Parenting charity NCT’s Nearly New Sales, its biggest fundraising activity, are to be the focus of a PhD study. The research, to be carried out in collaboration with the University of Southampton, will examine the role of second-hand retail in the UK in challenging economic times.
The sales are organised by the charity’s local branches around the UK, and offer excellent condition second-hand clothing, equipment and toys at bargain prices. Individual sellers keep up to 70% of the proceeds from the sale, and the rest is returned to NCT.
The three-year research will be funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), under the Retail Industry Business Engagement Network (RIBEN) scheme pending final project approval. The project will seek to understand the changing function and character of second-hand retail and consumption in the UK, in the context of economic crisis, concerns about environmental sustainability and community cohesion.
Timothy Todhunter, Branch Fundraising Manager, NCT, said: “This exciting piece of work into the social impact of NCT Nearly New Sales will help us to further their reach into the communities which benefit from them most.
Kate Boyer of the School of Geography, University of Southampton, put the bid forward for a funded studentship to the RIBEN programme. She said: “As a mum myself, I have seen first-hand how popular NCT Nearly New Sales are, and it got me wondering about the broader role they play – not only for parents and families, but also for society, the economy and the environment in terms of sustainability and ethical consumption. This study will make a really valuable contribution to our understanding of the economic, social and cultural dimensions of second-hand retail in the UK.”
Last year, more than 200,000 parents attended an NCT Nearly New Sale, supported by Persil Non Bio and Comfort Pure, raising more than £1 million for the charity. More than 750 Sales were held across the UK, with 50,000 parents selling over 1 million items.
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