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Why Buying Secondhand Is Important

By Rachel

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Last Updated on September 28, 2023 by Rachel Granholm

I’m writing from my heart today on why buying secondhand is important!

Hello, guys. I had something completely different on my schedule to write about this week but felt a tug to write this instead. My heart is broken and hurting for the beautiful people and island of Maui, Hawaii. Maui is a very special place to me and one of the most beautiful places in the world.

I have come to realize that this blog is turning into something far greater than I could have ever imagined. So, I’m using this platform to speak up for the Earth. It needs us now more than ever.

Thrifting is a way of living sustainably during this time when environmental concern is at it’s peak. Come along as I share my thoughts on why buying secondhand is important!

*This post is in honor of the people of Maui. I’m wrapping you all with love and sending my prayers of peace to you.*c

Maui, Hawaii

I had to go waaaaay back in the archives for this one. The photo below is us as a very young newlywed couple on our Maui honeymoon, circa 2012. Gosh look how little we were! I was certain we would be back a few years later but life happened and time got away from us.

We spent many hours in the historic and beautiful old town of Lahaina where the fires just happened. This photo was taken at a luau, just minutes away.

The terrible fires, which have claimed so many precious lives, is a result of a number of factors including more consistent and extreme drought and weather patterns. Maui, which is one of the most beautiful places that I’ve ever seen, doesn’t deserve this.

The ocean, which has seen record breaking high water temperatures, doesn’t deserve this. This planet, which sustains our everyday lives, is crying out for help. It’s our time to listen. We need to take care of our planet so it can take care of us.

a Hibiscus flower courtesy of Abbs Johnson from Unsplash
Photo courtesy of Unsplash.com

Through it all, there is good news! We can slowly turn this around if we all put our minds to it. By choosing to do one small thing, whether it be using beeswax food wraps over plastic wrap or keeping a re-usable straw in your car to use instead of a plastic one, adds up to big and everlasting change.

Why Buying Secondhand Is Important

Thrifting for decor and buying used items is beneficial not only for your wallet but for the environment, as well. Let’s take a closer look at how!

1. Cuts Back on Waste.

The first reason why thrifting is more sustainable is because it helps reduce excess waste.

When items are purchased brand new, they are usually used for a year or two and then often end up in a dump. Over time, the cycle of buying new and throwing things away after a few years adds up to so much trash.

What is more beneficial for all of us, and for the environment, is to donate and purchase items or clothing from thrift stores, vintage shops, estate sales or garage sales.

If buying used things seems icky to you, I promise you can find basically brand new things, sometimes still with the tags on them. There’s nothing that soap and water can’t fix, either!

vintage hobnail milk glass styled on a shelf

2. Eliminates Items from Landfills.

Plain and simple, buying things secondhand stops landfills from filling up.

It’s so much healthier for the Earth to have items be re-used instead of sitting in a dump, polluting the soil!

If you have items around your house that you want to get rid of, please donate them to a thrift shop! Don’t throw them in the trash. There are so many people that would love to have the thing that you are not using.

a vintage enamelware kettle with daisies

3. Reduces the Carbon Footprint.

Buying used items, clothing especially, helps to reduce your carbon footprint because you are re-using something that already exists. This helps to offset the carbon emissions from factories and other production warehouses.

I buy many of my clothes from the online thrift store ThredUp. You can purchase brand new clothing, with tags still attached, for half the price! According to their website, they have helped offset 637 million pounds of carbon! That’s just crazy cool.

a river scene near Lanesboro, MN

4. Gives Old Things New Purpose.

The next reason to buy secondhand is to give new meaning and purpose to things, whether they are old or not.

The Antiqued Journey’s sole mission is to encourage you to find something that has been used and loved for many years and give it new life! I’m all about finding and re-using vintage decor items in my home. It’s so much fun!

The four vintage pieces below were all found at different thrift shops but look how beautiful they all look styled together! I promise you can do it, too.

If you need help with how to thrift for these types of pieces, send me an e-mail. I would love to coach you through it!

blue and white vintage kitchen vessels displayed with faux greenery

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5. Decreases Water and Air Pollution

Finally, thrifting is an extremely beneficial way for decreasing water and air pollution.

When you buy something secondhand, you are eliminating the amount of chemicals polluted into the air and water from factories, which is much healthier for the environment.

The photo below is from a recent trip to the country in Southern Minnesota. With gorgeous bluffs, rolling hills and pristine streams, I can’t help but look after it, you know?

wildflowers in a field at dusk

How You Can Help

I am not including any shoppable links in this post.

Instead, I am hoping that you will give a donation. Any amount helps. Below, you will find links to websites where you can help the people of Maui as well as support the the environment.

If we join together and work as a team, we can overcome anything.

