Insta-envy Epidemic Fuelled by Fast Fashion and Social Media – vInspired Launch Event #GetTrashed at Ministry of Sound

The other week I wrote about a great event which was held yesterday at the Ministry of Sound called the Car Boot Disco which I wished I could have gone to. The photos looked like it was a fab event and really sends out an important message that we don’t need to throw out our old clothes but if we get creative we could potentially same 10,000 before February next year from landfills. A staggering number I’m sure you will agree.

Instagram, social media and celebrity culture are driving 16-25 year olds to spend hundreds of pounds each month on fast fashion whilst contributing to the thousands of items going into landfill each year, says youth charity vInspired

• Almost half (46%) of young people in the UK admit to having “Insta-envy” – being jealous of their friends and celebrities outfits, driven by regularly using social media such as Instagram, Facebook and Tumblr.
• 47% of 16-25 year olds are spending on average £100 each month trying to emulate the style of their idols including Alexa Chung, Kim Kardashian and David Beckham.
• The time preceding X Factor is the prime period for online clothes purchases, with 43% of young people admitting to buying clothes at this time.
• Interestingly, 60% of youngsters surveyed said they felt guilty about buying fast fashion for ethical reasons, pointing towards a potential sea change in purchasing decisions.
• The research comes on the back of yesterday’s launch party at the Ministry of Sound for vInspired’s Get Trashed campaign that aims to inspire young people to save over 10,000 clothes from landfill before February 2014 via swapping parties.

Celebrity culture and an obsession with social media are causing young people to spend thousands of pounds a year on fast fashion – driven by a new craze coined ‘Insta-Envy’ a study by youth charity vInspired has found.

New social media fashion phenomenon: Insta-Envy

Nearly half of youngsters (47%) admit to spending an average of almost £1,000 per year on clothes in a bid to imitate stars like Alexa Chung, David Beckham and Kanye West – with over two thirds (68%) of these making their purchases at shops that produce low cost ‘fast fashion’ – major stores, chains & brands that are popular on every British High Street up and down the country.

The trend is causing more and more items of clothing to go into landfill, something vInspired is aiming to combat. 80% of those surveyed said they had no idea that a third of all clothing items bought in the UK ended up in landfill, with 54% highlighting that they would be more inclined to swap clothes if recycling events were more accessible.

Alexa Chung tops list of envied celebrities by style-seeking youngsters

Alexa Chung tops the list of most-copied celebrities copies, beating off stiff competition from Cheryl Cole, Rihanna and Nicole Scherzinger. For the boys it was old favourites like David Beckham and Dermot O’Leary beating younger stars like Tinie Tempah and Kanye West to be named the biggest fashion inspiration for boys.

Whilst the craze is ensuring a tribe of fashion conscious young people, it’s preventing them from saving for important life events with 21% of those surveyed saying ‘Insta-Envy’ keeps them from saving for a house and almost half (48%) saying that not being able to save is preventing them from moving on with their life.

The research pointed to the insight into stars’ wardrobes from social networking site Instagram – now more than ever a place to see not only what your favourite star is up to, but what they are wearing when they do it – and 46% of 16-25 year olds admitting that they suffer from the affliction coined ‘Insta-Envy’. Young people are checking Instagram and fashion blogs on average three times a day to ensure that they are keeping up with the latest fashion trends. (See below for all results).

Television directly & immediately influences youngsters’ shopping habits

vInspired’s research into the lives of 2,000 young people also uncovered that there is a time in the day that is most popular for buying items online – and it is in the evening. This occurs following TV shows like the X Factor and Keeping up with the Kardashians with 43% of young people hitting their laptops after these shows have finished further supporting the need to look like popular celebrities.

But it’s not all bad news, a healthy percentage of the people surveyed (24%) say that they buy the majority of their wardrobe from places like charity shops, retro stores or as hand-me-downs from friends and even parents. One surprising statistic was that nearly 1/10 (8%) of those surveyed claimed their parents were their biggest style inspiration.

Yesterday’s #GetTrashed @ Car Boot Disco at Ministry of Sound changes hearts & minds

Car Boot Disco

Spanglewear customises outfits during vInspired’s Car Boot Disco at the Ministry of Sound to launch ‘Get Trashed’, a campaign aimed at encouraging young people to save over 10,000 clothing items from landfill before February 2014

The research comes on the back of vInspired’s Get Trashed campaign that aims to save over 10,000 clothes from landfill before February 2014. Launched yesterday (24th November) at the Ministry of Sound the event saw hundreds of young people coming together to swap clothes in a fashion and music party.

The campaign, which is part of vInspired’s Do Something UK programme, will aim to create a tribe of young people dedicated to re-using, recycling and having fun – whilst looking good at the same time. Young people will feel part of a movement, putting the issue of waste front of mind – empowering them to run their own events and spread the message via social media and word-of-mouth.

Terry Ryall, vInspired Chief Executive, said: “Fast fashion might be cheap, but it comes with a cost. A cost to UK landfills, a cost to the global environment, and often a cost to human life. We want to change the way young people think about disposable fashion – and this survey of Britain’s young people, this weekend’s Get Trashed Car Boot Disco event at Ministry of Sound and our broader campaign is the start of what we hope will be a major difference.

“It was brilliant to see hundreds of young people come to our event on Sunday; and to see all of them were engaged with learning more about re-styling, re-mixing and customising their clothes – instead of throwing old items into landfill.”

vInspired is encouraging young people to save as many items from landfill as they can, and save money at the same time, by getting involved in swapping parties or reviving clothes via customisation.

Car Boot Disco

Use It Up. Wear It Out customise outfits during vInspired’s Car Boot Disco at the Ministry of Sound to launch ‘Get Trashed’, a campaign aimed at encouraging young people to save over 10,000 clothing items from landfill before February 2014

Speaking about the study acclaimed Fashion Commentator Grace Woodward said: “I’m not surprised to see that Instagram is fuelling the need young people have to copy the style of their idols. It’s an easy and accessible way to see what stars are wearing, get tips on what is on trend and keep up with what friends are wearing. We can clearly see that celebrity culture is ensuring a new generation of young people are growing up on a diet of fast fashion, however a growing number are rebelling and looking at to customisation and swapping to ensure they are unique in their style”.

For more information and how to host your own swapping party please visit


Guest show their clothes at the People of Print screen printing stand vInspired’s Car Boot Disco at the Ministry of Sound to launch ‘Get Trashed’, a campaign aimed at encouraging young people to save over 10,000 clothing items from landfill before February 2014

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