Sustainable shopping is here for the long-term – as rising living expenses impact the nation’s purchasing habits

A poll of 2,000 adults found 47 per cent are now choosing more sustainable ways to shop compared to last year – giving rise to the ‘recommerce economy’ of recycling, renting, reusing and reselling.

85 percent of those who rent items instead of buying new have done it at least once in the past 12 months.

Of those now using more sustainable shopping methods, 46 per cent are doing so as they recognise the positive environmental and social impact ‘recommerce’ has.

The cost of living is also a factor. 43 percent of shoppers are more aware of their discretionary spending.

These options are chosen by 41% to help manage their overall financial situation.

Linda Weston, Barclaycard Payments, who commissioned the research, stated: “Whether you rent or buy second-hand, recycle through community groups, sell pre-loved items online – our data indicates that more sustainable shopping is becoming more popular.

“Shopping this way can be an efficient way to access affordable products and services, which is especially important as the cost of living rises.

“As this ‘recommerce economy’ continues to grow, it will be interesting to see how retailers continue to react and adapt, expanding their offerings to give customers alternative, cost-effective ways to shop.”

Sustainable shopping is the new staple in British life

The study also showed that 32 percent of those who purchase through recommerce options claim it has given them access and products that are normally out of reach of their budget.

25% (26%) of those who shop more sustainably have been able connect with new communities via reseller sites.

Nearly 10% (eight percent) of those who resell or return items to retailers have made friends through these platforms.

The most popular products that are rented out over bought include jewellery, designer clothes and suits.

OnePoll’s study found that the average person scrolls through sustainable retail sites for three hours per week. This rises to four-and-a half hours for 32% of the 18-24-year-olds.

Reselling is preferred over returning because it is easier (49%), more flexible if returns are delayed (45%), and better for the environment (35%).

A further 39 per cent also said it gives their unwanted items a new lease of life, according to the study by Barclaycard Payments, which processes £1 in every £3 spent on credit and debit cards in the UK.

Harry Wallop, retail expert and commentator, said: “More sustainable shopping methods are becoming a staple of British life.

“It makes perfect sense – if you’re finished with something it is much better to repurpose it, sell it or rent it rather than throwing it away.

“As retail prices continue to increase, seeking out alternatives to buying new will gain popularity.

“These transactions could even provide a more fulfilling, social experience than ‘traditional’ shopping, while being kinder on the pocket.”

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