I’ve been a fan of the second hand goodness for as long as I can remember. Moving to Canada threw me for a little loop but I quickly latched onto the wonder of Consignment Stores. Can you say yes please? I love giving something new life and getting a bargain in the process, particularly when it comes to clothes and toys for my ever growing, ever changing brood. Reusing items that have lots of life in them and keeping my costs down always seemed like jolly good sense.
Recently, though, I’ve needed more. I’m increasingly aware of environmental issues, labour rights issues and others , which has helped me to see how important it is to reduce and reuse. But to be truthful those aren’t the main driving force for me. Second-hand is something that I grew up with, items passed around within families or communities, and continued on into my own adult life. At University and the first few years of working life, pretty much everything I owned was passed on by my parents and friends, or bought by me second hand. This was a choice that I took for granted and fitted with my economic standing i.e. poor!
Beyond that, though, it fit with my sense of aesthetics. I love to look at something old and see the continued or new life it could have. An old dress that I can cut up and pair with army boots and a leather jacket (remember that Stephen?), books to feed my always eager mind, furniture to fill my home, fabrics to repurpose … the list is endless.
Recently I’ve added another reason; learning about my new home. Our move to Canada has been a bit of a whirlwind, so much going on, so much changing. It is only now that I am starting to realise my need to understand and connect to the history of this country; a place both familiar and so very foreign to me. An easy way to do this has been to begin ‘thrifting’ as it is now called. Vising thrift shops, flea markets and fairs to purchase some essential (and some not so essential) items for my home. Not only am I keeping to my budget but I’m seeking, engaging and finding novel treasures that excite and inspire me.
I’ll be writing more about these wonders as I find them, but to get you started here are some snaps of the fabulous vintage bias tapes I bought on my birthday when I went to a massive charity fabric and notions sale. I will use this large bag of notions over time and each time I do I know that I am weaving myself a little more into my life here and into Canadian history. I am holding hands with the women who went before, who bought and stored and who passed on their treasures.
I could wax lyrical about how cheap they were and how you just can’t get this colour anymore; instead I think I’ll just start planning all the new things these old things will become a part of. I can’t wait.