Almost half of UK shoppers are on the hunt for sustainable gifts this Christmas

8 Dec, 2021

This present buying season, nearly half (47%) of UK shoppers are on the hunt for sustainable Christmas gifts, worried that wrapped gifts will go unused and unwanted, according to new research from Tesco Bank.

The desire to turn gifting green this Christmas rises among people aged 18 to 34, with over half (56%) wanting to ensure their gifts are sustainable.

As shoppers track down the greenest gifts, the research shows that people are turning to alternative options in their bid to keep it sustainable. Two in five (44%) people have purchased a gift card for a loved one in the last 12 months, with 12% doing so because it was a more sustainable option. This proportion increases among those aged 18 to 34, with 15% opting for a gift card because of its green credentials, with one of the most sustainable options being digital gift cards.

Far from the perception that gift cards are a panicked last-minute purchase, three in ten (29%) people would prefer to receive a gift card over a wrapped present under the tree and this rises to 38% of people in the 18 to 34 bracket. Research by the Gift Card and Voucher Association suggests 98.6% of recipients spend gift cards within a year of receiving them, with over half spent within days*.

There are also other factors fuelling gift card popularity. 47% of people who have bought a gift card for a loved one in the last year did so in order for them to purchase something they really want, 20% had been asked for a gift card and 14% for the convenience they offer. 13% chose a gift card so they could buy an experience, 13% to encourage people to buy something they wouldn’t usually spend money on and 11% to support people shopping locally or from an independent brand.

Ban Mahsoub, Head of Money Services at Tesco Bank commented: “As we enter into the busiest shopping period of the year, present buyers are dreaming of a green Christmas. Millions of people are shopping sustainably instead of purchasing traditional presents amid concerns they could end up languishing at the back of the cupboard, or land in the bin. And this is where gift cards truly prove their worth, not only as a sustainable option but also as a flexible gift that truly can keep on giving!

“Almost a third of gift cards sold by Tesco in 2020 were purchased in the month of December, which just goes to show that gift cards are a popular way of giving the perfect present.”