We conducted the opinion poll in cooperation with the ARC Market and Opinion research company on a representative group of Poles. This allowed us to gather up-to-date information about the use of clothes, as well as the public’s awareness of the topic of prolonging the life of clothes. We investigated how often Poles repair their clothes, how they do it and what are the barriers that hold them back.


  • Poles are aware that throwing away clothes can have a negative impact on the environment.
  • 80 per cent of Poles believe that repairing clothes can have a positive impact on the environment.
  • Poles want to learn how to repair and alter garments.
  • 71 per cent of people would like to have access to a compendium of clothing repair knowledge.
  • For 73 per cent of Poles, clothes repair skills are something everyone should have.
  • The disposal of clothes is most often determined by wear and tear or damage.
  • People who don’t repair clothes most often don’t have the required skills.
  • The term ‘upcycling’ is unknown to 65 per cent of Poles.
  • 91 per cent of Poles have basic clothing repair tools at home.
  • Many people replace damaged clothes with new ones, and as many as 87 per cent will choose to buy a new pair of jeans, if the cost of repair is close to the price of the trousers in the shop.

Find out more from our report

download the PDF report(5.30 MB)


80 per cent of Poles believe that repairing clothes can have a positive impact on the environment.

In recent years, the fashion industry has faced significant challenges in terms of the need to make real changes and to take responsibility for the impact that clothing manufacturers have on the environment. One of the key directions for change is the promotion of clothing longevity and the principle of ‘care & repair’ as a response to mass production and rapidly changing trends that generate huge amounts of textile waste. Increased consumer awareness is leading more and more companies to recognise the need to initiate actions that can make a real difference to the behaviour of their customers and create new, more sustainable habits in their everyday behaviour. In addition to the introduction of practices that promote repairing and prolonging the life of products, specific legal regulations that can realistically influence consumers’ choices and companies’ actions are also crucial. Legal frameworks, such as the ‘right to repair’, aimed at obliging manufacturers to create more durable and repairable products, are fundamental to accelerate the transformation towards sustainability.

The term ‘upcycling’ is unknown to 65 per cent of Poles.
Małgorzata Czudak

Our society has now become accustomed to the phenomenon of recycling, to which not only clothes are subjected – since it is a waste treatment process that allows certain materials to be reused for new products and is one way of protecting the environment, thanks to which we can reduce the amount of rubbish. A new phenomenon has emerged in recent years: ‘upcycling’. As the survey shows, it is so far known to a small group of consumers. Mature people, especially those over 50, have not encountered the term. So what is upcycling? It is a form of waste processing that results in products with a higher value. Examples include bags or backpacks sewn from advertising banners, which are printed on durable substrates. We can also upcycle clothing, of course. (…) The result is not only not wasting and not throwing things away, but above all protecting the environment. Many people are still unaware of what happens to their clothes once they have been thrown away. And these do not just vanish into thin air.

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Many people replace damaged clothes with new ones, and as many as 87 per cent will decide to buy a new pair of jeans if the repair cost is close to the price of the trousers in the shop.

Until the middle of the last century, repairing and reworking clothes was a common practice. In recent years, however, these habits have changed enormously, with fewer and fewer consumers trying to repair damaged clothes, preferring to throw them away and buy new ones.

There may be several reasons for these changes. First of all, a hundred years ago, owning clothes had a much higher value, because they were less available and many people could not afford to buy them often. Today, the ubiquity of mass fashion has made clothes more attainable both physically and materially. (…) However, clothes are discarded and replaced by new ones not only for practical reasons. Other reasons (which consumers are usually less willing to admit) are related to psychological factors. The very process of buying and wearing new clothes generates positive emotions in many people, and some see it as a way of improving a bad mood (hence the sometimes used term ‘shopping therapy’). (…) Another barrier (although less frequently perceived and expressed by consumers) to extending the life of clothes can be negative stereotypes and fear of social judgement.

Poles want to learn how to repair and rework clothes.

Small changes in habits, such as repairing damaged shoes or clothes instead of throwing them away, can make a significant difference to the environment and the future of our planet. These actions are extremely important because their main purpose is not only to promote appropriate behaviour, but above all to educate the public. Education that lays the foundations for understanding the need for change and enables people to consciously shape their daily habits and make reasoned purchasing choices. By supporting these activities, each of us contributes to building a more sustainable future, where resources are respected and environmental impact is minimised.


Read the report from the 1st edition of the campaign: "Care For Clothes"