More than a quarter (26%) of Brits are planning to give at least one second hand or used gift this Christmas, as a difficult financial year and environmental concerns merge to create a more sustainable festive period.
This is according to new research from used photography and videography kit specialists MPB, which shows that 37 per cent of those planning to gift used will do so to cut costs, while 31 per cent want to gift more sustainably.
With more than half (54%) becoming increasingly concerned about the environment, consumers are also considering the packaging of their gifts. Nearly half (45%) will make a concerted effort to buy products with recyclable packaging, while two in five (40%) are planning to use recyclable wrapping paper and cards this year.
However, the rising interest in environmentally friendly gifting does not overcome the hesitation to gift used for some people, with over a third (35%) reporting that they would like to gift used but worry the recipient would be upset or offended.
These concerns may be unfounded, as 45 per cent of consumers surveyed said they would be happy to receive a used gift if it were in good condition, and three in 10 (30%) consumers would actually prefer to receive second hand or used gifts where appropriate, suggesting the conversation around sustainability is starting to shift people’s attitudes on how and what they consume.
Buying used is now seen as socially conscious as well as thrifty – a way of allowing people to own products they love in a way that’s good for the planet and the bank balance. More than half of Brits (53%) believe that you can get far more for your money by buying used, and half (50%) agree that used items offer interesting histories and stories, making them unique and compelling.
Matt Barker, CEO, MPB said, “The data shows the stark reality of the pressures gift givers face at Christmas time, yet many people hesitate to gift used, which is more sustainable and often offers better value. That said, it’s heartening to see that so many people are open to receiving something special that comes with its own unique history and backstory.
“At MPB, we have always championed buying used – but we expect to see an even bigger boom in used retail over the next 12 months as the trend for buying sustainably continues to grow. The world needs more circular businesses, who advocate the mentality that buying used is better than buying new – and begin to offer products that, quite literally, don’t cost the earth.”