“Last Christmas, I gave you a gift, but the very next day, you threw it away,” George Michael sort of, almost sang. And he was right.
This Christmas we’re likely to spend between £400 and £600 on an average of 32 presents for our friends and family – but an estimated 21 million of us will receive at least one unwanted Christmas gift, with £42 million worth of them heading to landfill. Filling a planet which stands at the precipice of increasingly devastating ecological breakdown with more new stuff and lining the pockets of billionaire brand owners doesn’t seem particularly festive, but there is a better way.
“Charity shops are overlooked, and they really are a business model which is absolutely incredible,” says Maria Chenoweth, CEO of TRAID. “It’s the Green New Deal, it's sustainable, it doesn't produce new goods, and it creates community.” Yet Chenoweth explains that while most retailers experience a boom during the festive period, for TRAID, December is a loss-making month.
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