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.
This is an international phenomenon that’s spreading around the world, according to representative surveys commissioned by Greenpeace in China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Italy and Germany between December 2016 and March 2017.
The research institutes asked people about their shopping behaviour, motivation and emotions around buying new clothes. The results are published ahead of the Copenhagen Fashion Summit, the world’s leading industry forum for sustainable fashion.
‘Our surveys show that binge shopping is followed by an emotional hangover – made of emptiness, guilt and shame. People start to realise 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.’
Project lead of the Detox my Fashion campaign
Regularly buying too many clothes, shoes, bags and accessories is a widespread habit in all surveyed countries and regions. Especially striking in China and Hong Kong, but widespread also in Europe, a majority admit owning more clothes than they need. Many own brand new clothes with hangtags that have been never worn.
According to the survey, people don’t shop because they need anything, but mostly for social and emotional reasons such as relieving stress, boosting self confidence, gaining status and recognition, the excitement of shopping or spending time with friends.
A significant percentage of respondents qualify as ‘excessive shoppers’ who show traits of compulsive shopping behaviour and who buy more than they can afford.