Waste not, want not! Shop smarter and sustainably for Christmas with Rose Jackson’s tips for discovering fantastic gift ideas in your local op shop.
The guardian of Collectors Anonymous wrote a piece about fashion’s waste problem for Ensemble earlier this year, and also recently released the fourth edition of her secondhand shopping guide (buy your copy here).
Festive celebrations are less than two weeks away and, for the well-prepared among us, something to look forward to. For the rest of us who are still waiting for inspiration and haven’t got anything organised yet, there’s no reason for alarm. We can nail our to do list without panic buying, stretching our budgets or suffering the stress of setting foot in a mall or big box store. This year we have a golden opportunity to support the circular economy.
Shopping secondhand is a great way to support local independent businesses and significantly reduce the amount of waste going to landfill, which is a vital gift to Papatūānuku Mother Earth. While you never quite know what you’re going to find at a vintage or charity store, we’ve narrowed down a few options and shops to help you on your way.
FOR THE PRESENTS
So much waste is created by hiding presents in brand new paper. Instead, wrap yours in scarves or old sheet music and make bows from secondhand magazines, all of which are in plentiful supply from your local op shop.
FOR THE SECRET SANTA
Avoid the plastic novelty trap and find something weird and wonderful from your local collectables or salvage store instead. There are lots of affordable and interesting options at places like Shipwreck Trading, Junk & Disorderly, Maungaturoto Secondhand, Hunt & Foster, Molloy’s Mega Antiques Centre, Goldie’s Junk n Disorderly and Shingle Creek Collectables.
FOR THE BOOK LOVER
Who doesn’t love a good read over the holidays? Forget digital downloads, the most pleasurable way to read and save some trees is to buy pre-loved. Head to BookMark, Hard to Find Books, Patrick’s Books, Loco Books and Coffee, Pegasus Books, Dead Souls Bookshop or any of the other 90 odd secondhand bookshops around New Zealand to shop for a sustainable stocking filler.
FOR THE AESTHETE
If you want to give someone special something special, a vintage sign or poster from Rare Books, So Vintage, Newton Andrews Gallery or The Vintage Room or a unique decorative piece from Babelogue, Webb’s, Great Expectations, Storytellers or Cordy’s will win massive brownie points.
FOR THE OUTDOORSPERSON
Buy your favourite gardener a chore jacket from Search & Destroy and a set of vintage tools from Vintage Wonderland, Rainbows Relics or Annette’s Attic and reap the rewards from their vege garden in 2021.
FOR THE LITTLE ONES
A vintage tin toy from the Toy Box or sci fi figures from Retrospace not only look good, but are a good future investment as well… just make sure you hold onto the box! You could also satisfy active young minds with books from The Green Dolphin, The Open Book and Browsers.
FOR THE TEA TOTALLER
Provide some comfort in a cup with a nice matching trio from Arkwright’s Antiques, Dusty Old Things or Tinakori Antiques, or a mismatched cup and saucer from your neighbourhood op shop and a box of their favourite tea.
FOR THE BOWERBIRD
And in the flurry of thinking of others, don’t forget about yourself and your home, especially if you’re hosting over the holidays...
Treat yourself to a fancy pre-loved outfit for the festivities. With over 180 vintage and secondhand clothing boutiques in Aotearoa, we are spoilt for choice. Pay stores like I Saw You Coming, Painted Bird, Greatest Friend, Go Jo Recycled Store, Upstairs Paeroa, Nine Lives, Smoove, The Way We Wore, Hey Jude, Tangent, Collectables Revamped and Vintage Addiction a visit and they will get you looking and feeling festive in no time.
FOR THE HOME
Of course, the holiday season is really all about food and drink so invest in some beautiful vintage cut glass or crystal from European Antiques, La Dolce Vita Vintage, The Vintage Shed or Ta Da Boutique to serve your prawn cocktail, trifle and Bellini’s in.
FOR THE FESTIVITIES
Set the mood with candle holders from The Virtue, I Love Pretty or Blikfang Art and Antiques, vintage lamps from Miss Vintage Lighting, Just Plane Interesting or Real Time, grab some extra seating for guests from The Sunday Society or Rivet and blast Mariah Carey on a reconditioned valve radio from Retro Radios, or stock up your pre-loved vinyl collection from Hunterville Records, Second Thoughts Collectables or Rebel Soul Records, fire up the record player and hit the dancefloor to work off some of that trifle.
To find out about more vintage, antique and charity stores in your area, purchase a copy of the new and brilliant Collectors Anonymous, the most comprehensive guide to shopping secondhand in Aotearoa.