Tips on giving secondhand gifts from people who do it right

i 1 90706101 what its like to give only secondhand or regifted presents

Would you be prepared to offer your associate a thrifted sweater this vacation season? How a few used board sport on your niece?

Over the previous few years, a rising variety of Individuals, notably the Gen Z set, have began giving secondhand gifts in the course of the holidays, largely as a result of it’s higher for the planet. Analysis from the web thrift retailer ThredUp and GlobalData discovered greater than half of shoppers are contemplating alternate options to purchasing gifts at conventional retailers, together with thrifting. And 66% of people (and 72% of Gen Z) are open to receiving secondhand gifts. However the overwhelming majority haven’t been prepared to offer it a strive. The Nationwide Retail Federation expects shoppers to drop $859 billion this vacation season—the very best quantity ever—and the overwhelming majority can be on new merchandise.

It is sensible that many people aren’t snug giving used presents. Vacation gift-giving in the US is riddled with every kind of unstated guidelines, cultivated partially by the retail business. However due to insatiable buying habits like these, we’re gobbling up the earth’s sources 1.7 times quicker than it can regenerate, whereas driving international warming and air pollution. Giving people used gifts helps scale back a few of this destruction, by retaining objects out of landfill and decreasing the extraction of pure sources.

When you’ve been fascinated by taking the plunge, this could be the yr to do it. Provide chain disruptions implies that some manufacturers have restricted stock. And inflation is leading to larger costs in lots of shops.


Giving used gifts doesn’t must be boring or unglamorous; these who do it frequently say it could be much more enjoyable and satisfying each to the giver and the receiver. I spoke with three people who have been giving secondhand presents for years who shared their methods for making it a significant expertise.

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Beating entrepreneurs at their very own sport

Liza Moiseeva, 33, is the co-founder of Brightly, a corporation that promotes aware consumerism, which frequently means not shopping for something. As somebody involved concerning the surroundings, she needs to interrupt the taboo of giving secondhand gifts. “When you concentrate on it, this taboo actually comes out of companies and entrepreneurs who really feel stress to promote you new merchandise each vacation season,” she says. “So it’s vital to push again.”

On Instagram, Brightly encourages people to buy at thrift or classic shops. Moiseeva admits that she herself took time to come back round to thrifting, since it wasn’t one thing she did a lot rising up. However she’s come to grasp—and subvert—among the methods that scare people away. For one factor, she’s realized that whereas huge companies have huge budgets to show merchandise to make them look pleasant, thrift shops usually simply pile their cabinets with merchandise. Retailers additionally use tons of packaging to make mediocre merchandise appear irresistible.

Buyers have to have some creativeness and take into consideration what merchandise will appear like in a unique context.”I’ve discovered actually lovely objects like bowls or a brand-new spice rack sitting alongside different issues that aren’t as good,” she says. “The bottom line is to package deal these gifts thoughtfully, so they give the impression of being lovely to the recipient.” Packaging one thing properly doesn’t must be resource-intensive, both. You’ll be able to wrap issues up in brown paper adorned with good bows (ideally saved from earlier presents you’ve acquired) or use a bit of material, taking inspiration from the Japanese artwork of furoshiki.

When you discover huge thrift shops overwhelming, Moiseeva suggests discovering smaller consignment or classic shops that focus on rigorously curating their merchandise and displaying them properly. These shops can generally be costlier, however you could find beautiful merchandise which are nonetheless cheaper than shopping for new.

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Yr-round thoughtfulness

Kathryn Gatewood, 18, started completely giving secondhand or regifted presents three years in the past largely as a result of she was involved about her environmental influence. And since they’re usually a fraction of the value of conventional buying, it additionally permits her to economize for faculty.


For Gatewood, the trick for giving nice secondhand gifts is being extraordinarily considerate about your recipients’ wants and desires. For example, it occurred to her that her boyfriend’s household likes to prepare dinner, however they by no means had a spot to relaxation their spatulas and ladles. So she discovered an exquisite spoon relaxation at a classic retailer. She additionally retains a operating record on her Notes app to maintain monitor of concepts. “Typically right earlier than you’re going to mattress, an incredible reward concept pops into your head,” she says.

She’s additionally an enormous fan of regifting. A minimalist when it involves magnificence merchandise, she units apart soaps and lotions she receives for her mom, who loves them. This yr, she acquired a tin of flavored popcorn as a white elephant current at work that she’s giving to her father, who loves popcorn. “If somebody offers me a present, I all the time attempt to give it an opportunity,” she says. “But when it’s clear I gained’t use it, I believe it’s nearly extra considerate to offer it to another person who will actually treasure it.”

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Breaking the secondhand taboo

Ciara Fitts, 29, is aware of what it’s wish to obtain secondhand presents. Rising up with a single mother and older cousins, she usually obtained birthday or Christmas presents that have been thrifted or hand-me-downs. Fitts thinks there’s one thing lovely about this. “So long as the current is given with love, and somebody hung out choosing it, I all the time appreciated it,” she says.

Now that she’s married and attempting to dwell a sustainable life-style, she’s persevering with her household’s custom of giving used gifts. She’s aware of the thrift outlets in her space and tends to purchase presents for native family and friends there. For these who are farther away, she outlets at on-line thrift shops like ThredUp. And importantly, she doesn’t disguise the truth that these presents aren’t new.

Some people like to cover the actual fact the the reward was pre-owned. However if you wish to be a part of the trouble to normalize secondhand gift-giving, you may observe Fitts’s lead and be open about the place you bought it. Fitts likes to inform her recipient the story of the reward: why she selected it, the place she obtained it from, and maybe even why secondhand gifts are superior. “There shouldn’t be a taboo round giving used gifts,” she says. “However there’s nothing shameful about it. We should always all be doing it.”