While thrifting is very interesting (I only wish we had thrift stores here!) and I agree with your points, I've always wondered if it really is an alternative to the consumeristic mindset. I mean that buying secondhand is still buying, so still a way to fill an emotional void with material things. What do you think?I agree with Raffia. Buying second-hand IS still buying and a way to continue to fill emotional voids with material objects. I took a long break from ALL buying, including second-hand buying, even buying for my business, to examine what I tend to buy and why I buy. These are my thoughts a few months in:
1) We Need to Be Careful About Every Object We Bring Into Our Lives. Free, Thrifted, and Otherwise: Thrifting is environmentally friendly, keeping resources from landfills and helping consumers avoid directly supporting slave labor. Hell, it's fun. But once your in the lifestyle you start to realize how easy it is to obtain wares for free or close to it. You get to know all the best stops, your eyes are glued to curbsides. It becomes too easy to pick up too much leaving you with an unorganized hoarder-mess.
2) You Need a Rule and Organization System: Especially for artists, these free and low-cost supplies are necessary, but you need a strict set of rules on what comes in and out an a detailed organization system in place for everything you bring in. Example: Keep all plywood organized by size, texture, and color in your workshop and remnants for jewelry creating neatly organized in a (thrifted) tackle box.
3) Think of the Legacy You Want to Leave: I often think about the legacy we'll leave behind on a macro and micro level. The macro level looks exactly like the future in Wall-E [above], but that's a story for another day! Let's think about what people would say about our homes and our work after we die. I want them to see a thoughtful, helpful creator who collected with a good eye; not piles of junk.
4) Human's Innately Want. We Crave The New and Novelty: In Not Buying It: My Year Without Shopping I read about 19th century economist/sociologist Thorstein Velben and his the phenomenon he calls "aesthetic nausea." It's when what was once fashionable wears out its welcome, the novelty's gone and it's chucked for the latest trend. This has been going on since our first civilization in The Fertile Crescent and in caves before this. The human organism constantly examines and collects, seeking new resources and better chances for survival. It's natural.
5) It's okay to examine the world, collect from it, and re-arrange. Thoughtfully. Make a plan: We choose what to bring in and how to reconstruct it into something new. Think about where you choose to spend your money or what to bring in. Do it wisely and with care.
What are your thoughts on thrifting and materialism? Is it still a bad thing?