vintage sewing machine photographed by Annie Spratt
vintage sewing machine photographed by Annie Spratt

Vintage? Antique? Probably second hand either way.

I discovered today that there are still people who go ‘yeuuck’ at the thought of something recycled. Suggest they buy second hand and their nose screws up in a rather less than endearing way.

Then there are people who will buy recycled, but not second hand.

And to make things even more complicated there are people who will buy nearly new, or pre-loved, even vintage but not second hand.

Yet I can’t find anyone who won’t give space in their home to an antique.

What’s the difference?

reuse reduce recycleWhether you call it recycled, re-purposed, up-cycled, re-made, re-fashioned, restored, nearly new, pre-loved, vintage or any other of the myriad of synonyms for either it’s still second hand.

And if it’s an antique chances are it’s not only secon

d hand but third, fourth, fifth or even more hand!

Has anyone ever breathed brand new air? Or drank brand new water? No. Not at all. Never, Not since the dawn of time, unless of course you believe the story of genesis in which case Adam did. Actually not even then, because the animals were already here and using it.

That beautiful dress you spent a weeks food budget on had probably previously been on another person’s body, maybe only for only minutes in the changing room but still, it had been worn. And as soon as you’ve worn it once it is used, second hand, once-loved. So what difference does it make if you’ve worn it a handful of times or someone else has?

Old books on shelf photographed by Thomas Kelley

Books, lovely old books no doubt read by many before and still to be read by many more.

Man has been recycling as long as he’s been breathing, he just didn’t make a fuss about it before. He used something, when it was no longer useful for that purpose he used it for something else. The concept of brand new is very new in mankind’s history. The concept of only brand new being worth while is even newer.

And we can’t keep it up, the world just can’t support this forever.



(* sung in the style of Sinatra. Or Robbie. Whichever you prefer.)

2 replies
  1. Jane Miller
    Jane Miller says:

    Loved your post and it was certainly food for thought. I get kidded a lot for re-purposing all kinds of stuff ( I just made a set of shelves out of cardboard boxes for my yarn). I sawed a big couch in half to make a sectional (LOL)…much to my kids horror…they still talk about that one! I love the challenge of figuring out how I can make something work in a different way. I’m not in favor of a throw-away society. I still drive a ’96 Toyota and am proud of it…others just call me cheap. Maybe I am, but that’s who I apologies.

    • LosanaB
      LosanaB says:

      Shelves out of cardboard boxes sound perfect to me! I’ve got a mini unit built out of old cd cases myself and my cd and dvd rack is hobbled together from the remnants of an old and very basic shelving unit that had fallen apart – it works! My old car only got replaced because someone else ran into the back of it and the insurance company wrote it off as well! You stay who you are, it’s the best way to be. I am intrigued by what you did with the sofa, mine is still in good condition so I can’t justify replacing it but the back is too low for my liking now and I keep thinking there must be a way I can change that! One day I’ll work it out 🙂


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