Second hand is attractive in theory, less so in practice

The environment administration has unveiled the results of a survey on the second-hand market in Luxembourg. (Photo: Paperjam)

The environment administration has unveiled the results of a survey on the second-hand market in Luxembourg. (Photo: Paperjam)

98% of Luxembourg residents see reuse as a good idea, and 63% have already bought second-hand according to a new survey. But when shopping, most prefer to buy new.

Second-hand shops, thrift stores, online platforms such as Vinted... The environment administration is interested in the second-hand market, a way to limit overproduction and its consequences for the planet. The European framework directive on waste obliges member states to take measures to encourage reuse. To sound out the Luxembourg population, the administration commissioned TNS Ilres to conduct a survey on the subject. Carried out among 1,012 households between 28 April and 17 May 2021, it shows that residents are open to the second-hand solution, even if it is not always the one they prefer.

98% think that reuse is a "good idea" and 96% think that it should be encouraged. 63% have already bought second-hand, which rises to 71% among 18-44 year olds. And 55% have already resold objects, a rate that rises to 80% for 18-44 year olds.

New items are preferred for 56% of clothing purchases

46% of the 799 households willing to buy second-hand again would do so because of the lower price. 29% for ecological reasons. Conversely, the 167 who are not willing to choose second-hand products again point to reasons of hygiene (21%) and the lack of a valid guarantee (20%).

When asked which products they are most likely to buy second-hand, respondents spontaneously think of clothes, shoes and fashion accessories (61%), furniture (31%) and household appliances (24%). However, they mainly choose second hand for the purchase of books, CDs, DVDs and video games with 62% having already done so and would do so again. 45% have bought furniture, 36% have bought second-hand toys and 35% bikes and scooters. 34% have already bought second-hand adult clothes, a figure that drops to 33% when it comes to children's clothes. And only 18% have purchased used household appliances.

In general, residents still prefer to buy new. Between three and four out of ten look at both new and second-hand products before deciding. Second-hand is preferred to new only for books, CDs and video games and bicycles and scooters. For adult clothing, 56% look first for new items, 5% for second-hand and 25% of shoppers says they compare the two.

To support or clarify these figures, other surveys will be conducted by the end of the year.

This story was first published in French on Paperjam. It has been translated and edited for Delano.