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Will You Tell?

We love second-hand items, you know that already.

We wear second hand clothes, we use second hand items daily and when we need to buy something, we always look for the second hand option first.

OK, what do we need to buy at this time of year?


Is it all right to buy them second hand too? Well, we think so, and we have done so many, many times. We have given presents bought from charity shops and re-selling sites, and we have also re-gifted presents that we received, but which we didn't actually want or like. No shame in that.

Or is there? To be honest, we don't always tell the recipient their gift is second-hand. Should we?

We had a little discussion on the subject with a group of friends, all of whom were happy to give second hand presents. To summarise

· it depends who you are giving it to - will they be pleased or horrified?

One person said they had told, but then explained to the recipient, "We are skint so we have given you something second-hand."

That is an interesting point. Does it suggest that it is OK to give second-hand gifts when you can't afford to buy new? Then again, does it suggest that it is only those of slender means who give second-hand gifts?

Does it matter whether you are doing this to save money, or to save the planet? Will you be judged? Should you have to explain?

Well, since we think we should all be making second hand our first choice in every purchase we make, it would be hypocritical of us to join the race to buy new items just because we're buying for someone else.

Furthermore, writing this has made us realise that we shouldn't be skirting this issue. We should be proud that we do this and we should not try to pass off second hand items as new, nor should we feel in any way ashamed.

We know it makes sense, so if anyone questions us, instead of mumbling about our choice, we will say it loud and proud, "This item has been preloved, and we hope you will now love it too." And without getting too preachy, we may explain the many positive reasons for giving second-hand presents.

· many are as good as new

· they cost far less than a new item

· they’re unique, and highly unlikely to be something the recipient already owns

· why would we create demand for new things, when such beauties are still around

· extending the life of an item reduces its carbon footprint

· if you buy from a charity shop you know your money has gone to a good cause

You know the old saying, "It's the thought that counts"? Well, shouldn't your thought be that while you want to give this person a present, you want to safeguard the planet's future too. Why on earth would you be embarrassed to tell anyone that?

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