Why Gumtree is a treasure trove of chic and sustainable interiors finds

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  • It’s not just our compulsive fast fashion habit that’s harming the planet – lockdown has seen a huge spike in throwaway fast homeware trends, too. Here’s how re-commerce sites like Gumtree are helping us to shop more sustainably, while offering some of the dreamiest interiors finds around.

    In partnership with Gumtree

    Did you know that a sofa bought second-hand represents a carbon saving equivalent to 485 hot showers? Or that opting for a second-hand table saves the equivalent carbon of a 315km car journey? Yep, it’s not just our bank balance that benefits from shopping at re-commerce sites like Gumtree – shopping second-hand has a huge impact on the planet, too.

    If we’ve learnt anything over the past year, it’s the importance of having a home that feels like a sanctuary. After all, if you’re going to spend 365 days (and counting) confined to the same space, better make sure that it’s one you love and feel comfortable in.

    Unsurprisingly, lockdown saw a huge spike in homeware shopping and DIY – with many of us funnelling the disposable income that we’d normally spend on things like clothes, holidays, and eating out into fixing up our homes. But is our new-found interiors obsession causing us to unwittingly contribute to the fast homeware movement?

    According to the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, 45% of greenhouse gas emissions come from how we make and use products. Meaning fast fashion isn’t the only culprit contributing to the climate crisis. As brands increasingly encourage impulsive, trend-led homeware buys, we need to take stock of how we shop across the board.

    Which is where Gumtree comes in. Far from saying don’t shop, the re-commerce site says shop better and more consciously – something we at Marie Claire have long been committed to as we strive to tackle the climate crisis head-on.

    Relying on fast homeware buys to style your home is easy, sure. (Hands up who else is being bombarded with targeted Instagram ads for influencer-endorsed interiors these days.) But something we’ve discovered along the way is that by making small changes to our everyday purchasing decisions, long-term change is actually a lot easier than we’d initially thought.

    Gumtree allows you to regularly and affordably (because let’s be real, redecorating can be eye-wateringly expensive) refresh your interiors, while also reducing the volume of furniture being produced. Or, if you’re a seller, it allows you to pass on your no longer needed interiors finds to someone you know will love and appreciate them, without adding to the planet’s worsening landfill problem.

    It’s no accident that the site is making such positive strides towards a more sustainable future. Alongside their 20 years of championing re-commerce as a more sustainable way to shop – cementing the site as the UK’s most trusted platform for repurposing, reusing and reimagining how we consume – Gumtree have been working with the University of Leeds to calculate the carbon saving of buying second-hand for over 1200 ‘For Sale’ items on their site.

    Among their resulting research is the stark finding that if every home worker bought a new desk, lamp, laptop, printer, filing cabinet and chair, it’d leave the same carbon footprint as having the heating on for 462 million years. And that’s just the environmental impact of shopping for one room – or corner – of your home.

    But aside from its obvious environmental benefits, shopping second-hand is also just a great way of sourcing unique, one-off interiors buys that will make your space feel uniquely yours. From good-as-new headboards to vintage sideboards, chairs to couches, you name it, Gumtree has it – whatever your budget, whatever your aesthetic. (And you can bet yourself that you’ll be able to find what you’re looking for on the site for much cheaper than if you were buying it from a low-quality, fast homeware retailer, too.)

    Which is why we’re joining the re-commerce revolution – making small changes in our shopping habits for a big impact on the planet.

    But don’t worry if you’re a little lacking on the inspiration front. Follow @Gumtreeuk for a regular dose of interiors inspo, one-off vintage gems, ingenious DIY ideas, and some seriously chic second-hand homeware.

    Happy sustainable shopping!

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