Rebirth Fashion: Community-based collaborative consumption I

Dr Eunsuk Hur – School of Design, Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Cultures

Responsive Mode Impact Fund

The UK is Europe’s fourth-largest textile waste producer. According to the UK parliamentary report in 2019, a million tonnes of textiles are wasted each year in the country. Despite high donation rates at charity stores, over 300,000 tonnes of clothing ends up in household bins every year, with approximately 20% going to landfill and the rest ending up at an incinerator plant. One of the most efficient ways to reduce clothing items’ environmental footprint is to extend product life. Current charities, clothing swaps or rental models often offer a viable way to do so on a small scale. Although several studies have investigated consumer drivers and motivations when engaging in secondhand consumption, the roles of charities and community-based small businesses in shaping sustainable consumption are not well understood. Through the collaboration of a charity, Oxfam, and a local clothing exchange community group, this project investigates how donated secondhand clothing can be more effectively redistributed, reused or upcycled by local communities and citizens, finding new strategic pathways and leveraging social innovation for the circular economy. The findings will enable the building of a road map for community-based collaborative consumption and assist entrepreneurs and charities to utilise secondhand goods to an optimal degree.

Dr Hur can be contacted on e.s.hur@leeds.ac.uk