the Institute of Cancer Research, London, the University of Cambridge and the Cancer Research UK Cambridge Centre, while also connecting experts in brain tumour research from across the globe to improve the way drugs are developed for children’s and young people’s brain tumours.

About TK Maxx

  • TK Maxx is Europe’s leading off-price apparel and homeware retailer selling a huge assortment of big names and designer labels, top brands, up-and-coming labels and one-off gems at up to 60% less than the RRP and at a significant discount to the price in a department store or on the high street, every single day.
  • Opportunistic buying, established relationships with vendors and a no frills operation means TK Maxx can pass huge savings onto the customer.
  • The average TK Maxx store receives several deliveries per week with each delivery containing thousands of items which means stock is consistently fresh.
  • TK Maxx offers a unique treasure hunt shopping experience where customers can experience the thrill of finding an amazing brand or one-off gem every time they shop.
  • TK Maxx is committed to being a responsible retailer whether in the community, as an employer, in the supply chain or in the environment.
  • TK Maxx has 567¹ stores in six countries across Europe: the UK, Ireland, Poland, Germany, Austria and the Netherlands and is online at www.tkmaxx.com

TK Maxx is part of TJX Europe which comprises the TK Maxx and Homesense brands. TJX Europe is part of The TJX Companies, Inc. (NYSE:TJX).

¹TJX Companies, Inc. Q1 FY20 results

About Cancer Research UK for Children & Young People

  • Cancer Research UK is the world’s leading cancer charity dedicated to saving lives through research.
  • Around 4,500 children and young people (aged 0-24) are diagnosed with cancer every year in the UK; that’s around 370 cases every month, 86 cases each week and 12 cases each day*.
  • More than 8 in 10 children and young people (aged 0-24) diagnosed with cancer in the UK now survive for at least five years**.
  • Together with its partners and supporters, Cancer Research UK for Children & Young People’s vision is to improve survival and reduce long-term side effects for children and young people with cancer
  • Cancer Research UK receives no funding from the UK government for its life-saving research. Every step it makes towards beating children’s cancers relies on every donation made.
  • Cancer Research UK for Children & Young People is one of the biggest funders of children’s and young people’s research in the UK
  • Money raised through Cancer Research UK for Children & Young People will be ring-fenced to fund research into cancers affecting children and young people (aged 0-24). Donations will be used to fund research to help more 0-24-year-olds survive cancer and do so with a good quality of life