Give Your Stuff a New Lease in Life
By Larraine Roulston
Recently, CBC Radio aired an interview with Adam Minter, author of ‘Secondhand: Travels in the New Global Garage Sale’. His book unveils the growing globalized secondhand market. As an advocate to reuse, repurpose and recycle, he believes in patronizing thrift stores to find quality made items, save money, conserve resources and reduce waste.
Buying gently used goods from local thrift stores will also aid social service organizations. According to the Association of Resale Professionals, the reuse of items has turned into a multi-billion-dollar-a-year industry. These stores attract the vintage collector, hobbyist, financially well off, those who are on a tight budget and everyone in-between.
Crafts: In the sewing corner, you’re apt to find the right tool, fabric or threads that you require. On more than one occasion, I have replaced broken knitting needles. Wool can be found not only in a bin of various ball sizes, but also in sweaters or shawls that can be unraveled.
Clothes: Shopping second hand for baby and toddler clothes makes financial sense, while discovering outfits and accessories of any age is a bonus.
Sports: If you are contemplating taking up a new sport, it might be wise to pick up the equipment at a thrift store first to test your skill and enthusiasm.
Household Furniture. Large stores have a selection of tables, chairs, cabinets and rugs.
Gifts: My grandkids know I purchase their books and puzzles at thrift stores. One year, the board game Battleship was on their Christmas list. Checking out my local Salvation Army thrift store, I found an original version in mint condition. With luck, you’ll spot that perfect ornament, toy or book.
Building or Renovating: Nothing beats shopping at Habitat for Humanity when you are looking for building supplies or fixtures. My latest acquisition from our local store included two wooden louver doors at $15 each.
Kitchen: Thrift stores are known for their large variety of complete sets of dishes, glasses and mugs. Recently my neighbour finally found the type of drinking glass she was searching for when she walked into a thrift store. You’ll usually find what you need in the way of serving spoons, ladles, graters or potato mashers.
Stationery: As it’s a practical idea to have a few birthday and other greeting cards on hand, check out the box that contains a mix of greeting cards.
Clean Rags: To find a suitable material to clean brushes, artists frequently rummage through the container of mixed fabrics.
Mira’s Vintage Boutiques is familiar to many Scarborough folks. During this trying time, Mira created masks and donated many to the SPCA – as she does with unsold consignment shop items for their use as a fundraiser. Now open 12-5 every day except Monday, she is happy to welcome back regular and new customers.
Thrift stores’ staff and volunteers take pride in keeping their shelves and clothes racks clean and fresh. These are places where shoppers find delightful treasures at bargain prices. What’s more — no packaging! No lengthy transportation! Support thrift stores to engage in the rising circular economy.
~ Larraine writes children’s books that highlight the joy of composting and pollinating with the adventures of Pee Wee at Castle Compost. With illustrations, songs, and poems, the stories unearth the miracles of nature’s cycle of life. Fun and factual for all ages. To order, postage free visit: www.castlecompost.com