SHOP WELL: On Second Hand Shopping

shoping cartI told myself to leave, just move on, but my feet stood glued to the floor surrounded by bright colored, super cute, low priced baby clothes that I NEEDED and really wanted to buy. The problem was, I was in Wal-Mart and I had recently learned that their clothing brands received a poor grade on Free2Work’s report card, meaning there was great possibility that forced labor was used to make them. I told myself to remain committed to buying as much second-hand summer clothes for my two-year old as I could before buying new things, on the other hand, that Hello Kitty swimsuit was so cute! Torn and sorely tempted I took two deep breaths… and walked out.

How can second-hand shopping help end human trafficking?

garagesaleI made the decision this season to go second-hand shopping first, and go retail shopping second. I did this because forced labor is sustained by one thing: demand. The less you and I buy new from the store, the less product is demanded, the less forced labor is used. That’s the idea anyhow. So second-hand shopping can be an act of abolitionism IF it means we buy LESS from the retail store.

I don’t know what your experience is with buying things second-hand, but I had a heck of a time with it. I went garage sale shopping but it seems that in my area, if your kid is bigger than 6 months old, there are no clothes out there to buy. It seems to me that my habit at a garage sale is to come home with things I don’t need and wouldn’t buy first hand anyway.  That kind of garage sale shopping does nothing to lessen the demand for forced labor. It just clutters up my house until I myself have to put on a yard sale.  But this season, I had items in mind that I needed and did find a FEW items that I now don’t have to buy from the retailer.

Next I went to a cute consignment shop I love called Lil’ Muffins. I had much better luck here. I got some great clothes and TWO swimsuits for the price of the aforementioned Hello Kitty one. I felt pretty good and had a good base for what I needed. I DID return to the tempting land of Cheap ‘N Cute, but I only had to buy a few items that I hadn’t found second-hand.

Less demand. Less forced labor.

I CAN shop second-hand first.



1: How Do I Shop Like an Abolitionist?

2: Report Card for Your Clothes

3: The Hunt for Fair Trade

4: On Second Hand Shopping

About nicole5181

I'm thirty (yes I admit it). I'm a single mom working in retail and wanting to find my role in the fight to end modern-day slavery. I'm hopeful that I will.
This entry was posted in Authors' Thoughts, Call to Action and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to SHOP WELL: On Second Hand Shopping

  1. Pingback: SHOP WELL: Report card for your clothes. | Everyday Abolitionist

  2. Pingback: SHOP WELL: How do I shop like an abolitionist? | Everyday Abolitionist

  3. Pingback: SHOP WELL: The Hunt for Fair Trade | Everyday Abolitionist

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s