Sharing to reduce waste and save money

January 11, 2024

Recent estimates suggest that the average UK home contains around £30,000 worth of possessions (source). Many of those possessions are used very infrequently, and a proportion are needlessly stored for years before they are thrown away. For example:

  • The average wardrobe contains 26 items of clothing that are never worn (source)
  • 39 million tech items are hoarded in UK homes including £1.5 billion worth of working laptops (source)
  • There are an estimated 75 million unused toys in toyboxes and bedrooms across the UK, with the average 10 year old child having 238 toys, but playing with just 12 regularly (source)
  • It’s estimated that there’s £1 billion worth of unused and unwanted skincare and beauty products in bedrooms and bathrooms across the UK (source)

Sharing our underused and unwanted possessions with people who want to make use of them can be a great way to reduce waste and our environmental footprint. It can help to free up space in our homes, generate an income for those willing to share, and it can help those wanting to access shared items a way to save money and benefit in other ways too. January is a good time to start, as you’ll be helping people participating in Keep Britain Tidy’s Buy Nothing New Month campaign.

Sharing and accessing shared items

If you are looking for ways to share unwanted resources with a wide pool of people who might be able to make use of them, or looking for ideas to access shared items to avoid buying anything new, we’ve put together a list of ways to get started:

Mixed items:






Facebook Marketplace





Charity retail association

Oxfam online shop



The Clear Out Store


Hardly Ever Worn It (HEWI)

Vestiaire Collective

Farfetch Second life





See our furniture reuse page






See a list of options at


Toy libraries

The South Leicestershire mobile toy library (Serving Harborough, Oadby & Wigston)

Shepshed Toy library

Hinckley & District toy library


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