Britons could spend more than £2.7 billion this year on tens of millions of summer outfits they will wear only once, a survey suggests.

Consumers are set to spend £800 million on 10 million wedding outfits they will wear once, £700 million on single-use holiday clothes, and millions more on items for events such as barbecues, festivals and balls or other formal events, the poll for Barnardo’s indicates.

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It found that one in four people is embarrassed to wear an outfit to a special occasion more than once, rising to 37 percent of 16 to 24-year-olds, with the children’s charity suggesting that “this needs to change”.


Just 12 percent of over-55s reported feeling any embarrassment over wearing an outfit more than once. More than half of consumers said buying new clothes for a festival or holiday added to the excitement of the build-up.

In response, Barnardo’s is launching an in-store booklet with tips on finding and styling occasion wear from its shops. It is also releasing a short film with tips from experts on sustainable fashion.

The charity is urging people to consider “pre-loved” clothes or visit its shops for second-hand options to cut the estimated 50.3 million single-use outfits expected to be bought this year, warning that current levels of throwaway fashion are “wasteful, expensive and unsustainable”.

Barnardo’s chief executive Javed Khan said: “Choosing to buy pre-loved clothes for a special occasion from a Barnardo’s shop is kinder to the environment and your wallet, getting more wear out of clothes which might otherwise only be worn once and end up in landfill.

“Buying from Barnardo’s also means you will be helping to transform the lives of vulnerable children across the UK.” Censuswide surveyed 2,000 people aged 16 and over online between June 3 and 5.

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Josie Clarke is the PA consumer affairs correspondent.