We are all feeling the cost of living bite right now, and with Christmas on the way yet again, we’re all feeling that pinch of a budget belt. Some people would never dream of shopping around at second hand stores and thrift shops to be able to get what they want for their families, but because of the cost of living going up so quickly, we are all turning to alternative methods to be able to afford even the basics. Most of us have at least one item that we’ve bought second hand, and whether that’s at a charity shop or from an auction, second hand items are now becoming more and more popular. This unfortunately means that a lot of charity shops are starting to put their prices up higher than ever before.
Buying used goods doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to stick to only buying used goods, but in this particular moment in time, a used car is going to be a better economy than buying a brand new one, especially when you don’t have the finance or the credit to be able to buy a brand new. The most important thing about buying second hand is the environmental cost. The environmental savings that you will make because you are not choosing to buy something mass produced is a great reason to go ahead and buy second hand. But if you are still on the fence as to whether or not second hand is the way to go, we’ve put together a big list of reasons why it is.
- You can choose high quality for a much lower price. Just because something has been used before doesn’t mean that it’s any lower quality than any other time. There are so many second hand products that aren’t just on charity shops, but are on websites like Facebook, Marketplace and Vinted that you could pick up for a steal. And it’s not just clothes. You can buy furniture, toys, even cars second hand for a lot less money than you’d have to buy them new.
- You save the environment. Imagine being able to save the planet every time you shop. Climate change is very real and we are experiencing such drastic changes that the growth market out there for food and for materials is slowing down. Cotton clothes, for example, take a lot of water and energy. When you are buying and selling cotton clothes, you’ll find that they come at a higher price tag for that reason because they take a lot of money to produce. However, when you are rescuing second hand cotton clothing from your favourite thrift stores or online marketplaces, you will find that you are saving the environment by not using that amount of water. The clothes have only been created once and you are simply repurposing them. It’s the same with used cars. You are saving the environment because the cost of production is no longer going to be a factor and we’re talking about the environmental cost, not just the financial one.
- You get a chance to buy into the luxuries. If you’ve not been a person who’s ever really bought into luxury brands, you might find that you will when you can spend the second hand prices to do so. For example, second hand Gucci bags may still look expensive, but they are about half the cost of a regular Gucci bag, which means that they are steel. Being able to browse for high valued items and sell them for a profit is also a little side hustle that you can make from buying second hand things in the first place buying things that are beyond your budget for less money or using a gift card at the second hand store will also save you in the long run.
- It’s all about ethics. When you are second hand shopping, you are putting your ethics at the forefront of your mind. If you are a regular at thrift stores, you will know that you’ll be contributing less to the average output of a manufacturer. Fast fashion is a very big deal, and if you are not contributing to people having to work for below average wages for very long hours then it can make you feel good about your purchases. You don’t feel so guilty about shopping when you know that you are not going to be contributing to a slave trade abroad.
- You are saving resources. Did you know that a huge percentage of cotton that is grown from materials is heavily reliant on pesticides? Not only do these acidify the soil, they contaminate water supplies nearby. If the fashion industry is producing around 20% of global wastewater, then you are not going to be contributing to that waste when you buy second hand. This means that you can shop sustainably and adopt new buying habits that are good for the environment. So before you next go to your favourite stores, make sure you think about your impact.
- It will live for longer. Whatever the item is, it’s going to live a lot longer when you buy second hand. You can use that item yourself, you can donate it, you can give it, or you can give it a whole new life. Second hand clothing, especially when it’s still in great condition, is an excellent choice for upcycling the clothes that you already have. Reusing ensures that we use items to their full capacity and saves any physical waste. This way you are making one less item fit in the landfill.
- You can bargain for better. We’re talking about the cost of living crisis right now, which means that you still are going to need to buy things, you just might not be able to afford them as much as you used to. When you buy second hand, you have the opportunity to bargain for a better price, and that allows you to avoid the mass produced goods that come from a seller with a fixed price. This is especially the case when it comes to buying a new car, because then you can bargain for how much you spend.
- You would be supporting a good cause. One of the things that you’ll find with second hand stores is that they donate the profits elsewhere. Most second hand stores are choosing to raise money for cancer charities or other children’s charities, which means that the money that you’ll be paying in will be going towards that charity because the staff are largely volunteers.
- It’s all about waste prevention. The 6th largest expenditure for households in the European area is fashion. Clothes for the kids, clothes for the adults, bedding, blankets, towels, you name it. When you are thrifting these items, you’re going to prevent a lot of waste in both the environment and in your pocket.
Even if you’ve never been a thrift store shopper before, it doesn’t mean you can’t change your habits now. From buying cars to buying furniture, you can be able to save a lot of money and a lot of the impact on the environment purely by ensuring that you are buying second hand. It doesn’t have to take much money and it doesn’t have to take a lot of energy, but you will find yourself in the midst of amazing products if you just know where to shop.
Disclosure: This is a featured post.