Investment management firm Piper Jaffray's Taking Stock With Teens report found that clothing accounts for 21 percent of their budget. The average amount that upper income teens spend on clothes adds up to nearly $1,100 annually. Many of these clothes are so-called "fast-fashion", low-price, low-quality items meant to be worn for a short period of time. All that cheap clothing has a high cost, not just for the bank account, but for the environment.
According to CBC Marketplace, although many clothing stores have established in-store recycling programs and run ad campaigns suggesting the old clothes will be recycled into newer clothes, very few clothes end up anywhere outside the landfill. Instead, with many of the recycling programs offering coupons or discounts for consumers who drop off old clothing, these recycling programs seem to encourage even more spending.
In 2018, Deloitte reported that back to school shopping for tweens and teens reached $27.8 billion, with 98% being spent on clothing and accessories. Deloitte also reports that kids influenced $21 billion in spending. And the cost of beauty products they buy may be even more eye-watering for parents. According to The Fashion Law, make-up and skincare are gaining wallet share with teens shelling out an average of $368 per year.
Purchasing higher quality clothing, or shopping at thrift stores is not only a great way to save money, but also the environment. A recent trend is to throw clothing parties, where friends swap clothing they no longer wear. And you can always take it a step further with sewing classes so you can update or refresh some quality items.