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Second Hand September!

Updated: Oct 14, 2020

Seems to give away the whole idea of it in just 3 words, doesn’t it?

Well, that’s how simple it is. As I already know, all of you must’ve got a slight idea as to what I am referring to here. It’s the time we put to use our very own creativity or the small DIY snippets that we occasionally see on our Instagram discover by pledging to not buy new commodities.

But what we need to understand, before taking such a pledge is to know why it arose and why it seems to be a panacea for all consumer and corporate ills. Approximately, 35% of all materials in the supply chain of garment industry ends up as waste before the consumer even receives the product. And every time a garment is produced, almost all of the 79 billion cubic waters per year used in the production is released in streams polluting the ecosystem in one of the many ways. That’s all the corporate sector is responsible for.

On the consumers’ part though, almost 57% of all discarded clothing ends up in landfills most of which stays there for years on end to be exported to developing or underdeveloped countries by the developed nations which I’m sure you must’ve heard of in news (rarely).

In the bigger picture, only 10% of all items are recycled, out of which 8% are reused as second-hand goods. And that’s only about the garment industry. Every year tech companies destroy their goods such as laptops, televisions etc. only to balance the supply to maintain the level of prices and commodity/brand real value. Moreover, the returns you give to major e-commerce websites also end up in landfills only to reach the same fate.

I am sure, this gives you a lot to think about but the longer you take, more and more impact is being laid onto the environment and respective ecosystems (Greenland ice breaking).

Now as a consumer, we may start blaming the industry for resorting to such means but all-in-all they’re just fulfilling the inherent individual demand pattern.

So, it all comes down to what we can do. This is why the idea Second Hand September came into play. It encourages people to avoid buying new products for 30 days which may seem minuscule but has far-reaching implications. All that is asked for is to upcycle the existing discarded products in the household into innovative new products (some may even give you business ideas possibly). The products may range from clothing, kitchen items, books to almost anything.

Having been locked up in the confines of home, we can allocate certain time for enlisting the goods capable of upcycling and identify numerous ideas for the same from sources such as Instagram, Pinterest or just a simple google search.

That may be a pain for some as well, and for that, there are very many agencies you can donate your goods to for recycling or passing on to more needy hands. Furthermore, there are very many firms nowadays as well that simply specialise in recycled products. So, for all the shopaholics out there, this seems to be a suitable enough idea.

The whole month encapsulates the idea of using second-hand goods to reduce our ecological footprint. To walk the talk of saving the environment. This month expands and comprises various concepts of sustainability into one simple pledge. #Saynotonewproducts.

-Yashasvi Krishna

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