Not a crisis in the thrift store

The crisis makes life difficult for a lot of companies, but for some it is a good thing. Like the second hand stores, they have more attention now than ever. It seems like people don’t necessarily need new things anymore, using something twice is an option too. This trend has been going on for several years but it stands out in times of crisis. Whenever this is a fashion thing, or all the credits can go to the crisis is a bit unclear.

Jan Hulsing, from the Zwollse Kringloop Stichting: ‘We defiantly have more people buying our second hand products now. We went from 130.000 customers to 175.000. A part of the increase comes from the crisis, our products are cheaper than new ones so people with little money go here.  Another reason is that its not “strange” anymore, buying second hand is more accepted now.’

‘We do see a change in the stuff coming in our stores’ ,Says Hulsing: ‘It seems like people sit on their couches a bit longer, they seem a bit more worn-out. This could also be because the quality of stuff in general decreases, like in clothing. But a second point is we see that people wait with buying new things. So we get older things in the store.’

The crisis does seem to change the way we look at our thrash in Europe. In the years between 2006 and 2010 the Europeans have found a new destination for over 26 billion kilos of thrash, according to Eurostat. That is thrash that we would have dumped or burned otherwise. This does not mean that all of it ended up in thrift stores , but the crisis is changing the way we deal with our old things.

 By Bart Draper & Hanneke Lindenburg

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