Charity Promotes Slow-Ware: Rethinking Homeware Consumption

THE British Heart Foundation surveyed 2,000 adults and found that 62 per cent have thrown away homeware in good enough condition to donate to charity. As part of our Reuse Revolution campaign, the British Heart Foundation is encouraging ‘slow-ware’ – buying pre-loved homeware before buying new and donating what you no longer use.

The rise of ‘fast homeware’ has led to one in six people changing their decor every year and millions of usable items ending up in landfills.

Research of 2,000 adults revealed that 62 per cent had thrown away homeware in good enough condition to donate to charity.

A quarter (26 per cent) also feel that homeware trends are changing at an increasingly fast pace.

More than half (57 per cent) regularly buy new items with keep styling fresh (38 per cent), a mood boost (23 per cent) and trend-driven purchases (13 per cent) are the main reasons for buying them according to the British Heart Foundation research.

Despite an increase in purchase frequency, four in 10 don’t consider the environmental impact when buying new homeware products.

The study was commissioned by the charity to encourage ‘slow-ware’ – buying pre-loved homeware before buying new and donating what you no longer use.

Allison Swaine-Hughes, Retail Director at the British Heart Foundation said:

“Most of us are aware of the impact that fast fashion has on the environment but don’t think about this when it comes to homeware.

“Items like mirrors and sideboards might fall out of favour in your home, but they’re that missing piece in someone else’s home.

“When refreshing your homeware, consider buying second-hand first – our home stores are continually restocked and could have just what you’re looking for.”

It also emerged that 52 per cent change around items and decorations in their homes depending on the seasons, leaving more potential for purchasing and getting rid of unwanted pieces.

Despite the increased frequency of homeware changes, 27 per cent admitted to having never bought a second-hand item, while 29 per cent very rarely do so.

However, of those that have done so, 56 per cent do to save money, while 37 per cent reckon they find more unique items.

And a third do because it’s more sustainable.

While the cost-of-living crisis continues to bite, 60 per cent of all respondents have said price is key to any homeware purchases respondents make, followed by style (44 per cent) and functionality (40 per cent).

There’s an appetite to continue the trend of frequently mixing up furnishing in the home, with half wishing they did so more regularly.

The British Heart Foundation has also released images of selected products they currently sell to highlight how purchasing second-hand can offer a great way to mix up home styles without breaking the bank or adding to landfill.

Allison Swaine-Hughes added:

“We’ve made it easy to stop quality pieces from going into the bin.

“These days you can book home collections, post them to us or drop them into your local shop – and the best bit is you’ll be funding lifesaving research.

“And when considering your next purchase, always consider shopping second-hand before buying new. It’s a better decision for your wallet and the environment.”