The term “secondhand” once brought a flush of crimson shame to the cheeks of anyone wearing their older sister’s jeans from last season, or whose older brother’s tennis shoes were now spray-painted pink for her to wear to school. Or, to the newlywed bride, a set of secondhand china was a placeholder for something newer-shinier-better. Millennials have been adults for awhile and have started to rewrite what is truly treasured in life, while simultaneously being accused of destroying industries like golf, diamonds, mayonnaise, napkins, and Hooters.
It isn’t that this generation is lazy or unwilling to live out the “American Dream”, but this generation has a great burden on its shoulders. The economy is suffering, quality jobs are unavailable, and the student loan debt in this country is astronomical. Many millennials are living at home while trying to find footing in careers that don’t have any vacancy, but some are also responsible to family members who require 24/7 care.
Read More: Millennial Pink
While millennials are perceived as being hell-bent on going against the grain, that is not completely true. It’s that they have decided that the grain is shallow and newer isn’t always better. In fact, divorce rates are lower than ever, and we are finally starting to make progress on getting climate change across. Humanity is starting to care about its future and a healthy habit of mindfulness is leading the charge.
Millennials aren’t lazy, they’re fed up. They are creating a new path of wholeness and a new depth of true purpose in life: to give back, to live without waste, and to heal the earth. This is why secondhand culture is so important, now more than ever.
Saving The Earth By Buying Secondhand
Buying secondhand items such as clothing, accessories, or furniture for your home makes your home even more unique because there is a good chance that no one else will have something like it. It will feel one-of-a-kind and can quickly become one of your favorite pieces! Of course, it’s not all about the visual appeal of eccentricity, or even the fact that secondhand items are often a fraction of the cost of buying new. It’s an issue of social and economic justice.
The amount of natural resources required to create new clothing and furniture takes a toll on the earth. Did you know that it takes 2,700 liters of water to produce a single cotton T-Shirt? This unseen water footprint to create and manufacture these items is too great a cost for a world where people still die of hunger and thirst. Buying secondhand items takes this crushing load off of our environment all while being the talking point of our room.
Buying Secondhand Is Educational
When millennials first got a new apartment and decided to fill it with furniture, chances are that they visited big box stores and came home with fragile furniture made of particle board and aluminum. When purchasing secondhand furniture, it will be important to know what you are looking for, and how to care for it. Caring for real wood furniture will be different than a metal or particle board side table. Finding kitchen ware may require a different method of cleaning (for example, cast iron cookware should not be washed with soap, and NEVER placed inside of a dishwasher).
Someone who cares enough to invest their time and money into secondhand furniture will definitely research how to properly care for their new items, learning all along the way.
Buying Secondhand Is A Marathon, Not A Sprint
The days of walking into a furniture showroom and pointing at a living room set are on their way out. Accent pieces and interesting finds are a great way to create a space that is truly, 100% you.
Read More: Successful Secondhand Shopping Tips
Of course, when buying secondhand, you’re not going to find everything you want all at the same time. It can take years to create a space that fully represents you and your style, but that’s truly the beauty of it. We don’t build our lives in one day or a week, our lives are built day by day and are ever-changing and growing, much like our style.
The slow pace of secondhand living may seem frustrating, but it’s built that way to allow for learning and growth to happen while saving earth’s limited and valuable resources. Your home and fashion will also be one-of-a-kind!
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Check out this article on Yard Sale Secrets For Success.