In the past we all thought we had to buy brand new products. This way we spent way too much and often our money ran out before the month did. But fast forward a few years and it is now not only acceptable, but it is trendy to shop from “secondhand shops,” or as some would have it, gently used, previously loved or vintage shops. Ultimately, it doesn’t matter what you call it, pre-loved shopping not only saves money, but it also saves the planet, and often it benefits a wider cause or small local business.We have all seen charity shops, book exchanges, used furniture shops, entire product lines made from recycled materials and objects, and those wonderful boutiques where exquisite clothing, often once worn, is affordable. Antique shops sell used items – i.e. The items in an antique shop must be used items to qualify as antiques!
Charity shops are not focused on retail sales but rather are a means to an end which could support a cause such as people with disability.
Your saving money by shopping at these shops becomes mindful shopping with conscience. Their shelves are usually packed with all sorts of quirky, interesting treasures, scattered amongst entirely everyday items. It is not unusual to see a beautiful crystal glass juxtaposed against a cheap coffee mug. These conscience shops offer a wide range of products dependent on what the donors donate. Stock changes constantly, so you never know what you will find, and you need to keep popping in. But they are guaranteed to save you money.
Several entrepreneurs have set up businesses around selling products made from recycled materials or by just selling on used goods. At these stores, items like used wooden pallets and cardboard boxes are sold at much less than the original price. Reuse and recycling are two of the chief pillars to managing our domestic waste.
Buy local. Support your local charity shops and businesses selling used products.
2021 is the year of upcycling. Many people find themselves in a financial squeeze and it is time for a little out-of-the-box creative thinking. Anyone can join the upcycling revolution.
Upcycling most often “… creates a product of higher quality or value than the original.” It is all about a splash of creativity, taking something old, and worn, and turning it into something chic, modern, and useful.
A full-length evening dress is the new mini dress. The rusted wheelbarrow becomes a planter. The china teacup sans its saucer, is a sugar bowl. Plastic bottles are bird feeders. A surplus dining table cut down to size is a new coffee table. New upholstery, a lick of paint, and new handles can create beautiful trendy furniture.
Look around your own home or your local used product shop and get started with an upcycling project.
For a little inspiration simply Google upcycling ideas. There is a wealth of ideas online that are sure to get your creative juices flowing.
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