Mental Health

Mandy Kloppers

The UK wastes 745.4 million kilograms of fabric per year – the same weight as 355 London Eye’s

Fast fashion is not ecologically sound

  • Lucy & Yak has conducted research which reveals that the UK wastes 745.4 million kilograms of fabric per year, the equivalent weight of 355 London Eye’s.
  • Searches for ‘how bad is fast fashion for the environment’ have increased by 200% over the last 12 months
  • Lucy & Yak share their tips towards upcycling your clothes to help the environment

Lucy & Yak has conducted research which reveals that the UK wastes 745.4 million kilograms of fabric per year, the equivalent weight of 355 London Eye’s.

Fabrics can take as long as 200 years to decompose and the effects of fabric waste heavily impacts water usage, increases microfibres and greenhouse gases, and affects deforestation around the globe[1].

To show the impact our actions are having on the environment, Lucy & Yak have compared Europe’s fashion waste (kg) to the weight of their famous local landmark (kg).


Fabric wasted per year (kg)

Local Landmark

Local landmark weight (kg)

Number of landmarks reproduced from fabric waste per year

United Kingdom

745.4 million

London Eye

2.1 million



744.8 million

Eiffel Tower

10.1 million



652.3 million

Leaning tower of Pisa

14.5 million



913.7 million

Fernsehturm Berlin

30.8 million



112.6 million

Dom Luis Bridge

3 million


Every day the UK wastes the same amount of fabric as the weight of one London Eye.

Other European countries wasting tonnes of fabrics include France, who send a total of 744.8 million kilograms of fabric to waste. This equates to the weighted equivalent of 74 Eiffel Towers every year.

Germany wastes a massive 913.7 million kilograms of fabric every year which will sit in landfills to decompose over the next two centuries. This amount of fabric is the weighted equivalent of 30 Fernsehturm’s every year.

This data, conducted by Lucy and Yak, reveals a stark and prevalent issue amongst the European fashion industry which is having a large detrimental effect on the environment.

Act now to save our environment and societies

Priscilla Oshunremi from Yayzy shares her thoughts on the environmental impact of putting clothes into landfill: “It can take over 200 years for the materials to fully decompose. We must remember that this process is very harmful to the environment; they generate greenhouse gases, toxic fumes and chemicals leak into our soil and water.

“The issue is the term ‘fast’. It is too fast, and the model is linear. The term doesn’t take into consideration the afterlife of the product and doesn’t respect the concept of fashion and materials. It is too fast and too furious.

From an environmental perspective: If we act now, we can learn to enjoy fashion for what it is – a mode of expression. This way, we can see better behaviours in our shopping decisions like renting, borrowing, and alternating being embedded in society.”

Lucy Greenwood, founder of Lucy and Yak adds “The impact of fast-fashion upon our environment is shocking. Consumers need to fall in love with their clothes again and realise the versatility our fabrics can offer.

“Swap clothes with your friends, re-purpose your old items into something new and recycle your unwanted items to charity shops so there is much less risk of them being sent to landfill, where they will stay for a long time to come.”

For more information about the impact of fabrics on the environment, visit: