A nationwide study has found that almost half (47%) of Oxford residents are planning a more ethical Christmas this year, with almost a third (30%) planning to buy the ingredients for their Christmas lunch from local shops, 33% plan to use recycled wrapping paper, while 29% intend to buy the majority of their gifts on the high street to help the environment and local economy.
Almost a third (30%) of those polled in Oxford said they are more inclined to shop locally at Christmas, while the number of shoppers across the UK saying that they would venture to their local high street specifically to support their community this Christmas has increased from 18.49% in 2018 to 26.4% in this year.
The study, commissioned by Visa as part of its campaign to support independent retailers this Christmas, also revealed that alongside conscious spending, 2019 has shone a spotlight on sustainability more broadly. 83% of those based in Oxford feel that 2019 has been a pivotal year for environmental issues, with the younger generation being most conscious of their impact. So much so, that an incredible 85% of 16-29-year-olds in the UK are striving to have a more sustainable festive season this year.
And it seems that money is no barrier when it comes to being greener this year as, despite 59% of Oxford-based adults believing a more ethical Christmas will be more costly, the average Oxford resident is prepared to spend an additional £335 to ensure their Christmas is more sustainable. As well as money, locals are also taking the time to be more environmentally conscious, spending on average an extra 11 hours on their ethical efforts.
The study also revealed how Oxford residents plan to be more sustainable this Christmas including:
- Not sending Christmas cards (47%)
- Using recycled wrapping paper (33%)
- Buying locally produced foods (30%)
- Buying the majority of gifts and food from the local high street (29%)
- Trying to travel on public transport (24%)
- Eating less meat (21%)
- Buying Fairtrade or eco-friendly gifts only (20%)
- Hand-making Christmas decorations (19%)
- Not buying anything in plastic packaging (17%)
- Giving homemade gifts (17%)
As well as giving more sustainably, what they receive matters too, with 33% of Oxford residents claiming they’d rather have one carefully chosen, locally bought gift than a mountain of plastic-wrapped generic items, and 53% saying they would be dismayed to receive an unsustainable gift this year.
Jeni Mundy, Managing Director, UK & Ireland, Visa commented: “It is heartening to see more people are choosing to shop locally this Christmas, particularly as this is a great way to be more sustainable during the festive season. This is great news for independent retailers across the UK, who we are supporting with our #WhereYouShopMatters campaign.
“Whether it’s for locally sourced produce, a bespoke gift or simply to enjoy and support the local community, People across the UK are thinking more and more about what they are buying and where they are buying it from. In fact, 74% of those surveyed in Oxford agreed that where they shop is as important as what they are buying, proving where you shop really does matter.”
Visa wants to put independent shopkeepers front and centre during the festive season, so it has launched a nationwide competition inviting shopkeepers to recreate the brand’s Christmas advert to show why ‘Where You Shop Matters’. The winning retailer will see their advert air during a prime-time advertising slot in the run-up to Christmas for millions to see.