According to data released by circular economy platform Gumtree, more than half (53%) of consumers believe London Fashion Week is responsible for creating a focus on ‘of the moment’ trends that ultimately contribute to more fast fashion waste.

The findings come as 46% of adults say they have been driven to purchase new garments as a result of the event, with 23% having turned to the high street to replicate styles seen on the runway (rising to 42% of Gen-Zs).

This demand to stay ‘on trend’ is having a damaging effect, as 41% of younger generations (Gen-Zs and Millennials) agree the pressure to purchase new clothes is feeding into their climate anxiety.

The majority of adults (54%) see responsibility lying with brands and designers to change the fashion industry for the better. Nearly three-quarters (73%) want brands to be more transparent about their sustainability efforts and policies.

What can London Fashion Week do to win consumers over?

More than half (51%) of Gumtree’s respondents would like to see pre-loved fashion command a bigger space on the catwalk. The same figure (51%) agrees designers should encourage second-hand purchasing by reusing items from previous seasons.

In addition, 57% want fashion brands to use events like Fashion Week to highlight how clothes can be repurposed.

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Overall, the majority (56%) would prefer the event and wider fashion marketing to focus more on timeless wardrobe staples that can be reused year after year.

Alongside the second-hand clothing sector, the apparel rental market is also set to benefit from increased consumer environmentalism. It was valued at $4.9bn in 2022 and is expected to achieve a CAGR of more than 19% by 2026.

Gumtree staged a protest featuring naked demonstrators outside London Fashion Week. Featuring placards with stats on the circular economy and how second-hand fashion can help tackle the always-on fashion culture in Britain, the re-commerce platform is urging consumers across the UK to think second-hand first.

Gumtree chief marketing officer Hannah Rouch commented: “More than a fifth of us (23%) feel pressure to purchase new items to keep up with trends, therefore we’re calling on the world’s leading fashion houses and designers to lead the charge and ensure what’s trending is sustainable. We have a collective responsibility to put an end to ‘wear it once’ culture once and for all.”