Second Hand: The Story Behind the Items You Buy

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Being aware of environmental issues means we all know that there’s a lot we could do to make sure we waste as little as possible, and recycle whenever we can. In today's consumer-driven society, the best way to save your own budget, help the environment and satisfy your shopping cravings is to buy second-hand. Usually, recycled wares are perfectly good items, which the original owner simply didn’t want anymore and, instead of ending up at a landfill, they were given a chance to live out the full extent of their useful lives in the hands of a new owner.

Lower Your Expenses 
One of the advantages of buying second hand is saving money. Beside the thrill of a treasure hunt (‘cause you never know what you’re going to find), in these stores you can buy numerous items for a much lower price. This will allow you to satisfy your fashion appetites, and to be practical and efficient when buying for your kids. Little ones grow out of their tiny clothes so fast, so if you don’t have an older kid in your family or a friend with a child you can inherit kids` clothes from, don’t hesitate to buy them second-hand.

What You See is What You Get
If you have an issue with buying used things, think about it like letting the pig out of the poke. The fact that the item had already been used for some time reveals its quality and potential flaws. You’ll see how a garment holds up after it’s been washed numerous times, or how nice looking furniture can stand the test of time. This way you can be sure that you are purchasing quality, well-made pieces, which otherwise you may not be able to afford.

It’s Not Only Good for Your Budget - It’s Good for the Planet, Too
Used products are usually discarded and eventually end up at a landfill, which is becoming a very big problem. It’s not only a waste of useful materials; buying new products also generates waste from the packaging materials such as plastic bags, tags, etc.

Buying used stuff will save unnecessary energy consumption and reduce pollution created in the process of production, manufacture and transportation of new items. Think about the fuel needed for the transportation of new clothes that come from thousands of miles away, compared with the amount used in the gathering and distribution of used items.

Labour Exploitation
If you read the labels on branded products, you’ll (usually) see that they were made in developing nations.  People who work in factories in developing countries often work in inhuman and unfair conditions - a fact that most of the western customers aren’t aware of, or chose not to know.  By avoiding these clothes, you can exclude yourself from that chain of modern-age slavery. Even if you buy a second hand wardrobe from the same manufacturer, at least you won’t generate the need for new items.

Ethical and Eco Fashion
An alternative to common fashion trends are clothes made from organic and sustainable materials, following the rules of traditional skills of rural communities. These kind of manufactures, stand up against labor exploitation, environmental pollution and all of the other things which make high fashion so successful. Their way of production and collaboration is the so-called Fair trade fashion, in which all sides make a united team in order to produce ethical and eco-friendly fashion collections.

Naturally, buying second hand means you’ll have to make some compromises. Maybe you won’t find the exact t-shirt you were looking for, or the piece of furniture you just bought is slightly damaged. On the other hand, except their positive social and environmental impact, second hand items usually have a unique character which makes them much more interesting than current, mass produced items.

Author BIO:

Sophia Smith is Australian based fashion, beauty and lifestyle blogger. She enjoys spotting emerging trends and have a great passion for living well. Sophia writes mostly in fashion related topics, mainly through blogs and articles. She is regular contributor at High Style Life.

Find Sophia on: Twitter and Google +


Kezzie said...

Brilliant article! I agree most fervently.
I lived in Bali for a year and I was having a lesson at my music teacher's community place and there was a lady there sitting hand sewing sewing and beads onto some sandals to sell. She had barely scraped the surface of the task in the two hours I was there and I imagined that she wouldn't sell them for that much to a shop to sell and then a Westerner might buy them and wear them once, then discard when SO much work went into them.

Unknown said...

I'm happy to see that more and more bloggers are sharing the idea of eco fashion

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