Today’s Solutions: June 30, 2022

Do you want to make the holiday season more sustainable this year by practicing less consumerism, but are unsure of how to navigate giving pre-loved gifts with grace?

A survey by online secondhand marketplace Vinted revealed that one in six people are dedicated to giving repurposed presents this holiday season, which can help prevent £42 million ($55.9 million) worth of unwanted gifts from ending up in a landfill every year. That said, giving secondhand might still feel a bit strange, so here are some etiquette guidelines to help you master the art of secondhand gift-giving.

Tell the truth

Be honest about where your present has come from by including a message in the card that explains why you decided to give this particular gift to your friend or loved one. “I think a bit of explanation helps confirm that it’s a thoughtful choice,” advises founder of east London-based vintage children’s clothing site And They Wear Lucy Mackay. “Just about everyone thinks vintage is cool these days. It should go down well.”

Stay on message

Think back on the worst presents you’ve received—they probably came from someone who didn’t really know you are or what your interests are. To avoid giving a terrible gift, you have to give it some thought. “A handpicked vintage gift is a treasure. It’s a considered piece that’s going to add real character to a home,” says Instagram-based vintage homeware vendor Chloe McDonald.

Some good advice from Anna O’Brien, a seller on Depop, is to opt for pieces that will increase in value as they age, like first editions of your loved one’s favorite novel.

Do it for the kids

Don’t just wrap up boring hand-me-downs for the kids in your life this year. Instead, dig a little deeper by searching for independent sellers who specialize in cult brands like OshKosh or Levi’s. You can even look for sellers who will make preloved pieces unique by adding fun details. “I change the buttons to smiley faces,” says Mackay. “Customers love that because then they’re getting something customized and a one-off.”

Make sure your gift looks the part

Make sure to give secondhand gifts a thorough check before wrapping them up and sending them to a loved one. Look out for things like missing pages from books or old, used-up batteries in toys. Before giving used clothes, consider bringing them to an eco-friendly dry cleaner, or at least spritzing them with a vodka-and-water mixture to get rid of that musty secondhand smell.

It’s all about the “add-ons”

According to expert thrifter and vintage influencer April Salsbury, a preloved gift goes best with a thoughtful pairing. For instance, give a vintage cashmere sweater along with a bestselling novel, or couple an antique wine decanter with a classy bottle of red wine.

Regift carefully

Regifting is normally frowned upon but giving a treasured piece from your own collection is a viable loophole. Jewelry or art, for instance, make excellent gifts. “It really is the thought that counts,” says Ellie Richie of Depop shop Studio Ell Richie. “Look at what you have and consider the items no longer serving you.”

Think about presentation

Skip the cheap (and unsustainable) foil wrapping paper and sticky tape and go for some beautiful eco-friendly alternatives that match the thoughtful vintage gift inside. Check out this article we wrote about sustainable alternatives to wrapping paper for some ideas.

Solutions News Source Print this article