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Overconsumption of fashion a global phenomenon: Greenpeace Survey

A recent survey states overconsumption of fashion has become an international phenomenon. More than half consumers in Europe and Asia are buying more clothes than they need and use. Despite having sufficient clothing, the younger generation is shopping for fulfilment and encouragement by social media and the ease of online shopping.

Compulsive fashion shoppers regularly overspend on new clothes in spite of not being able to use them, with post-shopping excitement often turning into guilt after less than a day, says a study commissioned by Greenpeace in China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Italy and Germany from December 2016 to March 2017. The survey was carried out amongst 1,000 people 20 to 45 year old in China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Italy and Germany.

A large number of respondents agreed to overconsumption of clothes with 60 per cent in China, 60 per cent in Germany, 51 per cent in Italy, 68 per cent in Hong Kong and 54 per cent in Taiwan. The survey indicated young shoppers are lured to purchase while browsing social media with 72 per cent in China, 23 per cent in Germany, 63 per cent in Hong Kong, 36 per cent in Italy and 55 per cent in Taiwan agreeing to it.

Kirsten Brodde, Project Lead, Greenpeace Detox my Fashion campaign says the surveys reveals binge shopping is followed by an emotional hangover - made of emptiness, guilt and shame. People start realising they are trapped in an unsatisfying cycle of cheap, disposable fashion trends and that their overconsumption does not lead to lasting happiness. This should serve as a warning to companies and advertisers that promote the current fast fashion model. Fast fashion clothing brands should radically change their business model by shifting focus away from high volume production towards quality and durability. Brodde further added that broken fashion system, companies spend billions of ad dollars to sell us false dreams of happiness, beauty and connection tied to shopping products.