Shopping habits change regularly but is the traditional way of shopping to excess before Christmas a thing of the past?

Buying medium-priced gifts that will be used a handful of times then given away, or buying inexpensive things by the dozen could be few and far between in 2023 as we speed towards Christmas.

Vinted, one of the leading online retailers for second-hand clothing, recently celebrated its 15th year serving communities around the world that are looking to declutter their wardrobes and make some money in the process.

A spokesperson for Vinted said: “Over the past 15 years, the perception of second-hand fashion evolved significantly. When Vinted was founded, second-hand shopping was still primarily associated with thrift stores and garage sales.

“By now, according to Vinted’s first Climate Change Impact Report, one out of five Vinted members would choose second-hand over new”.

This effect is being felt in town centres too.

Local resident Zainab Bilal, 30, explains her Christmas shopping tactics have changed this year. Due to the cost-of-living crisis and soaring grocery prices, she must keep cost in mind when shopping for the family.

“I can’t afford more than a couple of gifts per person this year,” says Zainab.

“My budget is too tight, prices for everything have gone sky high and I think I’ll be left with nothing come January”.

What is ‘alternate shopping’?

‘Alternate shopping’ is the term used for when we seek out other options in place of traditional Christmas shopping or traditional gifts.

Vinted’s spokesperson says buyers are choosing second-hand as “environmental and social concerns are among the main drivers for Vinted members”.

Since the loss of Debenhams on Friars Walk and empty shop windows lining Commercial Street, some shoppers feel the Newport City Centre streets are becoming 'barren'.

That is the sentiment that Asif Ashraf, echoed.

Asif, 49, works at Top Image Nursery, a pram shop on Commercial Street. He said: “town has been neglected for years and Maesglas and Spytty retail parks are the reason why it’s empty.

“If they weren’t there, do you think it would be as quiet on this street?”.

Asif also said: “Newport City Centre was thriving in the ‘80s. Cwmbran is better for shopping than this and has parking too”.

Paul Mansfield, owner of My Generation Vintage on Charles Street, says there’s a charm to finding key items in a shop.

South Wales Argus: Wall mural painted with street graffiti outside My Generation Vintage on Charles Street NewportWall mural painted with street graffiti outside My Generation Vintage on Charles Street Newport (Image: Ruby Qaimkhani, Newsquest)

“The experience on joy of finding a truly unique vintage piece of clothing, and then being able to try it on and be lucky enough to get the perfect fit will always beat shopping online,” says Paul.

Ethics and value-for-money may play a big role in how we shop this year.