Garment Longevity in the UK High Street

Alana James, Alison Gwilt

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review


Through a circular economy lens, this essay explores the ways in which UK producers and consumers can extend the life of high street fashion garments. In the UK the sale of mass produced fashion products has typically been the domain of the high street retailers. Traditionally items sold in this market are designed for aesthetic appeal, and they are frequently constructed from inexpensive materials that keep the items affordable and (easily) replaceable. However, despite enticing consumers with lower price points the UK high street has been in rapid decline, with retailers encountering decreasing profits and country-wide store closures. Although UK consumers are still purchasing fashion products, over recent years their shopping preferences, needs and demands have changed.

In this essay we explore the notion of circularity as an alternative to the linear production and consumption model that currently dominates the UK high street. We highlight some of the new business concepts and industry initiatives that are supporting UK producers and consumers to transform their perception and behavioural patterns towards the creation and use of fashion products. Further, we reflect on how engaging with circularity may be able to provide new opportunities for the UK high street.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationGlobal Perspectives on Sustainable Fashion
ISBN (Electronic)9781350058170
ISBN (Print)9781350058132
Publication statusPublished - 7 Feb 2019


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