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Could you take a shopping break?

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By Fiona Reid
Could you take a shopping break?

REGULAR shoppers in the region are being urged to consider taking a break from buying new clothes.

More participants are wanted for the Fashion Detox Challenge, created by Dr Emma Kidd, a sustainability researcher at Glasgow Caledonian University.

She wants to address overconsumption and reduce clothing waste and is calling on habitual shoppers to take a ten week break.

Over 300 people from around the world, including Scotland and England, have so far taken part.

And their ‘detox diaries’ have revealed that regular buying is actually a way of coping with stress and anxiety.

Many participants admitted to being trapped in a cycle of constant buying and feeling emotionally vulnerable.

They reported feeling as if they had “nothing to wear” despite having wardrobes, drawers and cupboards overflowing with clothes.

And they said they used shopping to alleviate negative feelings, including a lack of confidence, low self-esteem, and a fear of social judgement.

Dr Kidd said: “People are hooked into patterns of overconsumption and the hook is often a fear of missing out or a fear of being unhappy or uncomfortable.

“It’s clear that amassing new clothes does not bring lasting happiness and satisfaction, so we need to sell the benefits of buying less.”

Figures show that more than 100 billion garments are sold every year but less than one per cent will be recycled into new clothing.

Consumers are constantly provoked by year-round sales, time-pressured discounts, pay-later schemes, Instagram influencers and aggressive digital marketing, says Dr Kidd.

She added: “Time-limited sales and constant discounts carry an underlying message that the clothes you own will never be enough.

“If we’re serious about reducing the pace of clothing consumption, marketing like that needs to be confronted and addressed.”Many of those taking part said they felt happier and calmer after the break and most adopted more sustainable clothing practices, such as repairing old clothes, buying second-hand items or swapping garments with friends.

To find out more and sign up, visit

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