Introduction

The aim: Positively affect consumers’ buying, caring/repairing and disposing of clothing to help prolong garment life and divert clothing from incineration and landfill across Europe.

The expected outcome: To provide access to material and leanings to help engage European consumer audiences.

Why take action

With over 6 million tonnes of clothing wasted in the EU in 2015 we are looking to make improvements to clothing waste across the clothing life-cycle. From designers, manufacturers and retailers to consumers.

This action covers consumers engagement. How we can help consumers to buy, care/repair and dispose of clothing in a more sustainable way.  This works alongside another ECAP action for young consumers #LoveNotLandfill.

Key steps

  1. To understand consumer behaviours in Europe relating to buying, care/repair and disposal of clothing
  2. To develop material which can be used by organisations to develop their own behaviour change activities
  3. Provide information and leanings from activity to test various behaviour interventions
  4. Share material and findings

1. Understanding consumer behaviour in Europe

In 2015 we ran an EU Clothing Survey with a purpose to gather information around clothing related behaviours across four countries and at two points in time. Example insights include:

  • The Netherlands: Most likely to own a dryer. Least likely to want to learn repair skills
  • Germany: Less likely to own a repaired item of clothing. Most likely to own clothes they never wear
  • Denmark: Most unlikely to wash at 30°C. Less likely to check seams and what they need before purchase but keep their clothes for the longest time
  • Italy: Most likely to wash on cold setting or at 50°C. Most likely to air dry. They are also the most likely to check their wardrobes before they shop.

We are now (July 2019) in the process of running the second wave of the survey and later this year we will publish the results.  Here we will compare if and how behaviours have changed.  The four countries are Denmark, Germany, Italy and the Netherlands.

2. Behaviour change material for organisations 

We’ve created a consumer campaign pack filled with ready-made, practical communications materials, ideas and guidance to help you kick start your own consumer messaging.

The freely available pack includes messaging guidance and a series of campaign case studies and action plans to help you take action. Also included are social media and info-graphic templates, animated Gifs, posters and flyer templates, and more.

Download the Campaign Packs
View the Case Studies and Action Plans

The packs are based on materials and messages developed through WRAP’s successful Love Your Clothes campaign in the UK and adapted and tested with consumers in Germany, Italy, the Netherlands and Denmark.

3. Behaviour change interventions

Over the course of the ECAP project we have undertaken activity across Europe in order to positively influence behaviours of consumers across Europe when it comes to buying, caring for and disposing of clothing.  This has taken the form of developing material including helpful hints and tips on what they could be doing better and activity at the point of action (e.g. disposing of clothing) to remind consumers of their options.

Here are some of the activities. We will soon publish the outcomes, leanings and results via case studies on this page.

  • A test to understand if a promotional leaflet to households (in specific locations) could lead to an increase to the quantity of goods donated. 

4. Share materials and findings

In addition to the materials and case studies outlined above, we also ran an Consumer Engagement Webinar to share materials and findings from this action as well as the action for Engaging Young Consumers.

The presentation from the webinar can be found here.

A recording of the webinar can also be found here.