This awareness is not solely about saving some pennies, because although the majority of the time I am choosing the thriftier option by buying secondhand or making something myself, there are times when the ethical option is a more expensive option, such as buying New Zealand made, handmade or opting for higher quality items in order to last the distance therefore reducing landfill and excessive consumption.
Here are a few tricks for buying secondhand and handmade that I've picked up during my year long challenge and some great resources that I would love to share with you……
This one has no rules, just get stuck in and see what you can find! it can be daunting walking into some of the op shops as they initially come across smelling of dust and looking like a pile of rubbish in some cases. But there are gems to be found such as…..
These Leather McKinley Shoes for Jacinda
A Children's gardening Set
Retro Sheets that I made into a Change Mat and Place Mats
An Autumn Scarf for me
Vintage Children's Books
And these Vintage Sewing Patterns and Frames that I put together and hung up in my sewing corner
When it comes to Op-Shopping I have been guilty of getting a bit carried away and coming away with things I don't really need, so to prevent this I now keep a running list in the back of my diary of things I need, although not straight away, and I can pop in to my local op shop every couple of weeks to see whats on offer. At the moment this looks a little like this….
- Small forks and plates for Jacinda
- Winter Clothing for Jacinda
- Good quality fabric for sewing (in the form of tablecloths, sheets or large sized clothing)
- Good Quality wool (either in balls or clothing/blankets that I can unravel)
- Sewing Patterns
- Cot Sheets (or big sheets that can be cut down to make cot sheets)
- A Soup Ladel
Online e.g Trade Me or Ebay
I found that online auctions are better when you know exactly what you want, down to the brand, size or colour as well as bigger, more expensive items. It is really useful to place a search that emails you when new listings appear as many of the best deals get snapped up fast and it saves you from getting side-tracked while trawling through all the adverts.
A few online bargains I got this year have been…..
Nature Baby Moses Basket (unused)
Raincoat for Jacinda
and cosy merinos that needed some minor repairs
P.S To avoid hassle, remember to check feedback ratings and postage prices
Handmade from Craft Markets
Craft Markets are splendid! I love looking at the goodies made by the array of creative people in my community and they make great gifts for friends and family. They goods aren't exactly cheap (if they were to make them the same price as in the mall these talented people would be working for nothing, maybe even a loss!) but by buying these crafts you are supporting locals to do what they love doing, as well as getting some original pieces of top, handmade quality. Check out Felt too, as this is just like a craft market, yet online and New Zealand made.
Etsy is the creme de la creme of online vintage and handmade goodies from all over the world. I could literally spend hours looking through the listings and getting very excited by what I see (which also makes it a good source of inspiration for my own projects!). Although I love Etsy dearly, I would have to call her an "occasional treat" a " guilty pleasure" because she is, at times pricey and not the greenest of options due to the worldwide shipping in most cases (although, in saying that you are able search within your region)
What Etsy is best for is sewing and knitting patterns, as there are many users with beautiful designs from beginner to advanced and they can be sent to you as a PDF file, which is nice and easy.
Here are a few of my Etsy treats this year
Felted Wool Slippers
Handmade Waldorf Dolly
A Todos Los Dias Grises Raincoat
And a Leila and Ben Dress Pattern
Go on then, I challenge you to '365 days of nothing new' !!