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Men more eco-aware than women on fashion buys – survey

This may surprise you, but a new Timberland survey says that men spend more eco-consciously on their wardrobes. In fact, men outspend women generally with the survey showing that consumers in the US on average spend $250 a month on fashion – but men spend $310.50, while for women it’s $187.20.

The company spoke to 1,000 people and found that overall, 67% consumers care “at least a little” about eco-conscious fashion, but men are 52% more likely than women to say they care a lot about it.

Some 55% of consumers said that at least some of their current wardrobe is eco-conscious and 41% of respondents are motivated to buy ‘green’ because they feel good when they buy something that helps a cause. Another top motivator is knowing the product minimises any negative impact on the environment (36%).

But it’s interesting that while men are more likely to buy eco, they’re also more likely to do so out of self interest. As many as 28% buy eco-conscious clothes because they want other people to know they care about the environment, compared to only 17% for women. And 17% of men said that wearing eco clothing “brings social cred, as they say they are motivated to buy eco-fashion because they like posting their styles on social media,” versus only 8% of women.

The top eco-aware material they all go for is organic cotton, or at least cotton produced in a way that minimises environmental impacts (47%). This is followed by renewable materials like bamboo, hemp and wood pulp (34%) and recycled PET like plastic bottles (30%).

But as with other surveys, a large number of those spoken to said that one key factor preventing them being more green is cost. As many as 38% said eco-conscious clothes seems to be more expensive than the alternative. And 33% also said they don’t know where to look to find such products, but 79% want brands and retailers to offer more of them.

But one piece of good news is that the landfill message seems to be getting through with 70% of consumers saying that donating clothes to charity is the top way to get rid of them. And 36% give clothes away to friends or family, while 28% choose to recycle them.

But women have the edge on men when it comes to disposing of clothes in an environmentally-responsible way and are 14% more likely than men to donate old clothes (74% vs 65%), whereas men are 82% more likely than women to throw their old clothes away (31% vs 17%).

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