The Naked Truth About Fashion Week

London Fashion Week puts couture centre stage every September. But with an estimated 10,000 items of clothing sent to landfill every 5 minutes,* Gumtree bared all to spotlight the naked truth about cyclical fashion trends and to challenge shoppers to think 'why' before they buy.

Gumtree's naked protest outside London Fashion Week

Ahead of the launch of the latest looks for Spring/Summer 2024, Gumtree staged a naked protest at the home of London Fashion Week. Armed with placards, the protestors highlighted new research** that found nearly 1 in 2 (47%) people agree Fashion Week is a central cause in promoting the overconsumption of clothes. Almost the same number (46%) say the event is outdated amidst the current environmental crisis.

“We’re calling on Britain’s top fashion houses to recognise their impact and influence on our consumption habits,’ said Gumtree’s CEO, Hugh Hurley.

“The UK fashion industry has the power to change our toxic relationship with textile waste – and now is the time to act. The public love affair with fast cyclical fashion is waning as awareness of the environmental crisis grows. Consumers want more sustainable choices, and those at the top of the fashion industry have a responsibility to ensure sustainability is embraced at every stage of the buying journey – from catwalk to shop floor. Together, we need to communicate that fashion choices don’t have to cost the earth.”

Think second-hand first

Gumtree’s research also discovered shoppers want a greater focus on sustainable styles. More than half (51%) would like pre-loved fashion to command a greater space on the catwalk. And the majority (73%) want fashion brands to be more transparent about their sustainability efforts and policies.

With the average person receiving 10 alerts every week from fast fashion brands, there’s daily pressure to make purchases of new clothing. And with more than 1 in 3 (37%) admitting they regret rash buys, these items are costing the planet and our pockets.

The second-hand capsule wardrobe

When it comes to our shopping habits, over two-thirds (68%) of people will automatically look to buy clothes new from retailers rather than consider second-hand options. However, Gumtree data shows that buying pre-loved staple clothing can be kinder to your pocket and the environment. 

The average cost of purchasing 11 key wardrobe items – from jeans to boots – new is a whopping £784, compared to just £388 if a person bought the same clothes second-hand on Gumtree.***

Plus, buying the items new would generate the same carbon footprint as heating your home daily for 5 years. If every person in London did this, it would generate the equivalent CO2 emissions as 1,366 flights around the world.

Wardrobe stapleHigh street cost newSecond-hand cost on Gumtree*CO2e produced when item bought new
Jeans£63.50£1925.4 kg
Coats/Jackets£91.47£3536.7 kg
Dresses£50.95£2720.4 kg
Shirts/tops£24£109.6 kg
Sunglasses£65.40£5435.3 kg
Watches£96.81£8252.3 kg
Cardigans/jumpers£62.50£1925 kg
Handbags£57.63£4411.7 kg
Boots£116.38£3252.2 kg
Trousers£60.56£1624.3 kg
Trainers£94.81£5025.4 kg
TOTAL£784.01£388318.3 kg
Table 1: Wardrobe staples average cost to buy new, buy second and CO2e generated when bought new

Second-Hand September Challenge

With 39% of people admitting they never buy pre-loved clothing, we’re encouraging everyone this September to shop and list more second-hand clothes on our site. And if you include #SecondHandFirst in your free listing, you’ll be entered into a prize draw. Two lucky winners will receive a £500 cash prize each. For full details click on the banner below.

*Keep Britain Tidy research 2021
**Unless stated otherwise, all research conducted by Censuswide on behalf of Gumtree of 2,000 nationally representative consumers aged 16+ between 25-29 August 2023.
*** Internal Gumtree data, August 2022-August 2023