Clothing spending habits change dramatically

Each year the average woman purchases half her body weight, approximately 62lbs in clothing, according to research. That means there are four times as many clothes in a women’s wardrobe today compared to 1980, but a new survey shows that women throw away almost the same amount that they purchase each year.

There are an average of more than 20 garments in a woman’s wardrobe that have never graced her body and in her lifetime she will spend, in order to look her best, over £130,000. One reason for the incredibly high figures in the statistics is that fast fashion or cut price versions of lookalikes are much more common and are produced much quicker.

There are now spending less per item but are buying more items. Lucy Siegle, consumer expert, claims that the average woman accumulates over four and a half stone a year in clothes. There are over 80 billion garments that are produced a year in women’s wear.

Those figures were calculated from research done at Cambridge University by studying the importing of textiles.

A regular on BBC’s The One Show said that the culture of celebrities of using a new garment daily has trickled down and created a whole new generation of shoppers. One celebrity she says that has caused this phenomenon is Cheryl Cole.

Also a reason is the last decade that prices have fallen on high street clothing and the increase in the amount of online shopping that and while the quality of clothes have gone down the wardrobes have grown in size. In 2007 three pairs of jeans were being sold each second. Between 2001 and 2005 spending increased in womenswear by over 20% but individual garment prices decreased by over 14%.

There is less money available to spend so there is more of a focus on the price and on the different ranges that have design and quality. The Duchess of Cambridge is also said to have an affect on what is purchased. A day following the wedding she was dressed in a £50 Zara dress and that has since sold out online.