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London Tops the List as the Biggest Sustainable Fashion Hub


ARKA.com has ranked the biggest cities leading in sustainable fashion in their recent data. The ranking is based on thrift store counts, search interest in sustainable fashion, and key metrics like Sustainability and Recycling Rates. Each city is assigned a score based on these criteria. The sustainability score was calculated by giving the number of thrift shops, searches for thrift stores, and searches for sustainable clothing a scale of 0 to 100 for each city. Then these numbers were added to the city’s sustainability rate and recycling rate percentages to get a final score. The cities were ranked in descending  order. 

London tops the list as the biggest sustainable fashion hub with an index score of 309.47. Being a home to 200 thrift stores and significant online interest in sustainable clothing for search terms like “thrift stores” or “sustainable fashion”, it shows a growing tendency towards second-hand fashion.  London’s notable sustainability rate of 81.65% and a high recycling rate further secure the city’s position in the ranking. 

New York secures the second spot with an impressive score of 272.33, thanks to its leading online interest in sustainable fashion by highest search volume in terms like “thrift stores”, “vintage stores near me”, “sustainable fashion”. This high level of engagement with vintage fashion, thrift stores, and eco-friendly clothing, along with a significant number of thrift stores, positions New York prominently in the rankings.

Berlin takes the third position with a score of 206.46, highlighted by the highest recycling rate of 49.80%. With 160 thrift stores and a notable sustainability rate of 83.36%, Berlin stays at the top of the ranking.

Copenhagen lands in fourth place with a total index of 188.08. It leads in sustainable fashion by the highest sustainability rate among the cities at 85.68%. Copenhagen’s status as a sustainable city is further supported  by a considerable number of thrift stores and a strong recycling rate, making it a model for sustainable fashion practices.

Paris ranks fifth with an index score of 183.57. Paris mixes its famous fashion history, eco-friendly practices with a high number of thrift stores and an interest in sustainable fashion online. The city’s solid sustainability rate alongside its recycling efforts secures its position among the top cities for sustainable fashion.

Stockholm claims the sixth spot with a score of 182.03, thanks to its excellent sustainability rate of 85.98%. The city’s strong focus on sustainability is reflected in its good recycling practices and many thrift stores, making it a leading city in green fashion.

Dublin takes the seventh spot with a score of 161.09, highlighted by its strong recycling rate and numerous thrift stores. Dublin has one of the highest numbers of vintage stores at 140 and a high recycling rate, securing the city’s position on the list.

Vienna secures the eighth position with a score of 159.03. The city’s commitment to sustainable fashion is seen in its balanced sustainability and recycling rates. Vienna matches Dublin with the count of thrift stores, but has lower numbers in searches and environmental rankings which positions the city lower in the ranking.

Edinburgh secures the ninth position with a score of 149.82. Mirroring London’s recycling rates Edinburgh secures a place in the ranking showing growing interest in sustainability in the United Kingdom. Its lower position in the rankings is because of having fewer thrift stores and a smaller search volume for sustainable fashion compared to other cities.

Prague rounds out the top ten with an index of 138.77 due to its notable recycling and sustainability rates. Prague has the sixth highest recycling rate but falls behind in other criteria, leading it to a lower position.

A spokesperson from Arka shared, “Seeing cities like London and New York, traditionally viewed as the heartbeats of global fashion, to turn more towards sustainable fashion is a big milestone in more conscious consumption over fast fashion trends. This shift in some of the world’s fashion capitals is transforming how we think about clothes and our planet. When places known for setting trends embrace eco-friendly practices, it sends a strong message about the importance of sustainable fashion, making it just as much about saving our planet as it is about showing our style.”

Here are the findings summed up: 

City, CountryThrift ShopsSearches for Thrift StoresSearches for Sustainable ClothingSustainability RateRecycling RateTotal Index
London, United Kingdom200198,83016,86081.65%34.20%337.43
New York , New York180855,46012,37075.91%14.80%337.06
Berlin, Germany16061,6502,59083.3649.80%197.29
Copenhagen, Denmark14022,1301,57085.68%35.40%188.08
Paris, France16073,2003,55082.05%31.60%183.57
Stockholm, Sweden12029,9101,61085.98%39.70%182.03
Dublin, Ireland14028,7904,15080.15%42.40%161.09
Vienna, Austria14024,7101,79082.28%36%159.03
Edinburgh, Scotland14018,1101,66081.65%34.20%149.82
Prague, Czech Republic12027,0201,19081.87%37.30%138.77

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