Circular economy trend to grow amid cost-of-living squeeze | WARC | The Feed
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Circular economy trend to grow amid cost-of-living squeeze
Renting, repairing, and second-hand shopping are experiencing a boost as UK consumers tighten their belts, according to a new Opinium study for the IPA.
Why it matters
Circularity, or the idea that goods should be resellable, repairable, or reusable, is an obvious way to reduce consumption (and therefore the energy and resources that contribute to climate change) but it presents a problem for brands that rely on selling more widgets each year.
Certain categories, such as automotive, have a history of second-hand selling – and some brands like Volvo have stated that circularity is an aim. Elsewhere, new business models are emerging in categories like fashion and homeware.
What you need to know
According to a survey of 2000 UK adults, some ‘circular economy’ behaviour is set to grow in the coming year:
- 71% expect to give away items to charity or to family and friends this year
- 57% of respondents say they plan to repair more items
- 55% intend to buy from second-hand shops
- 49% say they will buy items from resale websites like eBay or Vinted
But this behaviour change is not equally distributed:
- Renting appears to be a youth phenomenon, with 11% of under-34s expecting to rent items a lot more this year, versus 5% of 35-54s and just 1% of over-55s.
- The Vinted effect: 29% of under-34s plan to sell on resale platforms; 25% of this group also intend to buy from resale platforms.
- Electronics are a key item to buy refurbished, with 45% of respondents interested. Meanwhile, 29% are interested in refurbished vehicles and 28% in refurbished clothes.
“With the continuing cost-of-living crisis, coupled with consumers’ increased awareness and anxiety around supply chain and sustainability issues, it is clear that the circular economy is becoming increasingly significant” – Sophie Dimond, Insight Analyst at IPA.
Sourced from the IPA, WARC
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