Study suggests British people throw away £2.2 billion worth of homeware each year


25% of British people said that keeping up with homeware trends is important to them, however, they’re throwing away almost 70 million homeware items every year, according to a new study by Hammonds Furniture.

Almost one in ten people (9%) throw away unwanted furniture, cushions, lamps and more – amounting to 69.9 million items every year. The study also shows that despite Gen Z (18 -24 year olds) claiming to be sustainably minded, they‘re buying and throwing away items for their homes more frequently than other age groups.

The textiles industry is one of the largest polluting industries in the world.

Overall, an estimated £2.2 billion worth of homeware items are being sent to landfill each year. The study surveyed 2,000 UK adults on their attitudes towards buying new homewares, as well as how often they dispose of old home décor items, and how they do this.

When it comes to furnishing their homes, the survey shows that Brits only purchase larger homeware items such as mirrors (51%) and rugs (49%) every few years. However, many will invest in smaller and lower-cost homeware items at least once a year, with 39% purchasing cushions once a year, and 38% getting new bed linen annually.

25% say that keeping up with homeware trends is important to them, with a further 25% often buying trendy homeware items they saw on social media.

Younger generations are more invested in keeping up with new trends, as 36% of 18–24-year-olds stated that this is important to them, and 44% said they regularly buy trendy home décor after seeing it online.

The need for change has never been more pressing.

When purchasing homeware, finding high-quality and durable items was cited as a top priority for two-thirds (66%) of Brits. Whether an item matches their current décor (56%) and cost (48%) are also key factors that consumers consider when shopping.

Almost half (45%) state that they would like to invest in more sustainable and ethical homeware but cannot afford to. However, three quarters (75%) admit that they do not research into brand’s sustainability before buying from them.

Design Manager at sustainable fabrics designer ILIV, Debbie Leigh, said: “The textiles industry is one of the largest polluting industries in the world, contributing around 10% of all global carbon emissions and twenty-one billion tonnes of industrial waste. The dyeing and finishing processes used in textile mills account for almost 20% of the global industrial water pollutants found in water supplies.

“According to the 2019 Textiles Market Situation Report conducted by WRAP, approximately 900,000 tonnes of textile waste is sent to landfill or incinerated in the UK each year. With homewares textiles contributing to over 40% of this frightening figure.

“The need for change has never been more pressing and thankfully consumers are becoming more aware of the dangers of fast homeware and the effect it has on our environment.”

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