British Fashion Council: 23 million returned garments destroyed in the UK last year

True Fit’s Sarah Curran is among fashion leaders interviewed to help identify actionable solutions to fashion’s product-return problem.

According to a new report from The British Fashion Council’s Institute of Positive Fashion (IPF), 23 million returned garments were sent to landfill or incinerated in the UK last year alone – representing 75% of the 3% of returns that can not be resold. The result? Reduced profits and more importantly: approximately 750,000 tonnes of CO₂ emissions. 


With poor fit and inconsistent sizing ranking as leading causes of apparel and footwear returns, IPF reached out to True Fit’s Global CMO Sarah Curran, to uncover ways to “track and reduce [the] environmental footprint” of fashion retail, as a response to “increased pressure coming from government, consumers, and an overall sense of social responsibility.”

“As an industry, we have to appreciate that the lack of sizing consistency is leading to an environmental issue, whereby the customers need to return the products that don’t match, although they had expected them to,” Sarah is quoted in the report. 

A recent article in the Retail Gazette brings insights from the report to light: “Large retailers with approximately 70% of sales coming from their website, could reduce cost of returns handling by 20-40% with the introduction of sizing calculators and avatars.”


From canceling “free returns” to incorporating better fit guidance to the shopping experience – real change is needed across the industry to reduce the environmental impact of returns.

To get your copy of the IPF report or to chat with the True Fit sales team about how you can help prevent wasteful, costly returns, please reach out below.

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