The little pleasures of buying (and selling) second hand

The little pleasures of buying (and selling) second hand

A shop full of surprises. // Photo by ROSSANA Photography

There is no better way to realize how much stuff you have that you no longer use than facing the draconian task of organizing your closet. It’s amazing the quantity of non-practical items we are able to accumulate there through the years – even when you try to consume rationally and buy just one, two (or even none) new clothes per season.

So, if you are looking for ideas to downsize, but care about the environment and don’t want to get rid of things by throwing them away, you should pay attention to the following solution.

A few weeks ago we visited a very special second hand shop in Düsseldorf called BROKE (Tussmannstrasse 5). It was truly interesting to get to know the owner and discuss with her more in detail the way in which the business works. She told us, for instance, that everyone is welcome to bring their old clothes, shoes and accessories to be re-sold in there. Of course, the better the condition of the items, the more possibilities you have to succeed in your goal.

In this case, the prices are fixed in agreement between the owner of the clothes and the shop manager. The items will be shown at the store over a 3-month period and the benefits coming from the selling are divided 50% for each part. What means, not only will you gain space in your wardrobe but also a little economic profit will come out of it.

On the other hand, remember that second hand shopping brings us a lot of pleasures also from the consumer point of view:

Environmental. You will be preventing the clothes from slowly decomposing in a landfill while releasing heavy metals into the soil and groundwater.
o Economical. You will save money when buying, and make money when selling.
o Sentimental. The clothes that have been worn by somebody else already have a story and, from the moment you buy them on, you will be responsible to continue writing that story. In a way, this means you will be connected to the complete stranger who first owned them… How fun is that?


Your organic skin care with Saponeria Sile

Your organic skin care with Saponeria Sile

Detail of the shop interior // PHOTO: Sarah Bastianello

There is a tiny door on the main street of Casale sul Sile – a small town located a few kilometres from Venice. It’s the entrance to Saponeria Sile, a magical place where the word “organic” is a mantra. The name of the shop was inspired by a green serpentine of water flowing in the middle of the Veneto, which also boasts the title of the Natural Park of River Sile.

The idea behind the shop goes back 12 years, when Nicola Ghedin and his partners decided that entrusting our daily routine to products with uncertain origin and ingredients couldn’t be the only option. That’s the reason why they came out with a strong organic approach for their business: selling natural products for skin care and housekeeping. All of them certified and dermatologically tested.

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A shop full of stories // Una tienda llena de historias

A shop full of stories // Una tienda llena de historias


Vintage Fabrik is Tabitha Gopp’s first shop; a longtime dream of hers that came true last year in March 2014. The store combines original antique furniture from the 1920s’ to the 1970s’ with handmade pieces of jewellery, rich and varied decoration items made out of recycled materials, tons of postcards…and even fair trade chocolate! Once you go inside there is no possible rest. The space is so packed with all kinds of curious objects that your eyes jump from one to another without even giving you the time to process the information.

Located in Nordstraße, one of Düsseldorfs most lively streets, the concept underneath the shop is to offer unique decoration pieces, coming from different corners of Europe, that can be found nowhere else in the city. In this sense, when it comes to getting the furniture in good conditions to be sold again, their modus operandi includes also minor restoration works. In the small studio of the shop, Tabitha and her assistant take care of the delicate cleaning process and pay attention to other details – like the surfaces – so that the items can be fully usable. A task not always easy to complete due to the fact that some of these furnitures were used in fabrics that haven’t existed anymore since decades. Read more