Story by Willow Wright
If you’re not already, now is the perfect time to start shopping vintage and second-hand for your home. There are so many benefits to shopping second-hand that will benefit both the earth and your wallet.
1. More Sustainable
There’s no greenwashing here, buying second-hand is 100% more sustainable than buying new. It keeps items out of landfills and it saves valuable resources that are needed to create the same item that you would have purchase new.
2. Leads to a circular second-hand economy
The life cycle of products is greatly extended when we choose to reuse, refurbish, repair and refurbish as long as possible. Think about the life-cycle of goods as a donut instead of linear. We should be preserving and passing items down to future generations instead of creating a straight line from manufacturing plants to eventual landfills.
3. Form of self-expression
Have you been thinking of switching up your style a bit? Buying used is an economical way to experiment with new colors, textures, and furnishings before you commit to a total design makeover.
4. Saves Money
This one is a no-brainer, used items usually come at a cost that is a fraction of the price of the new version. You can also make money by selling items that no longer serve you and contribute to the circular economy
5. Better quality
It’s an age-old adage that “things aren’t made like they used to be” and it’s true. Older items were created in an era of quality over quality and were built to stand the test of time. There’s a reason why antiques exist and fast furniture from big box stores will not stand the test of time.
6. Supports local economy
Whether you’re shopping a charity-based thrift shop, the independently owned vintage shop in your neighborhood or someone posting second-hand goods on a local platform, the dollars spent are staying in the local communities and not off to a big box corporation.
7. Creates a unique and curated home
You are guaranteed to have a home of your own when you shop used. The chances of having the same art and decorations as your neighbor are slim to none. Plus, you’ll have many conversation starters to enjoy with friends and family.
8. Makes for great gifts
Looking for the perfect gift for someone? Hitting up thrift, antique and vintage shops is a great way to find unique items that remind you of that special someone? Maybe it’s a souvenir from her hometown or a set of whiskey glasses for his new home bar. You’re sure to find the perfect gift if you keep an open mind!
9. No tax on local transactions
While this doesn’t apply to shopping local merchants when you choose to shop yard, garage and some estate sales you won’t be charged tax. Keep those extra dollars in your own pocket and support a local business instead.
10. Fosters a Sense of wonder
Here’s the biggest benefit, it’s fun!!! Spending time wandering the vintage and antique shops allows for the thrill of the hunt. You may not even have an item in mind and often an item just speaks to you. Whether it conjures up memories of your childhood and grandparent's home or it’s something you’ve never even seen before, enjoy the process of letting your eyes and imagination wander.
And remember, buying used and second-hand doesn’t have to be an all-or-nothing game. Each time you choose to purchase used, you’re making a difference in the future of our earth and saving quality pieces for the next generation.
Willow Wright is the owner of Urban Redeux, a vintage home décor shop in Alexandria. Currently located at 8742 Cooper Road, follow her on Instagram and Facebook at @urbanredeux and visit her website at www.urbanredeux.com