Shoppers ‘buying second-hand to help beat cost-of-living rise’

Protecting the environment was also high on Britons’ list of priorities

Mustafa Mirreh
Tuesday 24 May 2022 11:55 BST
The stigma of buying used is a thing of the past, research suggests
The stigma of buying used is a thing of the past, research suggests (iStock)

Nine in 10 consumers are happy to buy second-hand to protect the environment, own unique items and cope with an increase in the cost of living, a poll has found.

A survey of 2,000 adults found that the stigma of buying used goods wass a thing of the past, with half more likely to purchase pre-owned items now compared to five years ago.

Two-thirds were happy to buy used or refurbished mobile phones. Three in 10 enjoyed hunting for previously owned clothing, 35 per cent sought out retro furniture, and 24 per cent liked to source homeware from second-hand shops.

A number of factors drove the popularity of used items. Key among them were sustainability (36 per cent) and a desire to cut costs (32 per cent). The chance to buy items others were unlikely to have (16 per cent) was also a contributing factor.

The Virgin Media O2 survey also found that 65 per cent believed it was more acceptable to buy pre-owned products than it was a decade ago. One-third believed buying second-hand did not mean compromising on quality and 35 per cent bought used items to make their money go further.

Almost one-fifth (18 per cent) said they got a buzz from buying second-hand.

The survey showed that four in 10 were more likely to buy gifts from a second-hand store or website.

Nicola Green, from Virgin Media O2, said: “It’s reassuring to see that protecting the planet is high on the nation’s agenda. And shopping second hand is one of the ways to tackle the climate crisis by reducing waste and saving money.”

The research also found that 77 per cent believed small changes like recycling old mobile phones to prevent them from ending up in landfills would help protect the planet.

Another 44 per cent admitted they could be doing more to be green, including recycling more, being careful with energy use, and eating less meat.

A further 55 per cent believed people would need to make small changes to their lifestyles to live more sustainably and 43 per cent were keen to protect the planet for future generations.

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