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Nearly half of Brits are restoring, recycling and repairing to beat the cost-of-living crisis

Nick Cheek
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Nick Cheek

More than two fifths of Brits are recycling and upcycling existing items, as people attempt to curb the impact of the cost-of-living crisis, according to a survey from an insurance company.

Research from AVIVA has highlighted how the nation is more inclined than ever to conserve their cash if something goes wrong at home.

The study found 42% of the 2,000 respondents are repairing broken possessions rather than replacing them, with 57% doing so to save money.

Nearly a quarter (23%) of people cited the cost-of-living crisis as a reason for a more sustainable approach, which is a rise from 18% in 2022.

Frugal Brits are repairing and not replacing

Just under seven out of 10 (69%) UK adults would rather fix an item if it was damaged, rather than buying a new one.

Kelly Whittington, property claims director at Aviva, said: “Our research suggests people are becoming more inclined to repair, renovate and recycle as they look to live sustainably as well as save cash.

“For Aviva, being able to repair items such as phones and jewellery is a huge win for our customers as these items often have a sentimental value – so when they make a claim, we can consider repairs as well as replacements.”

Waste reduction a factor in changing habits

She continued: “Repairs also contribute to global sustainability efforts by reducing waste and items going to landfill and reducing the consumption of precious metals and stones. While it is fantastic to see the enthusiasm for Brits repairing goods themselves, we urge people to only tackle repairs they are confident they can do safely.

“We also encourage Brits to check whether they can claim for repair with their home insurers who, like Aviva, will often have professional repair teams on hand for items that are more difficult to mend or professional cleaning teams for items that need professional cleaning.”

Sustainability but not at any cost

Meanwhile, a study by NatWest Greener Homes Attitude Tracker and S&P Global found that homeowners are prioritising the sustainability of their properties when looking to buy, although the costs attached to upgrading their homes are proving to be a barrier.

Two fifths (40%) of prospective homebuyers felt the energy performance certificate (EPC) of their future home was a ‘very important’ consideration.

However, the findings show 29% of people who are unsure about making their homes more sustainable are doing so due to financial constraints.