TikTok made me do it – one in four Brits regret social media impulse buys

18 Apr 2023, 13:40

Shopping, TikTok

Doomscrolling on platforms like TikTok and Instagram has a lot to answer for. Nearly half of Brits admit that social media encourages them to make unnecessary buys in a new survey.

Social media platforms often show perfectly polished homes and give you all the necessary links to buy products to recreate these looks in your own home. But the thrill doesn’t last long as one in four Brits end up regretting what they buy. Meanwhile nearly one in three people (28%) feel like they waste a lot of money on them.

New research has shown that if each Brit were to substitute their new homeware purchases encouraged by social media for secondhand items, they would reduce their carbon emissions by a staggering 1,071 kgs. This is more than enough to heat a home for more than 18 years.

Miquita Oliver has teamed up with Gumtree (Credit: Cover Images)

TikTok made me do it!

This new survey of 2,000 UK consumers aged 16+ conducted by Censuswide comes as it looks like Brits are set to waste close to 44 billion kilograms of carbon this year on new homeware purchases. This is the equivalent of flying to Spain five million times.

In the wake of the staggering new stats, Gumtree has teamed up with Miquita Oliver to kickstart a Consumption Rebellion to mark Earth Day (April 22) and encourage Brits to pledge their support at Gumtree.com, and to think about buying their homeware and furniture secondhand for the next three months.

Oliver said: “I’m passionate about showing people the impact overconsumption and fast fads can have on our planet. And how secondhand doesn’t mean second best. Fighting climate change can be daunting. But this Earth Day, everyone can make small steps that will have a big impact on our future.”

Find the joy in buying secondhand (Credit: Cover Images)

Secondhand buys

“There is so much joy to be found in hunting down a beautiful secondhand find. Some of my favourite homewares in my home all have a story behind them that a brand-new item just won’t have. So why not join me in taking on the challenge to lean into the circular economy as much as possible and think second hand first for the next three months? We can all do our bit for the planet and choose secondhand for spring.”

This year, Brits are looking to spend on average £1,108 on new homeware items with cushions, rugs, as well as cookware, being at the top of the wishlist.

Most Brits (66%) are aware of fast fashion and its impact on the planet but only 47% understand the negative impact of fast homeware. But buying secondhand not only significantly reduces carbon emissions. It also saves pennies.

It was found the average price of pre-loved homewares comes in at £86, compared to £222 for a brand-new item. This means a saving of £136 per person is made just from shopping secondhand as opposed to new.

Hannah Rouch, chief marketing officer at Gumtree said: “Whilst many Brits are becoming more aware of fast fashion, our research shows that half of Brits don’t think about the impact new homewares have on the environment. But UK communities can come together and slow down the speed of climate change simply by sharing what they have.”

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