Closing Tidbits

I truly hope you can see, or start to see, the benefits of why buying secondhand is important. Far-reaching change isn’t going to happen overnight. It takes time, patience and thoughtful effort. But, I feel confident that we can all take the steps needed to help create an Earth that is vibrant, thriving and full of new life. Be encouraged to lend a hand, finding a renewed sense of living along the way.

signature from The Antiqued Journey

Leave me a comment! Have you ever been to Maui? What was your favorite place or memory? I love hearing from you!

an image for pinning

Just click on the red button in the left corner!

a vintage enamelware pot filled with daisies

If you are new here, I’m Rachel, the writer and content creator here at The Antiqued Journey. I’m so happy to have you! I encourage you to stop by the ‘about me’ page to get to know me a little more. Here on the blog, you will find loads of inspiration for decorating with vintage and antique decor, simple DIY crafts and many thrifting adventures. If that interests you, I invite you to sign up for my e-mail. You will receive a free digital download as a thank you!

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Other Thrifting Posts to Enjoy

a row of vintage green books on a shelf with milk glass
How to Thrift for Vintage Books

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Thrifted Goodies Volume 4

a vintage copper handled cup on a peg hook
Displaying Thrifted Vintage Copper

50 Comments. Leave new

  • God bless you for your post. I try to “use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without” when I can, but I treasure my second hand buys.

    • Rachel Granholm
      August 17, 2023 9:27 am

      Hi Sue,
      You have no idea how much your comment means to me. I was pretty nervous to put this one out there but I had to. I appreciate your concern for the environment, as well. Thank you so much for being here today and for letting me know that my purpose means something to someone else. Stay well!

  • MaryJo Materazo
    August 17, 2023 9:22 am

    If you get an unfinished comment from me- sorry. Lol. I was typing & it disappeared. Anyway. TY for bringing awareness to Maui and 2nd hand shopping. I always use reusable shopping bags and my husband calls them my “save the planet” bags. And I always respond yup every little bit helps. I am still in disbelief on what has happened to Maui. Very devastating. Stay well friend. XO- MaryJo

    • Rachel Granholm
      August 17, 2023 9:25 am

      I’m so thankful that you enjoyed this. I was a little nervous to put this one out there but I had to. It’s just so unbelievably sad. Thanks, MJ, for reading today. Have a good one!

  • CraftAtticResources
    August 17, 2023 12:10 pm

    Sometimes you can find stuff second hand that is no longer available new. My doctor suggested an exercise program for indoor walking but there are only cuts of the videos now available online. I’ve found several new or almost new DVD’s online as others bought and didn’t use them but for me they’ve made a huge difference in allowing me to work out in the cold of winter and the heat of summer. There are all kinds of reasons people seek stuff second hand.

    There is much to be said about understanding what you aren’t using can be something great for someone else if you let it go.

    • Rachel Granholm
      August 17, 2023 12:43 pm

      You are exactly right!! Someone else would love to use the thing that you aren’t. Thanks so much for reading and stopping by today!!

  • Such a beautiful “sermon”!! We do need to think more about our beautiful earth and how to protect it….using and re-purposing second hand items are how I’ve always rolled. Guess I inherited it from my Mom who, raising 7 children, made things last and we each grew up wearing our older siblings’ clothing if still in good shape, but even if not, they became our “play clothes”. Our school clothes were changed out of as soon as we got home and play clothes put on. To this day, I buy used clothing, used dishes and on and on! Not everyone understands “old” items, but having “new” just isn’t my bag. God Bless you, Rachel for your post today….very appreciated!

    • Rachel Granholm
      August 17, 2023 8:07 pm

      Hi, Karolyn!!
      First of all, thank you so much for your amazing and wonderful comment. I agree with all that you said, 1000%. I am so thankful that this post resonated with you. Thanks so much for stopping by today! It means more than you know.

  • Debbie- Dabble
    August 18, 2023 10:54 am

    What a wonderful post!! I have been thrifting for over 40+ years….And that was when it was frowned on and not considered chic! Now thrifting has come to the forefront as a better way to help the Earth and keep things out of the landfill!! GREAT post in helping bring this to light for so many that do not understand why right now thrifting is very important!!!!

    • Rachel Granholm
      August 18, 2023 11:13 am

      Hey Deb!
      Thank you SO much for your lovely and supportive comment! I am so happy that you love to thrift just as much as me:) I truly appreciate you stopping by today! Have a great weekend ahead!

  • Beth Anderson
    August 18, 2023 11:39 am

    What an important blog you had this week! SO MANY reasons to shop thrift stores and used items. I learned some details too! Thank you, dear girl!

