Recycled products top the fair trade Christmas wish list

Media Releases, News, Oxfam Shops, Oxfam Unwrapped, Shops & Fundraising article written on the 22 Dec 2010

In a new twist on recycling, presents made from recycled materials are the most popular fair trade gifts this year, according to an analysis of the purchasing habits of Oxfam customers.

When seasonal items like cards and Christmas decorations were excluded, coasters made from recycled paper were the best-selling items in Oxfam’s main stores around the country this month.

Oxfam Shop, which sells hand-crafted and unique fair trade items created by community artisans around the world, as well as fair trade food products such as tea, coffee and chocolate, examined customer purchases in key stores nationally from December 1-19.

“We were struck by the popularity of recycled and other environmentally-friendly products in the lead up to Christmas this year,” said Oxfam’s Director of Trading, Nadine Silverberg.

“As well as our recycled paper coasters, our recyclable ceramic ‘paper’ cup was also among the top 20 products sold in our Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane stores, in addition to our Adelaide shop, where it sold better than anywhere else in the country.”

When Christmas items were included, the best-selling items in Oxfam’s shops were gift tags, followed by the recycled paper coasters, Christmas cards, and year-round favourite, Oxfam’s organic milk chocolate.

When the results were broken down by State, in addition to the recycling theme, the following patterns emerged:

•VIC: Melbournians may be particularly water-conscious, buying more of Oxfam’s water-saving terracotta water drippers than customers in other States;
•NSW: More of Oxfam’s fair trade dark chocolate and sampler pack of 4 teas were sold in Oxfam’s Sydney store than in any other State;
•SA: Adelaideans bought more of Oxfam’s fair trade milk chocolate than their counterparts in other States, and also bought more environmentally-friendly ceramic ‘paper’ cups than Oxfam shoppers in any other city;
•ACT: More Canberrans will be able to find their spectacles without any hassle this Christmas, with customers at our Canberra shop buying more of our wooden spectacle stands than those in any other State;
•QLD: Brisbanites may be going above and beyond in their attempts to recycle and use sustainable products, buying more recycled paper coasters than their Southern neighbours;
•WA: Perth residents clearly love both their chocolate and coffee – buying more “milk chocolate with coffee nibs” than those in any other State;
•TAS: In stark contrast to other States, the top-selling products in Oxfam’s Launceston shop were a blue wooden painted mini cat statue and a set of tamarind wood coloured pencils – Tasmanians also bought more of these coloured pencils than customers in any other State.
Oxfam served 74,184 customers through its 23 retail stores from December 1-19 (up 9.5% on the same period last year). Purchases in Oxfam’s largest stores around the country were analysed for this survey (the Walk Arcade in Melbourne; Broadway in Sydney; Charles St Plaza in Adelaide; Canberra Centre in the ACT; Brisbane Myer Centre; Hay St Perth; and Launceston for Tasmania).

Oxfam has 23 retail shops around Australia, in all States and Territories except the NT, an online shop at and a wholesale channel. Oxfam’s products help their producers create better lives for themselves and their communities, through the benefits of fair trade, such as fair wages and conditions.

For more information, or to arrange an interview with Nadine Silverberg,
please contact Raina Hunter on 0402 145 820.