While thrifting is very interesting (I only wish we had thrift stores here!) and I agree with your points, I've always wondered if it really is an alternative to the consumeristic mindset. I mean that buying secondhand is still buying, so still a way to fill an emotional void with material things. What do you think?I agree with Raffia. Buying second-hand IS still buying and a way to continue to fill emotional voids with material objects. I took a long break from ALL buying, including second-hand buying, even buying for my business, to examine what I tend to buy and why I buy. These are my thoughts a few months in:
1) We Need to Be Careful About Every Object We Bring Into Our Lives. Free, Thrifted, and Otherwise: Thrifting is environmentally friendly; reducing landfill mass and provides an alternative to products made in sweatshops. Hell, it's fun. But once you're in the lifestyle it becomes too easy to obtain wares for free or close to it. You get to know all the best stops, your eyes are glued to curbsides. You can easily pick up too much, leaving you with an unorganized hoarder-mess.
2) You Need a System: These free and low-cost supplies are necessary from indie business owners on a budget, but you need a strict set of rules on what comes in and out and a detailed organization system. Example: Keep all plywood organized by size, texture, and color in your workshop and remnants for jewelry creating neatly organized in a (thrifted) tackle box. Donate one thing for every item you bring in.
3) Think of the Legacy You Want to Leave: I often think about the legacy we'll leave behind on a macro and micro level. Let's think about what people would say about our homes and our work after we pass. I want them to see a thoughtful, helpful creator who collected with a good eye; not piles of junk.
4) Human's Innately Crave Constant Novelty: In Not Buying It: My Year Without Shopping I read about 19th century economist/sociologist Thorstein Velben and his "aesthetic nausea" theory. It's when you get bored with the latest fashion, the novelty's gone and it's chucked for the next trend. This has been going on since our first civilization in The Fertile Crescent and in caves before that. The human-best constantly examines and collects, seeking new resources and better chances for survival. It's natural, but we can overcome and do this in a more organized fashion.
5) It's okay to examine the world, collect from it, and re-arrange. Thoughtfully. Make a plan: We choose what to bring in and how to reconstruct it into something new. Think about where you choose to spend your money or what to bring in. Do it wisely and with care.
Also, note: I've happened upon comments on past posts asking detailed questions. I don't often read comments on past posts after that week (you can see the dates at the top left of each post). Please e-mail me and I'll get back to you.
What are your thoughts on thrifting and materialism? Is it still a bad thing?