eBay reveals demand for greener World Book Day

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Ahead of  World Book Day on Thursday the 3rd of March,  school children and parents alike are gearing up for the literary celebration’s 25th anniversary. Soaring demand is already evident, with new data showing that searches for ‘book character costume’ have more than tripled on eBay in the run up to the big day, rising by 338%! 

Tasked with helping kids celebrate their favourite night time reads, eBay predicts parents have more on their minds this year when it comes to sourcing trendy costumes. Searches for ‘second hand costume’ have risen by 50% in the past month, whilst ‘second hand fancy dress’ has seen an increase of 33%, as the financial and environmental impact of buying brand new costumes hits home for many shoppers. 

Buying and selling preloved children’s costumes is one way to embrace more sustainable choices, ensuring outfits don’t end up alongside the estimated £140 million of clothing that’s sent to landfill every year. eBay’s World Book Day Hub is now offering over 26,000 pre-loved costumes and books that are both kinder to the planet andwon’t break the bank. There’s even still time for parents to get crafty, with searches for ‘DIY costume’ increasing by a whopping 500%.

When it comes to being on trend, this year’s character that has piqued the nation’s interest the most is the rebellious bookworm herself, Matilda, with searches for ‘matilda costume’ rising by 284% this past fortnight. This spike in interest comes just as the West End hit, ‘Matilda the Musical’ prepares to host a live streamed event for World Book Day’s 25th anniversary. The schoolgirl heroine is closely followed in popularity by timeless favourites, Thing 1 and The Cat in the Hat. 

Buying books second hand is a great way to find unique and well loved copies for the kids to cherish, while easing the strain on the planet and wallets. Whatever your preferences, World Book Day is all about imagination, helping children jump into different worlds from the comfort of their home – from Middle Earth to Hundred Acre Wood.  

Meanwhile, plenty of parents are throwing out the rulebook this year as it’s not only book characters that are getting a look in. Searches for Disney’s latest heroine, Mirabel Madrigal from breakthrough blockbuster Encanto have almost tripled, rising by 189% in the run-up to World Book Day!

Whether kids are reading Roald Dahl or embracing Encanto, the trend for preloved means opting for more affordable and sustainable choices at a time of year when we’re all going costume crazy. Passing stories from one book lover to another is a brilliant way to inspire the next reader while helping them save, sharing our notes in the margins to make World Book Day greener than ever.

– Emma Grant, Head of preloved, eBay

This year’s top trending costumes

  1. Matilda – up 284%
  2. Thing 1 – up 225%
  3. Cat in the Hat – up 203%
  4. Paddington Bear – up 157%
  5. Where’s Wally – up 139%
  6. Willy Wonka – up 118%
  7. Gruffalo – up 115%
  8. Hermione Granger – up 109%
  9. Alice in Wonderland – up 92%
  10. Harry Potter – up 89%

Top 10 most searched for books on eBay

  1. Harry Potter
  2. Diary of a Wimpy Kid
  3. Doctor Who
  4. David Walliams books
  5. Moomin
  6. The Hobbit
  7. Goosebumps
  8. Little People, Big Dreams
  9. Winnie the Pooh
  10. The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse


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