Hong Kong people spend an average of HK$10,000 every year on clothing, adding up to HK$25 billion a year in total, a study commissioned by environmental NGO Greenpeace has found.

The study, which was conducted by TNS, an independent global market research company, surveyed 2,000 people born between 1970 and 2000 in Taiwan and Hong Kong to compare their shopping habits.

shopping apm hong kong
Photo: Wikicommons.

Although 76 per cent of respondents from Hong Kong said they felt satisfied and excited after shopping, 59 per cent said they believed that these feelings vanished in less than a day.

Despite 37 per cent saying they feel empty, bored, or lost if they don’t purchase something, 35 per cent responded that they felt even emptier after the excitement of shopping faded.

“Shopping is not the road to real happiness and inner peace,” Greenpeace campaigner Bonnie Tang said. “Hong Kong people wish to gain happiness and self-confidence via shopping, but when the short-term satisfaction is gone, all you can get is an over-drafted credit card, a closet full of unwanted clothes, and an even emptier feeling.”

shopping hk cosmetics celebrity
Photo: Wikicommons.

More than half of all respondents said they view shopping as a way to relieve stress and kill time. Most were easily seduced into purchases by marketing strategies such as sales and celebrity promotions.

84 per cent of people responded that wearing nice clothes makes them more confident.

The NGO urged the public to reflect on their shopping habits and start a lifestyle in the new year that is sustainable for the environment and their wallets.

Catherine is a Canadian journalist and photographer who lived in Beijing for almost two years, working in TV and online media. Aside from Hong Kong and mainland affairs, she is also interested in urban spaces, art and feminism. She holds a BA in Literature and Art History from the University of British Columbia.