Prices crisis KOs charity shop shame

  • 73% comfortable to shop in a charity or second-hand shop
  • 39% say sustainability is a factor in buying second hand items
  • 60% would love to shop online with charity shops

Hard-up Brits are no longer embarrassed about being seen buying from charity shops as they try to save cash, a study shows.

Nearly three-quarters (73%) of UK adults say they are comfortable being seen heading into a charity shop or second-hand store due to the cost-of-living crisis, according to research from SQLI Digital Experience.

The study shows only around one in four (24%) people would be in any way ashamed of being spotted in a charity shop.

It comes as over three quarters (77%) of people who are shifting towards pre-loved goods are doing so to save money.

The generations who are most comfortable going into the shops include the age groups of 45-54 (82%) and an overwhelming 91% of over 55-year-olds.

However, those who are not comfortable there give reasons such as people thinking that they cannot afford to buy new clothes (19%), they don’t like buying pre-owned items (33%) and they think it’s too hard to find anything they like (20%).

Almost two-thirds of adults (60%), would love to be able to buy more second-hand clothing and say they would purchase from a shop if it had an online website.

The reasons varied but 70% of Brits wanted to support charity shops as the funds go to good causes, 39% value sustainability as an important factor when shopping and 29% felt that it was cheaper than buying new clothes therefore saving them money.

Speaking of the findings, Jonty Sutton, UK CEO of SQLI Digital Experience, said: “Millions of people have been gradually won over by charity shopping and the cost-of-living crisis has accelerated this trend. But the whole shopping landscape has changed, and it’s no longer enough to just have a shop on the high street. Customers nowadays - especially younger ones - expect an online experience too and our research shows they are willing to pay more for the privilege. So smart charities and brands are now offering exceptional online experiences where customers can buy both used and new goods. It’s the way retail is heading, and others need to follow suit to survive.”

Notes to editors

A survey of 2,000 UK adults aged 18 and over was conducted by Walr in September 2022.