More than eight out of ten people in the UK have bought something from a charity shop (86%), according to the Charities Aid Foundation’s Charity Street II report.
The report shows that charity shopping is more popular among those living in the UK’s most affluent areas, where 90% reported having ever bought an item compared to 82% of people living in the most deprived area.
Older people, women and people living in more affluent areas are the most likely to have bought something from a charity shop. People living in rural areas are also more likely to have bought something from a charity shop (91%) than their urban counterparts (84%).
More key findings:
- More than seven in ten people (71%) aged 65 or over bought something from a charity shop last year. This compares to 53% of 18-24 year olds, with people becoming more likely to buy from charity shops as they get older
- 93% of people living in East England have bought something from a charity shop compared to 80% of Londoners
- Women buy things from charity shops more than men, with seven out of ten (70%) having bought an item in the past year, compared with just 54% of men
- The other most common ways people have used charity services are visiting a charity run gallery museum, garden or stately home (69%); visiting a church or religious institution run by a charity (46%) getting advice or information from a charity website (45%) and attending a university (44%)
Susan Pinkney, head of research at the Charities Aid Foundation, said:
“Gone are the days when there was a stigma attached to charity shopping with our figures showing that people in more affluent areas are on average more likely to be charity shoppers. But crucially, charity shops do not just rely on the shoppers. Their success is built on many different acts of altruism, from those who donate goods to the tens of thousands of volunteers who help to work to run them.”
The report also showed however that while people have used an average of six charitable services in the past year, there is a lack of awareness of which services are provided by charities. Around a quarter (23%) of the population are unaware that the charity services that they or someone in their household used were run by charities. Given a list of 16 services provided by charities, less than one in ten people were aware they were all provided by the voluntary sector.