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Reflecting on a 2023 University of Leeds study into the durability of garments ranging in retail price from a few pounds to almost £100, Dr Mark Sumner, who played a central role in conducting the research, is keen that lessons are learned regarding the drivers of ‘fast fashion’ consumption behaviours.

The study’s findings indicate a total lack of correlation between the price paid for apparel and its durability.

In some instances high street garments with profit margins that could be as low as 10%, Sumner explains, outperformed luxury items that can net brands and retailers as much as a 400% mark-up.

Is the problem of ‘fast fashion’ exclusive to the low-price, high volume retailers? This research suggests not, with some overconsumption related to a lack of longevity evident in garments of all price points.


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