The art of re-gifting post-Christmas

Jessica Satherley
The art of re-gifting post-Christmas
Re-gifting is a sustainable way to recycle gifts that you know you will never use after an event such as Christmas

“I think people do it and don’t talk about it,” stylist and personal shopper Johanna-May Manks says of re-gifting. 

But is re-gifting taboo? 

Whether unspoken or not, re-gifting is a sustainable way to recycle gifts that you know you will never use after an event such as Christmas. 

“There is an etiquette to re-gifting though,” Manks says. 

“When it comes to re-gifting clothing, I recommend having a conversation with the person you’re gifting it to, to say why you’re giving it to them. 

“Don’t just think, ‘I don’t like this shirt so I'm going to wrap it up and give it to someone else’. 

“I would advise telling that person that is was yours, but you felt it didn’t work for you,” the Westpac customer says. 

She also recommends leaving the tags on clothing if you receive a garment as a gift and are planning on re-gifting it or re-selling it. 

“There are a lot of people who sell things they don’t want after Christmas.   

“People resell items on websites such as Trade Me and Facebook Marketplace.  It’s easier to resell than re-gift,” Manks says. 

But certain items are perfect for re-gifting, such as unopened bottles of wine or chocolates. 

“Items such as a vase could be re-gifted as well, unless you have mutual friends or family who will recognise it in the other person’s house. 

“The general etiquette comes down to respect.  Don’t just dump off unwanted things but think about who you’re giving it too and whether they will love it more than you do. 

“Don’t re-gift handmade and homemade things that have come from the heart,” Manks says. 

The new year is also a great time to clear out items that you no longer use and create a sustainable wardrobe by altering, selling or donating garments that you don’t wear. 

Auckland stylist Susan Axford says the first line of defense for unworn or damaged garments is to see if you can alter them to make them work for you. 

"The second line of defense is to sell it on Trade Me or donate to a good cause like Dress For Success, so as not to waste it. 

“I see an enormous amount of waste in people’s wardrobes and they usually they feel bad about it.  

“Psychologically it’s not good to see a mountain of clothing, while you only wear a small proportion of it,” Axford, who is a Westpac customer, says. 

“Most people also throw out clothing because a zip is broken or there’s a small hole but repairing instead can give the garment a new lease of life,” Westpac’s Sustainability spokesperson says. 

“To prevent receiving unwanted gifts, I would suggest an open conversation with family and friends on gifts you might need or want. 

“Most unwanted gifts end up in landfill within a few minutes of being unwrapped,” the spokesperson says. 

Dress For Success is an organisation that works with professional clothing donations. 

They aim to empower women to achieve economic independence by providing support, professional attire and development tools to help them thrive in work and life. 

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