‘Repair shop Britain’ puts used items on shopping list

clothes-g01afe633b_1920UK consumers are increasingly looking to rent, repair and re-sell items, as the cost of living crisis continues to put the squeeze on the nation’s finances.

So says a new survey of 2,000 people aged 18+, commissioned by the IPA and carried out by Opinium about the “circular economy” which reveals the most common activity is giving items away to charity, friends, and family, with nearly three-quarters (71%) of Brits looking to do so more, or the same amount as last year.

Breaking this down, 19% of consumers plan to give away more items than last year, while 53% plan to give away the same amount as last year. More than a fifth of women (21%) plan on giving items away to charity, friends, and family more this year. This compares to 16% of men.

The second most popular activity is repairing items, with a total of 57% of respondents stating that they either plan to do this more themselves this year (17%) or the same amount (40%) as last year.

This is followed by more than half (55%) saying they intend to buy items from second-hand shops (19% more this year and 37% the same amount).

Meanwhile, just under half (49%) say they will buy items from a resale platform, such as eBay and Vinted – of which 15% more and 33% the same amount; and 46% intend to sell items on a resale platform – of which 20% intend to do this more and 26% the same amount as last year.

When it comes to the generational divide, younger consumers (11% of 18-34s) intend to rent items considerably more this year than 35-54s (5%) and the over 55s (1%).

Meanwhile, more men (13%) than women (9%) plan to have their items professionally repaired more this year than last year and more women (18%) than men (16%) are intending to repair items more themselves.

Electronics are the most popular items overall to buy refurbished at 45%, compared to 29% for vehicles and 28% for clothes, with nearly a third (29%) of 18-34s intending to sell items on resale platforms more than last year, while a quarter (25%) plan on buying more from these platforms.

IPA insight analyst Sophie Dimond said: “With the continuing cost-of-living crisis, coupled with consumers’ increased awareness and anxiety around supply chain and sustainability issues, it is clear that the circular economy is becoming increasingly significant.

“It will be interesting to see how companies and brands can capitalise on this – from these results we are already seeing a considerable rise in popularity of resale sites such as Vinted and eBay.”

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