  • Patti McMains
    August 18, 2023 9:42 pm

    Awesome post and reminder Rachael! I love thrifting and now my adult kids do too! My heart breaks for the people of Maui. My husband and I also honeymooned there eight years ago and have been back twice since then. Thank you for the donation links. We have already given, so I will bookmark your post and give again next month.
    Warm Regards,
    Patti M.

    • Rachel Granholm
      August 18, 2023 9:59 pm

      Hi, Patti!
      Thanks you SO much for the lovely and thoughtful comment. We had the best time on Maui….I’m so happy that you’ve been able to go back! We hope to get back soon!
      I’m so happy that this post resonated with you and love to thrift just as much as me 🙂 I’m grateful for you being here and thanks so much for your willingness to donate again. Bless you!

  • Hi Rachel! What happened in Maui is heartbreaking! I have never had the pleasure of visiting there but have always wanted to go! Thanks for sharing your heart with us today! It’s so important we each do what we can to help our beautiful planet!

    • Rachel Granholm
      August 19, 2023 11:18 am

      Hey Donna!
      It’s such a beautiful place. I hope you get to see it someday soon!! Thanks for coming by today…have a lovely weekend!

  • Thank you for sharing Rachel. We live in such a throw-away society right now, so much waste and misuse of our resouorces. It’s always helpful to be reminded of easy ways we can help cut back on this!

  • Hi Rachel. I have not been to Maui but I have been to Kauai. You are right – Hawaii is beautiful. I absolutely love your philosophy and feel the same way. I always used to tell my family and friends that selling antiques is the ultimate form of recycling. Ha!

    • Rachel Granholm
      August 21, 2023 7:08 pm

      I’ve also been to Kauai and it’s JUST as stunning! Thanks for the encouragement, friend!

  • Such an important and timely message, Rachel! It’s heartbreaking to see the devastation from the fires in Hawaii. I can’t even begin to imagine what they have been through and I’m thankful to see people using their platforms to help shed a light on their situation and the one that is happening all around our planet. It’s such an important message! Hugs, CoCo

    • Rachel Granholm
      August 22, 2023 12:25 pm

      Thank you, CoCo!! I appreciate your support on this one. I was pretty nervous to put this one out there but I had to and am so glad I did.
      I appreciate you coming by today! Hope you have a great rest of the week!

  • My heart aches for Hawaii and the people there. I couldn’t agree with you more Rachel, we are too quick to buy new and throw away the old. Thanks for this timely reminder 🥰

    • Rachel Granholm
      August 22, 2023 7:58 pm

      Hi, Cindy!
      Thanks so much for your lovely comment. I appreciate the encouragement!! Let us all keep on thrifting!

  • Janice McFadden
    August 24, 2023 6:41 am

    I have been affectionately called a “Bag Lady” for ever LOL!!! I am also being teased for not being able to pass a junk shop or thrift shop without stopping unless I can’t but will mark it for inspection later. My house is full of “finds” and antiques. Love the antiques for their usefulness and their workmanship. I also buy Estate jewelry for that reason – it’s my favorite and I rarely buy new, even for gifts for likeminded people. It’s so satisfying to find and use or repurpose pre-loved things. TY for your post regarding Maui. We all need to remember that things like this happen, and we need to help out where we can and stick together!!! Love your posts – keep them coming!!!! <3

    • Rachel Granholm
      August 24, 2023 8:16 am

      Hi Janice!
      This was the first e-mail that I read this morning and truly made me smile. Thank you so much for the encouragement and thoughtful comment. It makes me so happy to know that you love thrifting just as much as I do. I too have a hard time not stopping at any given store, especially on a road trip! I usually make my husband turn the car around 🙂 I appreciate you being here…thanks so much for the support! Hope you have a lovely day!

  • Hey Rachel – I saw this post on Cindy’s County Road 407 link party! It reminded me how much I loved it and your philosophy behind it. Just wanted to pop on over and leave you another comment. 🙂

  • Cara ~ Vintage Style Gal
    August 28, 2023 6:57 pm

    Great post Rachel! We have furnished our home with mostly all second hand furniture, which was a small thing. This past year, I really focused on reusing, upcycling, and getting creative with items that would have normally been thrown away. It is eye opening when you sit something on the counter before you throw it away, you see how much trash you are putting out. Crazy! I have loved getting creative and seeing what all I can come up with to keep items from the landfill.

    • Rachel Granholm
      August 28, 2023 9:57 pm

      Hi! Thanks so much!! So many neat things can be created by using ‘trash’. It’s so cool!

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Rachel from The Antiqued Journey blog

Hey! I’m Rachel!

I’m so glad you are here! Old things are my jam. Antique malls and thrift stores are my happy places.

Here on the blog I love to share my excitement, knowledge, and ideas about all things antique, vintage, and thrifted. Let’s journey together!

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