Charity urges people to shop second hand this Christmas to save money
Over half of people in Wales are shopping more in charity shops, or are considering doing so, because of the rising cost of living, new research has found.
A survey by the mental health charity Mind has found that nearly three in five (59%) of these people say the reason is items are cheaper second-hand, and just over two fifths (41%) say they like supporting charity.
But under one in eight (11%) of these people say they prefer to gift items that have been purchased second hand.
The charity says that choosing to gift second-hand from a charity shop can be a great way to save money while supporting a good cause.
Despite this, there is often a misconception that these items are worn or outdated, or an assumption that gifting second-hand items will be frowned upon.
The new research comes as the Christmas gifting season approaches, bringing with it the burden of financial worries to many as the cost-of-living crisis continues to squeeze household budgets.
Mind is urging the public to consider charity shops this Christmas, as they often offer high quality items that could make the perfect gift for friends and family.
Items range from books to clothing, to homeware and accessories, with each shop hosting a unique collection of treasures.
Mel Rose, aged 24, who lives in Wrexham, said: “I go to charity shops pretty much weekly with my mum, and we pick up some brilliant bargains. The cost of living has put a strain on everything – I can’t actually remember the last time I went to a high street shop and bought anything as it’s just so expensive now.
“I definitely think there’s a taboo about gifting secondhand, but I find you can buy something and then alter or adapt it – by getting creative or adding your own touch – so you can give really personal gifts.
“Some of the best things I’ve ever found are in charity shops, and that’s just on top of the fact that by shopping there I know the money goes to a good cause, which feels good. Also, you always have the smiles of the volunteers that give their time to run the shops – it’s a huge credit to them that they would do this to keep it open for the public.”
Andrew Vale, Director of Retail at Mind, said: “We know that Christmas and the pressure to buy and receive presents can bring enormous financial strain, with the rising cost of living only making this worse. We also know that this can bring increased anxiety, stress and worry to so many of us.
“That’s why Mind is encouraging shoppers in Wales to think about gifting a preloved item this Christmas. Our research shows us that more people in Wales are shopping in charity shops – yet our supporters are telling us there is a taboo around second-hand gifting, and we’d love to see this change.
“We are in the middle of a mental health crisis and that’s another reason why charity shopping makes so much sense. When you buy your gifts from a Mind charity shop – you are helping to fund support services like the Mind Infoline, Side by Side and legal line, and the campaigning we do to make sure everyone gets support and respect.”
Last year, Mind shops across England and Wales collectively raised £6.5 million which helps fund the charity’s vital work.
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