UK SET FOR SECOND HAND CHRISTMAS: The number of people willing to give and receive pre-love gifts is on the rise

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Britain is set for a ‘second hand’ Christmas this year as a third of consumers plan to give pre-loved gifts.

A study of 3,000 shoppers who celebrate the festive season found 94 per cent who are gifting second-hand are looking to save money during the cost-of-living crisis.

And pre-loved gifting is on the up, with 33 per cent doing so this year compared with just 25 per cent in a comparable study carried out in 2021 - a percentage increase of a third in just two years.

Increasingly, people like the idea of buying something that has a story behind it, rather than simply purchasing something box-fresh (21 per cent up from 13 per cent).

Those who love the ‘hunting’ aspect of searching for the perfect gift has also risen from 19 per cent to 28 per cent.

Lorna Fallon, director of retail for Oxfam which commissioned the research, said: “Attitudes towards buying second hand are really shifting. The clear majority of us now feel it is acceptable to give pre-loved gifts at Christmas. Whether it is the cost-of-living crisis or environmental concerns that are driving people to buy pre-loved, it is encouraging to know that a third of all shoppers are planning to buy second hand this year. Pre-loved gifts give items a longer life and they can go on to bring joy to others.”

The study also found exactly a quarter of those polled are planning to make second-hand gifting a tradition with their loved ones each Christmas.

As just over half of respondents (53 per cent) said it’s a good lesson to pass on to future generations.

And young people are now leading the way with 73 per cent of 18- to 24-year-olds planning to give second hand versus 28 per cent of those aged 55 to 64.

TV presenter and Oxfam ambassador, Miquita Oliver, said: “Second-hand does not mean second-best. “In the last few years, we have seen a rise in popularity of vintage fashion with more and more young people proud to wear second hand clothes. We need that mindset to extend across gift-giving. Charity shops are a great place to find unique, thoughtful presents. What does it matter if a book has been read already? I love imagining who last turned the pages. I’m proud to give and receive second hand gifts at any time of the year.”

Strictly professional dancer Katya Jones, agreed: “Over the past few years I’ve grown to love Charity shops more and more; they allow you to be more creative in what you buy. I always come out with something completely unexpected and It’s the joy of finding a unique hidden treasure that gives me a thrill, especially during Christmas. I’ll definitely be buying some second hand gifts from Oxfam this year.”

Actress Alison Steadman added: “I’d be proud to get a pre-loved present this year, it’s not about the price tag, it’s about the positive impact that extending the life of items has, and the life-saving work that Oxfam can do with the money raised.”

According to the figures, exactly six in 10 people believe it’s more acceptable than ever before to give second-hand gifts to a loved one.

And over half (57 per cent) of respondents admitted being able to find quality items that are second-hand was a pleasant surprise.

The main things Christmas fans are likely to buy second hand versus new are books (45 per cent), jewellery (28 per cent) and toys and games (28 per cent).

Furthermore, over a third (36 per cent) of all respondents would be grateful to be given a pre-loved present on December 25 - with just six per cent saying they’d be shocked or offended.

The research also revealed people have more or less the same concerns about climate change now than they had in 2021.

Lorna Fallon added: “Second hand shopping offers a unique and high-quality range of gifts. You also contribute to reducing waste and conserving resources. The joy of gifting is in the thought and effort put into finding the perfect present, and when you shop with Oxfam, you'll love the search as much as the giving. Second hand gifts offer a special touch of nostalgia and thoughtfulness, making each gift a treasure with its own story to tell.

“By swapping just one or two presents for a pre-loved gift, it will help to stretch the Christmas budget whilst helping to support people and communities around the world, including those hit hard by the climate crisis.”


For more information, or to arrange an interview, please contact: Vicci Moyles in the Oxfam PR team on: 07879 680067 /

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