A quarter of couples (26 per cent) have received an accessory from their partner they didn’t like, and most of them – a staggering three quarters (74 per cent) – pretended to like it for fear of upsetting their loved one, a survey from Oxfam of 2,000 adults in a relationship has revealed.

However, 69 per cent have still got the unwanted item often stashing it away in a cupboard out of sight. Oxfam is urging these couples to confess their true feelings in time for The Big Bling & Buy Sale, the UK’s biggest ever accessories sales and donation drive on 20 March to 19 April, which aims to rack up an extra £1 million for vital Oxfam projects.

The charity needs everyone to donate unwanted hidden accessories to Oxfam and snap up others in one of its 668 shops or Oxfam’s Online Shop, all treasure troves of unique, stylish accessories at brilliant prices. Oxfam wants donations from both men and women, everything from bangles to belts, hats to heels, cufflinks and ties to watches, sunglasses and scarves. These accessories have the power to transform lives, as well as outfits.

“If every person donated just one accessory it could raise millions of pounds for Oxfam’s vital work. £1 million raised could provide school supplies for 125,000 children in Niger,’ said Andrew Horton, Oxfam Trading Director. “It could build 20,000 latrines in an emergency, or provide more than 140,000 mosquito nets to protect vulnerable people while they sleep. That is why it’s crucial people donate their unwanted accessories to Oxfam.”

The survey revealed a difference in taste was the most common reason for not liking an accessory (68 per cent). Not surprising since almost a third of couples (31 per cent) admits to having a very different style to their partner’s. Forty per cent of disappointed recipients wore the unloved accessory once or twice, and then stuffed it away out of sight. The most common items were jewellery (29 per cent), although four per cent admitted to receiving a man bag that just wasn’t for them. The most popular items couples would actually like to receive are watches (12 per cent), closely followed by an engagement ring (nine per cent).

The survey revealed more fascinating glimpses into couples’ shopping habits. Almost half of women (43 per cent) felt confident buying their partner an accessory, compared to only a quarter of men (25 per cent). There are geographical differences too. Forty per cent of people in the East Midlands are most likely to confess to their partner about accessory errors, compared to just five per cent in Wales. Both men and women think a GSOH (good sense of humour) is more important than a GSOS (good sense of style). But style is rated more highly by men – 13 per cent consider it a priority compared to 6 per cent of women.

The Big Bling & Buy Sale has attracted celebrity support, with Laurence Fox, Hilary Alexander, Nina Wadia and George Lamb modelling Oxfam accessories for the campaign.

“Some of my favourite possessions have come from Oxfam. You can buy beautiful things there,” said Laurence Fox. “I hate wastefulness and there really is no need to buy new. Many things get better with age, especially bags. When you donate and buy from Oxfam, you are changing lives for the better. Everybody wins.”

Fashion expert Hilary Alexander agreed. “All of us have at least one accessory we have got tired of, or doesn’t fit or suit us anymore. You don’t need it. But donated to Oxfam it can do a lot of good.”

Find out more here.

Source: Oxfam UK

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