Reusable Gift Wrap, Homemade Gifts: Sustainability Is on the Wish List This Holiday Season

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Some children might be waking up on Christmas morning to find more homemade gifts and a lot less wrapping paper under the tree.

One in three shoppers said they plan to ditch traditional wrapping paper for environmental reasons this holiday season, according to an Accenture survey, which asked 1,515 U.S. consumers in August about their holiday shopping plans.

Almost a quarter of consumers, meantime, are planning to buy materials or ingredients to give their own homemade gifts this year, Accenture found. And 37% of people say they’re likely going to be shopping in secondhand channels such as thrift stores this holiday season — for others and for themselves. That metric ticked up to 50% for shoppers under the age of 40.

“It’s a sustainable holiday,” said Jill Standish, lead of Accenture’s global retail practice. “And people are more aware than ever.”

...Like Standish, First Insight CEO and founder Greg Petro said the pandemic acted as an accelerant for sustainability trends.

“Everybody was stuck at home and receiving packages daily, and I think that inflection point has changed the mindset and trajectory of almost every consumer group,” Petro said.

Reusing gift wrap

In a separate survey, First Insight found 39% of consumers think sustainable packaging is “very important” when shopping, up from 28% in 2019. The consumer research group, along with the Baker Retailing Center at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, surveyed 1,122 consumers July 1-10.

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