Confidence needed to galvanise Scotland's second hand shoppers
Almost half of consumers would hesitate to buy reused goods due to concerns about quality and reliability, according to a report from Zero Waste Scotland.
Despite this, more than 70% of consumers believe the purchase of reused goods offers good value and is often cheaper than buying new.
According to the findings, there is a gap between the willingness to purchase second-hand goods and the experience of doing so. Zero Waste Scotland claim this suggests there may be scope for boosting uptake of this behaviour.
The report was launched at the annual Community Resources Network for Scotland (CNRS) conference in Dunfermline as a new national quality standard for second-hand shoppers in Scotland was introduced.
Revolve reuse quality standard is aimed to increase shoppers' confidence in buying previously-owned goods and Blythswood Care, based in Ross-shire, and Fife-based Furniture Plus, are the first re-use organisations in Scotland to achieve the Revolve accredited quality status.
The organisations participated in the pilot phase of the programme and overhauled their operations to raise customer experience to a level which rivals high street shopping.
The programme has been backed by around £650,000 of government funding.
Zero Waste Scotland director Iain Gulland said: "The overall aim of Revolve is to lead and develop a change in Scotland's re-use organisations, giving them the advice, training and support to develop a business model which provides customers with an experience that is comparable to the high street.
"We essentially want to increase the appeal of re-use, develop a sector of customer-focused organisations selling high quality products, and increase shopper's confidence. This is vital if we are to make the best possible use of the resources we have.
Scotland's re-use sector diverts around 45,000 tonnes of unwanted materials from landfill every year. In addition, it generates in excess of £20m per year and creates more than 700 jobs.