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Stories and green tips related to nature, adventure, placemaking, and food systems, written by a beginning farmer/gardener and seasoned sustainability educator who loves to grow, cook, ferment, and eat local and ecologically happy food.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Buying Used

The word "used" tends to have a connotation of bad, old, broken, or gross. But it doesn't have to be. Consignment boutiques sell used clothing, and oftentimes the boutiques are upscale and sell only lightly used, in-style clothing. In my hometown, there's one called Savvy Seconds. According to their website, they "accept only the highest quality, brand name merchandise for consignment." Not all used clothing has to be old or out of style.

However, there is an upside to shopping at those funky, old-style thrift shops. You can find unique clothes that no one else will have. My favorite thrift store is on Haight Street in San Francisco, which was made famously funky by hippies in the 1960s. The store is called Held Over, and it has clothes from all over, but most prominently from the 1950s, '60s, '70s, and '80s. It's a very random place. Most of the stores in the Haight sell interesting, fun, and sometimes over-the-top clothes. I can always find something interesting.

Buying used is a part of the "R" cycle--reduce, reuse, recycle--by buying used, you reduce the demand for production of new clothing, which takes up energy, and when you're finished with clothes, you can always recycle them into the consignment shops or Good Will stores.

Find the cute--or crazy--boutiques nearest you and give them a try. You'll be surprised at how fun they can be, all while reducing your environmental footprint. If it's close to your house, ride your bike there or take public transportation and reduce your footprint even more!

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"The goal is not to be better than the other man, but to be better than your previous self."
--Hindu proverb

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