Despite the average wardrobe containing 152 items of clothing, most British women still complain they have nothing to wear on a regular basis.
That’s according to a new study by Marks & Spencer’s, and let’s face it, who can disagree? We all know that feeling of standing in front of our wardrobes first thing in the morning in despair. The research shows that of the 152 items we own, we wear just 44 per cent of them regularly. That’s a staggering 3.6 billion items of clothing left unworn across the nation!
And as if that wasn’t enough to make you reconsider wardrobe etiquette, take a moment to think of the personal strain it is having on your life. British Women will spend almost six months of their working life deciding what to wear, with cluttered wardrobes and anxiety about wearing the right outfit leading to ‘wardrobe rage’ – a condition characterised by irrational tantrums about not having anything they want to wear.
The poll was commissioned by M&S, who are partnering with Oxfam to encourage people to donate – or ‘Shwop’ – their unused or unwanted clothing to clear out their wardrobes. Fashion stylist Bay Garnett said: “We all need a regular closet detox: it helps us to not only easily choose what to wear, but also clear our mind.
“Opening our wardrobes in the morning can bring a startling range of emotions. Why do we put ourselves through it? We need to start thinking about dressing for the present – for the size we are now, for the job we’re in now.
“It’s a process of streamlining and getting rid of some past negativity before we add anything new. Shwopping these items will not only make your wardrobe more manageable for the first time in years, but also make your mind instantly clearer.”
Marks & Spencer and Oxfam are calling on the nation to edit their wardrobes and release the power of good in their once-loved items of clothing, if all these items were donated, it could be worth over £2.7 billion. Even if just a fraction of these clothes were donated, Oxfam could help hundreds of thousands of people around the world out of poverty. Just £5 raised from the sale of a shwopped cardigan could provide safe water for five people.
Joanna Lumley, M&S’s Shwopping ambassador said: “I have seen first-hand how a humble old pair of trousers can help to build a community for women, or provide clean, running water to those without it.
“We are a nation that holds onto everything, because we feel it may be of use to us again, but it won’t. By tidying your wardrobe regularly, you will not only get a tidy mind, but also a clear conscience by Shwopping.”