EBay sales in 2021 saved nearly 87 million – or 18,000 tonnes – of items from landfill thanks to increased second-hand sales.
A growing awareness of sustainable shopping, along with the time spent during the pandemic sorting and selling surplus goods, has contributed to a 29% increase in second-hand sales this year compared to 2018.
In addition to pre-loved fashion, which accounts for nearly a quarter of sales, a second-hand tech item has been purchased every two seconds in 2021 so far, reflecting the recent shift to working from home.
Now, as part of Oxfam’s Second Hand campaign in September – which encourages the country to buy and sell only second-hand clothes for 30 days or more to minimize the volume of clothing going to landfill – eBay is is pledged to match all donations sold for Oxfam in the £ 1 to £ 1 market with the aim of reducing the 336,000 tonnes of clothing sent to landfill in the UK each year.
When selling through the auction platform, users have the option to “sell for charity” and donate between 10% and 100% of an item’s proceeds, with the money raised going towards the work of charity. ‘Oxfam to fight poverty in the world.
Emma Grant, Head of Preloved at eBay UK, said: “It’s fantastic to see mindful shopping become more traditional and sustainable buying habits extending beyond the pandemic, proving that pre-loved is more than a simple trend. “
The popularity of loungewear since the start of the pandemic is also reflected in a 200% increase in searches for Juicy Couture tracksuits.
Elsewhere, the top five brands to buy and sell used on eBay in 2021 are Next, Nike, M&S, Adidas and Zara.
Oxfam’s Lorna Fallon said: “We are delighted to partner with eBay to encourage people to buy and sell second-hand clothes and raise as much money as possible for our work to fight global poverty. Buying second-hand helps reduce the impact of clothes on the environment by giving them new life.
By 2050, the fashion industry is projected to use up to 25% of the global carbon budget, making it one of the most polluting industries, just behind oil.
Fabrics with the worst environmental impact include cotton, synthetics, and animal materials.
According to Fashion For Good, conventional cotton production accounts for one sixth of all pesticides used in the world, impacting farmers and local communities with harmful chemicals.
Synthetic materials, such as nylon, polyester, and acrylic are typically produced using petroleum, while materials such as leather are responsible for huge methane emissions.
Extinction Rebellion argues that the fashion industry must stop using pristine resources to create new materials and instead “use and reuse what we already have”, with more sustainable fabrics, including recycled artificial cellulose. (plant-based fabrics, such as Tencel), and bast fibers (from plants, such as jute and hemp).