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– A collective 70 million homeware items are thrown away each year in the UK

– 35% of Brits would throw away homeware that was in good condition

– Denby has partnered with broadcaster Miquita Oliver to share tips and ideas on how to repurpose and reuse existing belongings

– The British pottery is launching a scheme with homelessness charity Shelter, encouraging people to donate quality items instead of throwing them into landfill

New research published on the 3rd October 2023 from British pottery Denby reveals that Brits throw away a collective 70 million homeware items each year which could have been donated, sold, or repurposed.

The research was commissioned by Denby as part of its Denby Reloved campaign, which is encouraging the nation to find ways to re-use, re-purpose and re-love its homewares alongside presenter and sustainability advocate Miquita Oliver. As part of the campaign, the brand has also launched a partnership with Shelter, which this autumn is asking people to donate pre-loved tableware to charity that no longer meets their needs, instead of going to landfill.

Broadcaster Miquita Oliver says: “We all have items we’ve bought which we perhaps don’t need or want anymore, but our first port of call for these shouldn’t be the bin. There are so many ways to make sure we’re extending the life of our homewares, from repurposing pieces you love – to finding new creative uses for broken items. And of course, there’s donating good quality items to a charity like Shelter, where people can find pieces to re-love and raise money for an important cause in the process.”

The research, which surveyed 2,000 adults, also revealed that almost a third of the population admit to throwing their homewares in the bin, rather than finding a way to avoid them going to landfill. Those aged 18 – 35 are most guilty of this, with 40% admitting they would throw homeware they no longer need into landfill, compared to just a 13% of those aged over 65.

A third also admit to not knowing where to start when it comes to finding a new home for their belongings, while just under half (45%) choose not to donate because they’re not sure anyone else would even want them.

Although three quarters (75%) of those surveyed say they hate the thought of throwing anything away, many still don’t see ‘fast homeware’ as an issue, with only half saying they view it as an environmental problem in the same style as fast fashion. In addition, just one in ten are more concerned about fast homewares than clothes.

The study also found that 35% of those who would throw out a piece of homeware that still functioned would do so if their tastes had changed and a quarter would do it if they found their life circumstances had changed, such as downsizing, with a further 24% even considering binning an unwanted gift.

On average, adults reckon they’ve got goods worth £91.85 sitting around rarely being used which across the UK adult population, adds up to more than £477 million in profit or money that could have gone to good causes.

When it comes to repurposing existing homeware items, while a third of people are open to giving it a go to extend the life of their belongings, many are currently put off trying it out. Of those who don’t want to do it, 38% surveyed don’t feel they have the skill or tools to undertake these types of projects and a third don’t think that they’re creative enough.

The average life span for homeware items before they’re binned was also investigated, with sofas being kept for 10 years, cookware for nine and bedding for only six. Half of those surveyed had previously bought pre-loved homeware items, with 36% of those having done so having been motivated by the desire to be more sustainable and 39% wanting to reduce the amount of waste they produce.

Denby’s Global Marketing Director, Hayley Baddiley said, “We all love to pick up a beautiful homeware buy, but it’s important to think about how you’re going to use the item, how long for and what you’re going to do with it when it no longer suits your needs or style.

“Depending on the condition of your belongings, there are lots of things that can be done to avoid it going to landfill, from repurposing to recycling and of course donating to a charity such as Shelter’.

“It’s also important to think about the purchases you’re making in the first place; at Denby we have a ‘buy once, buy well’ mantra and believe investing in durable, versatile and beautiful pieces is key,

which is why we want to reward people who have avoided sending their tableware to landfill by donating it to Shelter.”

Those who donate items that can be resold by Shelter can claim a thank you from Denby in the form of a voucher for money of their made-to-last ceramics. To find out more about the campaign including Miquita’s tips and how to donate at denbypottery.com/reloved