When we started Darling Buds of Play, we had the idea that we’d upcycle and resell secondhand toys, decor and furniture alongside our handmade items. We’re finally launching this product line!! To celebrate, we want to take this moment to share why this was an idea that was so close to our hearts!

So here are the top five reasons why we love secondhand and upcycled children’s products!

1. Sustainable

Giving second life to products falls high on the waste pyramid: reuse. Buying secondhand from Trade Me and marketplaces stops these products going to landfill. It also stops new waste being generated. When you buy new you’ve begun a cycle that ultimately ends with the product eventually joining the waste stream. As a whole, society is becoming far more conscious of the waste we make through actions like refusing plastic straws and one-use bags. Buying second-hand is another way we can show Mother Earth our love.

 Here’s a gorgeous lamp Olivia found in a second hand store.

Here’s a gorgeous lamp Olivia found in a second hand store.

2. Unique item

I love scrolling through gorgeous kids rooms on Pinterest, but they are all variations on a theme in terms of decor. Olivia and I both have those ridiculously common square shelving units for storing toys. Do you have them as well? Buying secondhand or upcycled products allows you to have pops of bespoke decor that really make a space unique.

3. Cheap

It’s hard to compete with KMart in terms of price, but secondhand can be an extremely cost effective way of getting awesome products for not much. Trade Me $1 reserve auctions are great for this! In addition, if you’re willing to put a little bit of work in you can revive a worn out product and stay within budget. Don’t be afraid to learn new skills. I’ve never reupholstered before and I redid this chair in about 2 hours.

“Habitat for Humanity ReStores are second hand stores that accept and resell new and gently used items. All sales generate funds to support Habitat’s building programmes, while reducing the amount of used materials in overflowing landfills. It’s a good deal! For you, the community and the environment.”

4. Support local

A couple of our products came from Habitat for Humanity Re:Store. It feels good to know that I’m supporting this awesome cause. There are also lots of small and local businesses (like ours :P) that are selling upcycled products. We strongly encourage you to support your local small business owner where you can!

5. Lots of life

One of the awesome things about a carefully selected second hand item is the life that’s left in them. My boys play HARD with their toys (and my decor). A secondhand product that’s still standing and looking strong gives confidence that it’s built to last! This white easel that we bought off a local family is clearly handmade by a parent or family member. It’s built sturdy and built to withstand rough treatment. We replaced the reverse side board because the old one had some water damage, but other than that this easel is an incredibly robust piece of construction!

So, there you have it! I know it’s easy to walk into a shopping mall when you want new furniture or household items, but consider giving second-hand a try. To help you, here’s a great map of secondhand clothing and bric-a-brac stores around Christchurch.