Today I tried to go shopping for my eldest daughter’s birthday. Quickly racing through the scary world of tweens. She is very fashion conscious, and sadly a total victim of todays fast-paced consumer society. I struggle hugely to go guilt-free shopping but also give the kids gifts they will love.
Although I want to treat her to lots of lovely things as I love her dearly, I also need her to understand that our planet can’t keep up with the ever-growing demand for new stuff.
As a teenage girl I wanted endless amounts of tat to fill my world and make me happy. I had no idea that every new item of clothing or piece or plastic crap I owned was placing a strain on the world. This is not the way I want to raise my kids. It’s important to me that the next generation are aware of the impact of their buying decisions.
When I was a child my mum made a lot of our clothes and we had a fraction of the wardrobe of todays kids. I’m not saying that we all need to go back to the 70’s and stop buying our kids things but we could rethink what we are buying and where from.
I appreciate there may come a day when my girls turn down my second-hand purchases, but I have tried to help them understand the reasons behind them. Before I buy anything new I always question if I could get it second-hand instead. I also try to question if I really need the item at all, but I do like shiny things!
5 reasons to buy second-hand
- Guilt-free shopping – When someone else has already purchased the item the guilt of its production sits on their shoulders, not yours.
- Saving the planet – Recycling something that already exists reduces landfill and slows down new production.
- Saving your pocket – Obvious I know, but have you actually considered how much you could really be saving? I would much rather own a good quality second-hand item than buy a cheap new equivalent.
- It’s already built – Have you ever tried to build shelves from IKEA? Believe me, a second-hand piece of furniture is worth its weight in gold if you don’t have to almost get a divorce building a flat pack!
- It’s retro darling – Who wants to look like everyone else? Going out in a brand new dress from a high street store and bumping into someone else wearing the same is never cool.
Charity shops are amazing and you get the warm fuzzy feeling of knowing you are not only saving things from landfill but also that you are helping raise vital funds for worthy causes. I recently picked up this absolute bargain for our holiday for just £7.50. Oars and all! Hours of fun.
My kids accept second-hand as a way of life now. They have both just had new (to them) school boots which were barely used. One pair was a gorgeous designer brand and would have been almost £100 new. I would never spend this on shoes but I had their feet measured professionally then spent weeks scouring eBay until I found a bargain.
Although the draw of the high street is coming for sure, I’m sticking to the second-hand way for as long as I can.
Make it last