One of the best ways we can fight climate change is by becoming a circular economy. And to achieve this, we need to start using thrift and consignment stores more frequently for both purchases and donations.
These stores help keep usable items out of landfills. Just about every town or city has at least one of them. More importantly, by reusing items, you are lowering the demand for new ones, which helps curb emissions even further.
However, due to the pandemic, these types of stores were hurt badly. They could not collect donations regularly due to lockdown rules, and shoppers were hesitant to buy used products due to sanitary concerns.
However, as we move back into the norm, it’s time to start helping these businesses strive and save some money.
What’s the Difference Between A Thrift And Consignment Store?
While on the surface, these types of establishments are quite similar, that’s not actually the case. Thrift stores accept more items and generally have lower standards because they exclusively rely on donations.
Whereas a consignment store is much pickier about the products it sells. This is because the consignment store is actually selling the item on behalf of the owner. That’s right, before you think about throwing out an old appliance, you should see if a consignment store will take it.
It’s a great way to make some money and keep something that still works out of a landfill.
As you can imagine, due to this difference, the items you will find in a consignment store will be things that sell well. For example, textbooks are some of the most popular items you can sell at a consignment store, and they typically have a fast turnaround rate.
You can always find one located near a college, they just go hand in hand.
How Do They Promote A Circular Economy?
To answer this, let’s take a moment and define what a circular economy is.
A circular economy is one in which products are used for the entirety of their lifespan by sharing, leasing, reusing, repairing/refurbishing them. Finally, when the product is no longer usable, it is recycled where the raw material can be used to create new products.
With this in mind, thrift and consignment stores are crucial because they help products find a second life. And in some cases, these stores will accept broken appliances and repair them to be sold (very popular with electronics).
And by using these stores, not only can you save money by buying second-hand products, but you can also make money by selling them yourself.
So Why Are They Not More Popular?
If these stores can help you sell products you don’t need anymore, why aren’t they more popular?
The truth is that many don’t even know consignment stores exist. When you think of second-hand stores, you typically think of Goodwill, which accepts everything as a donation. And most people are not willing to load a truck with a large object and deliver it for free.
Instead, you will find a lot of furniture on the side of the street awaiting pickup.
We also have to acknowledge that used goods are looked down upon in many instances. Even if a couch is perfectly functional, many might feel a bit weird buying one another family might have sat on, or perhaps one that was exposed to pets.
That said, many are eager to buy used goods for some products like gaming. Buying used games can save a lot of money. It’s all perspective.
Robert has been following and writing about environmental stories for years at GreenGeeks. He believes that highlighting environmentally friendly practices can help promote change in every household.