Ever wondered what the environmental impact is of your charity shop purchase?

Welwyn Garden City-based charity Isabel Hospice has launched a handy ‘Second Hand Calculator’ on its website.

The tool is designed to help sustainable shoppers measure the impact they are having with every purchase at an Isabel Hospice charity shop, or any second-hand shop for that matter.

Madeleine Clark, Isabel Hospice's sustainability development manager, said: “Unlike the traditional linear economy, where products are produced, used, and disposed of, the circular economy is a continuous cycle where resources are kept in use for as long as possible.

"In this system, charity shops play a pivotal role by extending the lifespan of pre-loved clothing and other goods through resale.

"Through buying donated items from charity shops, you close the circle, reduce the need for new production and reduce waste and carbon emissions.”

How to calculate the impact of your charity shop purchase

The Second Hand Calculator can be found here www.isabelhospice.org.uk/second-hand-calculator

To find out more about Tonnes of Care and Isabel Hospice mobile donation days, visit www.isabelhospice.org.uk/toc  for more information. 

Charity shops have long been recognised as more than just places to find second-hand bargains. They play a pivotal role in supporting the circular economy, promoting sustainability, and raising funds for their various causes.

As consumers become more conscious of their environmental impact, the significance of charity shops in fostering a sustainable society is more apparent than ever. 

Thanks to this 'Second Hand Calculator', supplied by the Charity Retail Association (courtesy of Charitable Recycling Australia), shoppers can now easily comprehend the environmental impact a preloved purchase can have. 

Even better, a purchase in one of the 16 Isabel Hospice shops across eastern Hertfordshire, or via the popular eBay Isabel Hospice shop, not only contributes to carbon saving but also diverts items from ending up in landfill.

All profits from an Isabel Hospice shop go towards the vital funds that enable the charity to provide free palliative care to those in the local community. 



Over the last 42 years, Isabel Hospice has long been ambassadors for sustainability.

The charity officially launched a Tonnes of Care Initiative in 2022, with a mission to turn pre-loved items into nursing hours.

The five-year initiative strives to save tonnes of unwanted clothing, homeware and electricals going to landfill by encouraging the public to donate good quality items to their shops.

Madeleine added: “It can be hard to actually visualise how your purchase in a charity shop makes a difference in the grand scheme of things, but simply input your recent shopping haul into our new calculator and see the CO2 emission savings with your own eyes.”