Said with a sideways look and a heavy french accent, of course I’m talking about Value Village – that virtual Aladdin’s cave of consumer crap – and I love it! Second-hand shopping and I go way back: I credit my dear mother for this way of life. With seven children and stories of Depression-era poverty, we learned early on to reduce, reuse and recycle. I did not enjoy the idea of day-old bread and second-hand clothes at the time, I have to tell you. But it might just be that she actually gave me some useful tools to survive.

Today, of course, it’s super-cool to second-hand shop. And by super-cool I mean anyone who wants to actually DO something GOOD. For example:

This baby would make make my dear daughter happy for Christmas. What do you think? Just kidding, but she would still love it!

Environmental and other Benefits:

  • Keeps crap out of the landfill;
  • employs people;
  • $$ is ostensibly used to further diabetes research
  • Retaxation – government revenue.
  • Try weird things and meet new people

Also, shopping second-hand is one way* to save the planet and satisfy the shopping “itch” that has been wired into us as we surf AND if we can at least give all those plastic gizmos and gadgets out of landfill for a little longer, perhaps we’ll figure out by then how NOT to pollute our little earth as we and they decompose. If we can manifest crap, surely we should be able to un-manifest it too? Hello science? Where are you?

Just Breathe

Yes, it takes confidence to rock a full-length sequined gown in emerald green at the grocery store, but you can ease yourself into your own style slowly. If Elton John can do it, so can you. When you arrive, take a moment to survey the racks and let your eye rest anywhere it wants. Often you can find patterns, colours and textures you are drawn to, if you rely on your peripheral vision.

Even Elphaba would enjoy this!
Looks like no one I know.

Things to look for (clothes):

  • Generous seams and quality fabric, that isn’t wrinkled. Can it be altered?
  • Label? Yes, sometimes it’s possible to find an original Chanel.
  • Handmade? Sweaters (especially Aran wool yarn fisherman sweater) in good shape are rare and with their weight in cold weather!)

Although prices have gone up in recent years, if you sign up for their e-mail and combine your purchase with sale days promotions or a donation card discount, you can score big! Today, I saw a BNIB medium-size oval crock-pot for $20! I don’t need one, but this pony was cute. (Pony anyone?)I cannot imagine what P would say if I brought that home!

Namaste, Nancy

* I don’t really think shopping is a “need.” I’m fundamentally against consumerism for obvious reasons. But as a city-girl I would perish in the wild so harm reduction, mitigation, transitions to newer forms of consumerism is necessary. In other words- It’s a start! 🙂