In the run-up to Christmas SEUK commissioned some polling to gauge the country’s mood when it comes to making ethical purchasing decisions over the festive period. The aim behind this polling* was to see if there was an appetite amongst the public to buy social and also to use the findings to inform a media piece promoting our Christmas Social Enterprise Gift Guide. The polling and media buy in was carried out for us on a pro-bono basis by PR company 72 Point.

On the back of this work our guide received 22 pieces of coverage with articles appearing online in the Mirror, the Sun and even UNILAD (which rather staggeringly has 20,000,000 monthly unique browsers!) It also made the frontpage of the Herald.

The key findings of the polling were:

  • Over two thirds of those polled would consider buying a gift with a positive social or environmental impact for their friends or family.
  • A fifth of adults is planning a completely ‘plastic-free’ Christmas in order to reduce the impact on the environment.
  • Over one third of parents believe their children have enough plastic toys and don’t need anymore.
  • Of those planning to include ethical aspects on the most festive day of the year, six in 10 say it’s because they care about the environment.

Peter Holbrook, Chief Executive at Social Enterprise UK said:

“It is great that Brits are really thinking about the impact of their spending decisions. We have seen a real shift in consumer attitudes towards buying ethically with shoppers recognising their power to make a difference to the world through how they spend their money.

The good news is that there are thousands of social enterprises out there offering presents with purpose, helping people to do more for the environment and others with the gifts that they give this Christmas.

The polling resonates with the idea that we are losing something valuable as Christmas gets ever more commercialised. One in five people have received presents they cannot even use – from combs for bald people and novelty underpants to inflatable boyfriends and musical toilet roll.

Shoppers are starting to buck the trend towards commercialism with more stopping buying pointless presents and shifting to presents with purpose.

At Social Enterprise UK we have put together a gift guide full of ethical products including fashion, chocolates, soap, drinks and homeware. Each product is from a social enterprise – a business set up to make the world a better place whether that’s through creating jobs for the homeless and those with disabilities or reducing food waste.

All featured businesses are also set up to be environmentally sustainable with many using upcycled materials including wood, fabric, even fire hose and others ensuring their ingredients are organic, vegan or bee friendly leaving a positive mark on the planet.”

* The polling featured 2,000 adults