With rising concern about the environmental and ethical costs of the consumer goods industry worldwide, second-hand retail has seen growing importance over recent years. In the United Kingdom, there are a total of 3,943 store specialising in selling second-hand goods. Second-hand is an industry employing an average of 36 thousand people. During 2019, sales in these stores saw a 17.6 percent rise in value.
When it comes to shopping for things like clothes, toys, furniture and more, the go-to tend to be buying them new. The convenience of running out to a big store or online retailer and picking up these items can be tempting. But at what cost? Not only does buying new typically cost you more money, but the environment is also paying a high price to produce those new items. If you’re new to buying used and are unsure if it’s right for you, here are some of the benefits of buying second-hand.
One of the most obvious and well-known benefits of buying second-hand is the cost savings. You can often find second-hand goods up to 50% cheaper than you could if you were buying new.
Helping the environment and preserving natural resources
When you think about the resources that go into creating new products, it isn’t just the labour and materials. Energy and natural resources go into creating the packaging that typically accompanies the new product. Each product that is manufactured is responsible for some level of depletion of natural resources. Whether that’s excavating oil, mining metals, clearcutting forests, farming cotton, or pumping water. For instance, did you know it takes 1,800 gallons of water on average to make a pair of jeans?
Often when you buy something new, you find that there’s so much plastic to try and cut through. It’s just not needed. Order it online and between the cardboard and packing stuff it’s hard to find the actual item you purchased. New products typically have some sort of packaging associated with them and not all of that material is recyclable.
Buy second-hand and you have less of that waste or mess. It’s either sensibly packed to send to you, picked up by you or purchased in a charity shop and taken home in your own bag! The items you buy used won’t come with all of the packaging that just gets thrown away. You can start enjoying your new-to-you items, packaging-free.
Having your own style
When you buy new, you’re typically choosing from mass-produced items, just like everyone else. Why be like them? Beyond the obvious benefits of buying used, you get the added bonus of owning items that you won’t find just anywhere. Finding that one off treasure be it clothing or furniture – makes you who you are! Not like everyone else.
A number of eco-conscious people had a ‘second-hand’ Christmas this year. 31 per cent planned to buy pre-owned presents to be more environmentally friendly. and a poll of 2,000 adults who celebrate Christmas revealed 62 per cent consider the current climate crisis as an important factor when buying pre-loved items for Christmas 2021.
Why not join them and give Rumage a try?