A month of vintage and secondhand

October has been declared the month to ‘Buy Nothing New‘. Seeing as I’m interested in changing my spending habits, saving money and reducing my environmental impact, I thought I’d give it a go. Being generally in love with all things pre-loved and vintage already, I’m looking forward to seeing how much of an impact not buying anything new will have on my attitude towards ‘stuff’, and the health of my bank account.

Buying nothing new certainly doesn’t mean you can’t buy anything at all. Necessities are excluded from the challenge, but everything else you want to buy must be pre-loved. Instead of taking a short-term throwaway view of ‘stuff’, this challenge is intended to provide a greater understanding about the embedded cost and resources that go into the things we buy.

For me, the month is a reminder to spend my time and money more thoughtfully, and to reflect on my needs versus wants.


  1. Ricardo

    There are plenty of deals to be had if you wish to go this route. You may fare so well you may never go back.

    1. tracey (Post author)

      Hi Ricardo – I know, this whole secondhand and vintage world continues to amaze me. I honestly can’t believe how much I’ve changed my wardrobe and spending habits over the past year – it’s been a fantastic experience to move more towards the ‘pre-loved’ world.

      I’m enjoying the journey very much and can’t wait to see what this month will offer! 🙂

  2. jan

    I’ve never liked wearing new clothes. It takes a long time before they feel comfortable. I discovered thrift stores years ago as a way to get instant comfort.

    1. tracey (Post author)

      Hi Jan – That’s a very good point you make about new clothes being rather uncomfortable – buying from thrift stores certainly makes for a quick transition to comfort. I’m currently in the process of changing my wardrobe over to being a majority of vintage and secondhand goodies … it’s making for a welcome change! 🙂

  3. Narnie

    I’m a charity shop stalker. I can spot ‘my’ sort of clothes in an instant and often get designer stuff for a snip. But books are the thing… second hand books with a dedication in them are just the most thrilling thing to me. I bought a poetry book last week as a gift for someone and I know they will treasure it – as the person who it was bought for over a hundred years ago obviously did. It feels very humbling to be honoured with ownership of a pre-loved book.

    1. tracey (Post author)

      Hi Narnie – Oh you sound like a wonderful person to join on a charity shop hunt!! 🙂
      Like you, I seem to have a knack for spotting ‘my’ kind of clothes straight away (it is actually a habit that annoyed my mum when I was a child – I could stand at the front of a store and know whether it was worth looking further – it drove her mad I think … 😉

      I totally agree with you on the secondhand book front – I absolutely adore them. What a lovely gift you were able to find – I think that old poetry books have quite magical properties and make for a very thoughtful gift to give. Pre-loved books have definitely ‘got it all over’ brand new versions.

  4. Andrew

    Hi Tracey,

    Great challenge and best of luck for your October challenge. I look forward to hearing how you get on.

    I feel the same love for old books as Narnie does. I love finding books with a comment or a bookmark. One bookmark was fragile and I photocopied it and produced a replica of this lovely floral design. Another time I brought a book and someone many decades previous had used a postcard as the bookmark. To be able to share and look after a book earlier generations had adored, is indeed humbling and rewarding. Hopefully one day to pass onto someone else who will treat it with the same level of respect and enjoy their discovery or gift.

    I like your view. Needs versus wants. Something we all should consider more. I think this a great challenge, with great aims.

    Best of luck with your challenge.


    1. tracey (Post author)

      Hi Andrew – Thanks so much for your well wishes on my vintage and secondhand journey during October. I think I’ll get through it (no doubt with an increased wardrobe of lovely vintage clothing – any excuse really!). I’ll be sure to keep everyone posted with my success (and hopefully no failures).

      Old books are wonderful – they seem to be a popular choice. How lovely that you produced a replica of that lovely fragile bookmark you found in a book (I love finding notes, old receipts, shopping lists, and other little bits and pieces in pre-loved books). It is indeed an honour to have ownership of a book that has already lived a life with other owners – they come to us with their own sense of history, and hopefully continue on always.

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