Nearly half of Brits admit they throw away clothing instead of donating to charity

31 August 2017        

Category: BHF Shops

two women smiling at shop

Shocking statistics have been released to mark the launch of the British Heart Foundation’s (BHF) Bag It Beat It campaign, encouraging consumers to donate to BHF shops throughout the month of September.

What our survey showed:

  • Nearly half of Brits admit they don’t have time or can’t be bothered to donate to charity (49%)
  • Nearly half of Brits (43%) admit to buying up to three new items a month
  • Over a quarter (29%) reveal they wouldn’t be caught dead in the same outfit twice
  • Two thirds (62%) of Brits haven’t worn up to half their wardrobe in the last year
  • A quarter (25%) still continue to buy something new online at least once a week
  • Over 260 million pieces of new clothing items are purchased every month in the UK, which equates to over 2 billion pieces of new items in the course of a year
  • Bits estimate the total cost of their wardrobe to be worth approximately a whopping £2,500
  • The rise of social media has resulted in more self-conscious consumers, with a quarter (25%) of Brits aged between 24-25 admitting that they don’t post images of themselves on social media wearing the same outfit twice.

Allison Swaine-Hughes, Retail Operations Director at the BHF, explains: “These results show us how important it is to think ethically and sustainably when buying and disposing of excess clothes. Our annual campaign, Bag It Beat It takes place throughout the month of September and this year we are hoping to receive 1 million bags full of unwanted items. This campaign is a great way to encourage customers to donate any good quality items to BHF shops to help us to fund life saving research to beat coronary heart disease, the UK’s single biggest killer.”

Consumer Psychologist and Founder of Style Psychology, Kate Nightingale adds: “The social pressure of staying current, shopping as social activity, and natural changes in human identity lead people to purchase more clothing than they actually need. The limited risk, i.e. low price and high accessibility, make this common pass-time even more appealing to the reward centres of the brain. 

"The BHF’s Bag It Beat It campaign offers not only more space in the wardrobe but allows for much needed catharsis and self-reflection in the process of clearing out. Top that with the psychological  and social benefits of this sustainable and ethical activity and it should be a no brainer whether to get involved in Bag It Beat It or not.”

Bag It Beat It

The BHF’s Bag It Beat It campaign launches on 1st September 2017 and takes place throughout the month of September. Customers are encouraged to donate good quality unwanted items such as clothes, accessories, shoes, bags and more to BHF shops to reach a goal of 1 million donated bags this year which will continue to help fund life saving heart research. BHF also offer a free collection service making donating completely hassle-free.