Squash the "Used" Taboo

by Matt Stodolak
Squash the "used" Taboo Thrift shops, "used" stores, consignment "swap" spots and garage sales, all of the old school terms used for places to shop on a budget.  Sometimes the thought that buying an item that someone else has previously "used" is a negative one. Often laced with the idea that the item may be damaged or dirty, giving the second owner a reputation for having questionable taste or no taste at all.  Not to mention the actual thrift shop or used store spaces are thought to be dishevelled and poorly merchandised, often with a stale, unpleasant smell.  These ideas are where the taboos of buying a "used" item were born.   The evolution has been slow but a shift in thinking is coming around. In fact, many You Tubers and even celebrities are making it "cool" to shop and wear used or second hand.  Giving bragging rights to those who "score" a great thrift find.  So what is the future of buying "used"?  Well, in theory, it should be the way of the future based on our looming environmental issues where consumerism and consumption are the biggest culprits destroying our planet.  Heaps and heaps of textiles landing in landfills, billions of gallons of water used to produce denim alone, and transportation of goods using excess amounts of oil.  Buying something "used" means one less item being produced, technically.  But is it happening enough to make that big of an impact?  Where production of goods is decreasing? Hardly!  In fact, consumerism is at an all time high.   Ok, its not all doom and gloom, sustainable consumerism IS in our future.  Many movements are happening.  Zero waste, repurposing, resale, sustainability, consignment, buy and sell.  All newer terms that are becoming common to our vocabulary.  Innovation is occurring.  Resellers are creating a pleasant shopping experience.  "Used" items are easier to purchase on line through social media or even sophisticated ecommerce. Buying resale is a thing!  The taboo is slowly being squashed. Being optimistic is necessary,  being creative is imminent and buying "used" is the right thing to do!   Kendra Green-Owner, Luv Scarlet-finer consignment