A Guide To Second Hand Christmas Gifts

Hello everyone! As a dedicated zero waster, I firmly believe that holiday seasons are no excuse to litter and over-consume.  Therefore, I try to integrate my zero waste principles to my gift-giving process. When it comes to gifts, I am also a firm believer in homemade DIY’d gifts – always, as well as giving non-physical gifts like experiences or dinners. Moreover, I would advise everyone to think about gift wrapping, no matter your degree of eco-consciousness, seriously, it is insane. Wrap your gifts in new paper pages or even better: reusable materials!  I like to wrap gifts in kitchen towels or canvas bags; like so I engage my friends and family to ditch the plastic bags, but in a festive way of course. I thought you would might be interested in my do’s and don’ts when it comes to thrift shopping for gifts; so here goes.

Don’t go for size-specific clothes. Due to the nature of thrift shops, the sizes may vary from brand to brand, because of this I rarely purchase clothes for others than myself – jackets and accessories are a whole other matter, but never tops and bottoms, it is simply too easy to get the size or shape wrong when you are shopping for others.

Homemade all the way. I like to find these cute, peculiar or simply odd knick knacks in thrift stores – for others and myself. I especially love old handcrafted, or hand painted, plates or bowls.  They have so much character. For instance, I have a plate that was hand painted by what seems to be a child in the 60s, it is so ugly but I love it because of whatever story that comes with it and all the character it adds to my otherwise character-lacking dull kitchenware – just kidding all my kitchenware has character, because everything is thrifted.

Vintage home decor. An all-time go-to item I purchase for gift giving purposes is vases and bowls. Generally home decor always seems to hit home. I typically go for vintage or retro stuff – the older the better I would say. I have a bowl for the old USSR and I use it on a daily basis, it is one of my favourite things and people also compliment it. Integrating things from the past is not only a way of appreciating what is already made, it is also super fascinating.

Items you want to care for. When I look for gifts in thrift shops, I look at the material. Cotton, silver, porcelain or crystal etc. – you know, things we want to care for and keep in good shape for a really long time. Many products in production today is not made to last beyond a few years and that is truly horrifying. Investing in materials that deserve attention and care is extremely healthy for your consumer culture and finding value in the care-taking of what we already have, instead of buying new shit, is a value I would like to pass on through my gift giving.

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