When you read the title for this post, your initial reaction might be "awesome" but it may also be "ewww gross". My reaction would be the former but if you're reaction was the latter, please know you are not alone. The demand for second-hand goods has grown steadily over the years with thrift shops, consignment stores and websites; Kijiji, Craigslist, VarageSale, Thredup and Facebook. The second-hand market has given consumers the opportunity to sell their gently used items for cash, and find quality used items at a significantly lower price than if buying new.
There are definitely some items that you might be better off buying new; undergarments, swimwear, and socks come to mind but aside from those very personal items the options for buying second-hand are limitless. Here are some reasons why I think that shopping second-hand is a great idea:
1. Wallet-Friendly: This point may be open for argument as I am aware that deals on the high street discount rack are pretty good but the beauty of buying used clothing, particularly through Kijiji, Facebook etc. is that the price is usually low (people want to get rid of their stuff quick) and the price is usually negotiable, SCORE. Another point would be that you can get some really high quality used items for a fraction of the cost of buying new; example: a Canada Goose jacket, these rarely go on sale.
2. Stand Out From the Crowd: One of the problems with always buying new, current and inexpensive; everyone else has the same thing. That dress you saw in the window at your local Mango? There are thousands of others out there just like it. Buying something vintage, from a few seasons ago or even something purchased abroad can add some exclusivity to your wardrobe.
3. Supports Local Charities/Businesses: This point may vary from country to country but there are local thrift shops who will pass on some of the benefits of your donations to people in need. Showing support for local consignment businesses is a good way to help while at the same time getting a bit of money back from your used items.
4. Creates a Sense of Community: Buying or selling through sites online like Kijiji, where you are dealing with people in your area, can create a sense of community. It puts some the money you initially gave to a corporation back in your pocket, or it is helping one of your neighbours to make some extra money while you get a great deal on the item you desire; win-win.
5. Reduces Textile Waste: Like it or not we are a society of consumers. This is great for our country's economy but not so great for our planet. The conventional clothing and textile industry is the second-most polluting industry in the world, so by reducing the amount of clothing that ends up in landfills and by reducing the demand for new textiles (or demanding a change in how textiles and clothing are produced) we can hopefully steer the industry in a better direction for our earth.
Do you ever buy second-hand? What are your favourite stores or websites for buying quality used items? Please let me know in the comments section below! Don't forget to follow me on Twitter for updates on my posts ;)