Christmas is fast becoming a distant memory, as are those gifts you pretended to ‘love’ on Christmas Day, now languishing in a dark corner of the living room. If you received a Christmas gift you don’t know what to do with, you’re not alone. One pre-Christmas study found that Australians spent a staggering $400 million on unwanted gifts last Christmas. The research estimated that around 10 million unwanted gifts were discarded and ended up in landfill last year, including novelty items, pamper products, pyjamas, slippers, underwear and socks – all of which rated as the least appreciated presents.
As you think back on your gifting for last Christmas, did you have a strategy? Did you make a list, do some research and think carefully about people and personalities, likes and dislikes? Or did you become swept up in retail mania and spend your hard-earned money wastefully?
At Koh, we call it ‘convenience gifting’. That desperate, last-minute dive to find ‘something’ to give friends or family on Christmas Day. It’s a ‘this will have to do’ solution, often found in the impulse buy section as you exit a store - or maybe in the form of a gift card, quickly slipped into an envelope. These convenience gifts are not just a waste of money, but high impact on our environment. The single-use plastic in gift packaging heads straight for our once-pristine oceans - and recent statistics have shown that many Australians are wasting unredeemed gift cards, too. A 2018 survey showed that one in seven gift cards (14%) were expiring with remaining funds – that’s 1.9 million Australian adults who didn’t appreciate the gift card they received.
It’s a depressing and wasteful scenario and the complete opposite of ‘conscious gifting’. Using this approach involves actually taking the time to think of a gift that will be appreciated. A conscious gift makes the recipient feel loved and special; it will be useful and most importantly, leave a light footprint on our precious planet. The team at Koh Living believe we can change our habit for convenience gifting, but only if we all commit to change. We need to think deeper, stop wastage and have the right impact. We need to change the way we look at gifting – and stop buying thoughtlessly. Every piece in the Koh Living range has a story and a meaning. Each item can be linked to an interest, a place or a way to make family and friends feel special. It’s all about pausing to think deeper. You play a critical part in our business.
Why not tell your customers about these staggering statistics and how together, we can change the future of gifting and improve connection with others? Invite your customers to join our conscious gifting movementTM and make a commitment to change the way we look at gifting in the next decade. In the famous words of Margaret Mead, an influential cultural anthropologist “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” We’d love to hear your thoughts about why gifts with meaning are so important, too! Koh X
1 https://www.smh.com.au/money/saving/christmas-waste-revealed-in-400m-of-unwanted-gifts-20191118-p53bnv.html 2 https://www.finder.com.au/press-release-august-2018-148-million-wasted-in-unused-gift-cards