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      How sustainable is your lifestyle? Get refurbishing!

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      Millions of of Brits are turning to refurbished and secondhand items in a bid to live a more sustainable existence.

      That’s according to a study of 2,000 adults, which found a third of us are happy to pick up used items such as clothing, homeware and gadgets – to help the planet.

      And six in 10 went as far as to say it’s more important for them ‘than ever’ to shop green where possible.

      Around half are also worried about ‘fast fashion’ and take this into account when they buy outfits and accessories.

      Similarly two thirds consider the environmental and social impact caused by the manufacture of everyday household items – such as clothes, white goods and gadgets.

      But 55 per cent think there’s still a stigma over buying anything secondhand or refurbished.

      A spokesperson for giffgaff, which commissioned the research to launch its Black Friday Pop Up Shop, said: “With refurbished items in particular, you are getting something very close to being new – but cheaper, and an item which rather than being discarded or sat in a drawer can be used.”

      Despite the apparent stigma, the study also found three quarters think shopping for secondhand or refurbished items is more acceptable now than ever before.

      Four in 10 believe older items tend to be better made, while half like the uniqueness of second hand items and half think they are just as good as new.

      While seven in 10 go second hand to save money, a fifth simply prefer the shopping experience itself.

      Almost a quarter have taken that experience one step further and up-cycled second hand or discarded items to give them a new lease of life.

      And 57 per cent have utilised web communities where members give and collect items for free from other members where they live.

      The most popular second hand or refurbished items to buy include books (74 per cent), collectables (62 per cent) and cars (60 per cent).

      Furniture (58 per cent) also made the top 20, along with artwork (56 per cent) and DVDs or Blu-rays (53 per cent).

      However, mobile phones (30 per cent) and shoes (19 per cent) are among the items people are least likely to buy second hand.

      Charity shops are the most popular haunt for finding second hand items, along with auction sites (44 per cent) and online stores (34 per cent).

      And of those who do shop in this way, an average of £42 a month will be spent – more than £500 a year.

      The study, commissioned via OnePoll, also found 44 per cent feel under pressure to overspend at this time of year due to Black Friday and Christmas.

      But 73 per cent think the materialism of Black Friday and Christmas is likely to be bad for the environment.


      1. Books – 74 per cent
      2. Collectables – 62 per cent
      3. Car – 60 per cent
      4. Furniture – 58 per cent
      5. Artwork – 56 per cent
      6. DVDs/Blu-rays – 53 per cent
      7. CDs – 51 per cent
      8. Ornaments – 50 per cent
      9. Retro games – 50 per cent
      10. Vintage magazines – 49 per cent
      11. Vinyl records – 49 per cent
      12. Picture frames – 46 per cent
      13. Bicycles – 45 per cent
      14. Retro game consoles – 44 per cent
      15. Board games – 41 per cent
      16. Tools – 39 per cent
      17. Clothing – 38 per cent
      18. Accessories/jewellery – 38 per cent
      19. Musical instruments – 37 per cent
      20. Toys – 37 per cent

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      Stuart O'Brien

      All stories by: Stuart O'Brien