Returns by online shoppers will have risen by 27.3 per cent in the five years to 2023, according to industry analyst GlobalData, with the apparel and footwear sector accounting for the lion’s share.

The value of unwanted goods being returned by online consumers by then will total £5.6 billion (US$7.25 billion) a year – adding massively to retailers’ carbon emissions.

Emily Salter, a retail analyst at GlobalData, says this pattern is “unsurprising due to the importance of fit” in fashion - however fit is far from the only reason for returns.

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