How would you feel about receiving something second hand for Christmas?
According to new research by Zero Waste Scotland, four out of five Scots would be perfectly happy to find something pre-loved under their tree this year – but barely a third would buy second hand for somebody else. These findings didn’t surprise me… because I was one of the people surveyed.
Yes: this is the story of how I landed a really fun pre-Christmas collaboration and 50 YouGov points.
Like another 68% of the respondents to Zero Waste Scotland’s research, I have no problem buying second hand for myself. If you’re into records, it makes sense, and I’ve picked up a few bits and pieces of clothes too. That said, I’m not one of those girls with the patience (or the time!) to rummage through the racks for that head-turning one-of-a-kind item. eBay, on the other hand…
I suppose what puts me off shopping second hand is the worry of the recipient thinking I was simply trying to be cheap rather than making a thoughtful, sustainable choice. And yet, even before Zero Waste Scotland proposed sending me to Capability Scotland’s Kirkintilloch shop for a pre-Christmas shopping spree, I’d already ordered one second hand item as part of my Christmas shopping.
The choice of Capability Scotland was an apt one as, this month, the charity’s shops became the latest to obtain the “Revolve” standard. This is Zero Waste Scotland’s quality certification for second-hand shopping, awarded to brands that meet high standards of customer care, environmental commitment and health and safety standards.
It’s an important badge for Capability Scotland to have to its name given that the Kirkintilloch store stocks a wide range of toys and homeware as well as the usual clothing, books and CDs/DVDs. Plus, where else on the High Street can you find a leather jacket for FIFTEEN. QUID??
(I loved these 100% wool jumpers too!)
My trip to the shop coincided with the day of the team’s Christmas party, and store manager Trish and shop assistant Dawn were in fine festive spirits (shout out to Dawn’s festive headband). I was there for an hour and the shop was busy throughout, with many of the customers regulars: one was showing off a furry claret hat she’d purchased the week before (you can see her in the background of the photo Trish took of me, at the top of this post) while another cleared the counter of Christmas ornaments while I waited.
The shop was well laid-out, with women’s clothing broken down by size as well as type to make it even easier to browse. Of course, the trouble with charity shopping is that if you love something that isn’t in your size – like these star-print trousers and cute brown boots – there’s not much you can do about it, although with tops, skirts and dresses priced between £1 and £4 you might as well take it home anyway. The purchase price goes to a good cause, and if it doesn’t fit you can always re-donate!
The books, CDs and DVDs were very well-priced (it was even buy one, get one free on the DVDs), and I managed to pick up plenty of stocking fillers for some of the last names remaining on my list. With the big day fast approaching, the shop’s last remaining Christmas cards were reduced too so I grabbed a couple of packs: how cute are these kittens?
Have I convinced you to pick up any of your last-minute gifts pre-loved? Why not share your finds with Zero Waste Scotland on social media, using the hashtag #secondhandfind?
This post is a collaboration with Zero Waste Scotland, but all views are my own and unbiased.