Check out to help out: new report reveals shift in UK shopping habits to support disadvantaged communities

Press Release

  • New “Shop for Change” report reveals the extent of the pandemic’s impact on the nation’s shopping habits, as 8 in 10 (81%) admit their approach to shopping has changed

  • The majority of the UK (56%) believe it's more important to buy from businesses that give back to society now, than before the pandemic

  • eBay UK launches ‘eBay for Change’ - a dedicated hub on its platform to help connect shoppers with small businesses that have a social mission to support disadvantaged communities

A new report released today from eBay UK reveals that over three quarters (81%) of UK adults have changed their approach to shopping as a result of the pandemic.* Spending more consciously and “for good”, the majority of the UK (56%) now believe it's more important to buy from businesses that give back to society than before the pandemic.**

The “Shop for Change” report coincides with the launch of a dedicated new hub on eBay’s marketplace, designed to make shopping from small businesses that give back to local communities, more accessible.

The ‘eBay for Change’ hub connects over 29 million eBay shoppers with up to 50 small businesses at launch, with plans to scale, that each have a clear social mission. Shoppers will be able to access a broad range of products from clothes to homeware, and jewellery to collectables.

Every purchase made will have a direct, positive impact on supporting disadvantaged communities - whether that’s providing job or training opportunities, or tackling social problems like homelessness, exclusion, improving people’s life chances, or supporting environmental action.

The report also reveals:

  • As the pandemic exacerbated and created new social, economical and physical challenges throughout the UK, a third of the UK believe that helping disadvantaged communities must be prioritised as part of the nation’s recovery.
  • Two thirds (69%) believe that businesses have an important role to play in tackling societal and environmental issues - the most pressing of which include homelessness (40%), unemployment (36%) and child education (27%).
  • Over half (51%) of shoppers admitted to spending more time researching a purchase now, than before lockdown began.
  • Parents in particular, are spearheading these efforts, as 9 in 10 (92%) say that since having a child they want to spend their money with businesses who give back to society with a majority doing so in the hope of building a better future for the next generation.***

Rob Hattrell, SVP Head of Europe, eBay said: “At eBay, we believe that business can be a powerful force for positive change, and with the scale of our marketplace, we have an important role to play in ensuring that we help to build a future economy that works for everyone.

"The pandemic has caused a seismic shift in our society and given birth to a new kind of solidarity that is transforming the way we act as a community. We feel more impassioned about social change than we have ever been. We want to make changes that will not only build back better for the UK, but also for communities all around the world.

"With eBay for Change, our customers will receive a great product, as well as the satisfaction that the proceeds from their purchase will make a real difference and support communities - empowering economic opportunity in new ways to create a better future for all."

Mandy Powell, founder of The Goodwash Company, a social enterprise on the eBay for Change hub said: “Social impact is at the heart of everything we do at Good Wash. We use our profits and our business model to support rural employment and local sustainable projects that make a real difference.

“Our luxury range of soap and wash products was designed to look good in the finest of washrooms from Port Talbot to New York. Apart from a fabulous product, people can also be extra proud knowing that their purchase is doing so much good for the community.

“The more people buy, the more good we can do - with eBay’s reach, we are excited about what this means.”

To deliver the ‘eBay for Change’ programme, eBay has partnered with Social Enterprise UK and the World Fair Trade Organisation and through an in-depth package of support, including zero fees, one to one digital skills training and a significant marketing investment to bring buyers to these businesses, eBay aims to positively impact thousands of jobs and livelihoods over the next three years.

Peter Holbrook, CEO of Social Enterprise UK said: “Social enterprises have the potential to transform lives and communities across the UK by doing business differently and fairly. That’s why we are delighted to be partnering with eBay for this exciting new initiative which will provide many social enterprises with a credible worldwide platform to sell their products and make a positive impact on society, the environment and the economy.

“The last year has seen a jump in social enterprise business success alongside a notable increase in consumers supporting socially and environmentally-inclusive business models. The public is clearly gravitating towards organisations which not only are true to their values, but whose interest is in building a fairer, more sustainable economy.”

To celebrate the launch of ‘eBay for Change’, eBay is teaming up with Founder of Diversity, Creative Director, TV presenter and Father of two, Ashley Banjo to encourage the nation to continue shopping for good and shine a light on some of the social enterprises who are supporting disadvantaged communities and tackling social problems in the UK and abroad.

Ashley Banjo said: “Following a year that has been socially and economically testing on underprivileged communities, it’s more important than ever that we step up and act to instil change. As supporting people from disadvantaged backgrounds is something that has always been close to my heart, I am proud to be teaming up with eBay to help businesses, who have a social purpose do just that and who are making it easier than ever, for us all to get involved.”

Alongside giving global shop fronts to social enterprises, eBay is committing to a three year multi-million pound start-up programme for retail businesses, within the social enterprise sector.

To find out how you can support communities every time you buy, visit

Read the full eBay Shop for Change report here.


Notes to Editor:

*Survey of 5,004 nationally representative - conducted 17th-19th Feb 2021

**Survey of 2,000 nationally representative adults (16+) - conducted 21st-24th May 2021

**Survey of 1,000 UK parents of children under the age of 18 - conducted 21st-24th May 2021

About Social Enterprise UK

Social Enterprise UK is the largest network of certified social enterprises in the UK and the leading global authority on social enterprises. Together with our members we are the voice for the sector. We have led public policy for 15 years, helping pass the Social Value Act, and are a strategic partner to government. We exist to increase the profile of the sector through our campaigns and research, and build the markets for our members - working with some of the UK’s biggest companies to support them to bring social enterprises into their supply chains. Our members reflect the diversity of the sector ranging from local grass-roots organisations to multi-million-pound businesses. We see social enterprise as the future of business.