June 28, 2018

The Second-Hand Economy: The UK’s Perception of Pre-Owned Goods

According to the Retail Gazette, the market for second-hand goods accounts for 14% of London’s retail establishments. Unsurprisingly, when belts tighten in the recession, the pre-owned industry boomed. Even as finances have since improved, it’s continued to grow by 0.6% a year since 2013: impressive in such material times.

Cash strapped consumers are not the only driving force here. Set against a backdrop of increasingly environmentally conscious consumers (and businesses aiming to reduce their carbon footprint), the recycled economy is a great way to achieve these aims. By cutting out manufacturing and the sourcing of original materials, second-hand goods are extremely sustainable.

Given the huge sums already spent in the second-hand market, and the powerful forces likely to drive its continued growth, we undertook original research with a nationally representative sample of 1000 UK consumers aged 18-64 to learn more.