This month's waffle is regarding something that concerns us all - recycling, sustainability and our throwaway consumer society - something we're all guilty of at times. I do try to do recycle and re-use as much as I can in and out of the studio, although I must admit, I do fail miserably sometimes. Well not this time, my friends - I think l succeeded quite admirably on this one. Read on to see why.
Today's Second-hand Goods Are Not As Shabby As They Used To Be - In Fact A Lot Of Them Are As Good As New
As my trusty, paint-soaked trainers were falling away from my feet after wearing them day in day out in the studio, I had to look at replacing them and it got me thinking about decent footwear for working in; I had to take a few things into consideration but the priority for me was comfort, as I am on my feet all day. They also had to be very hardwearing and last a long time.
The top name that kept coming up was Dr Marten's and I have so many friends who swear by them and will not entertain any other boot, whether it be for work or play. Having had a good nose, I was amazed at the different styles they come in for men, women and children. The more I delved, the more I liked what I saw.
However, I faced a problem. I was not about to buy a brand spanking new pair of Doc Marten's to have them covered in paint, resin and God knows what else, so I decided to hunt for a second-hand pair instead. I went to the usual secondhand online shopping haunt but wasn't impressed with what was on offer, so I thought I'd have a nose at this other new online marketplace. I'd seen it advertised on the telly and a few friends had already been buying and selling on there with ease and were suitably impressed. It's called Vinted and it is an online marketplace for buying, selling and exchanging new or secondhand items, mainly clothing and accessories.
Once I had signed up to the site I could start buying and selling straight away. My priority was some new Dr Marten's for working in, so I set the parameters to what I was looking for and almost immediately all these wonderful pairs of Docs were smiling before me on the screen. There are plain ones, colourful ones, neon pink ones, glitter ones, vegan ones - all kinds to choose from. Some were very worn and others had never been worn at all and been sat in their box in someone's wardrobe collecting dust.
As I browsed the collection, l came across this fabulous floral pair that not only ticked all the boxes, but were covered in flowers and made of canvas - rright up my artistic street. They were my size, they had never been worn and were clearly made for me. They were shouting 'Kay, buy me. You won't be disappointed'. So I did.
As we went through the simple buying process, I got chatting with the lovely seller, a lady called Ellis, who lives in Inverness and I explained to her why they were made for me. She loved art and was interested to see my stuff, so I steered her to my website where she was so impressed with my art that she subscribed there and then! I was so flattered.
The boots duly arrived (I couldn't flippin' wait for them to get here) and as sure as eggs is eggs (what does that saying even mean - shouldn't it be eggs are eggs?) they slipped onto my feet like Cinderella's slipper (she only had one, I had the full pair). To say that they are comfortable is an understament and I would say that I am still breaking them in.
They have not been off my feet since they arrived and hopefully will be staying there for many years to come. So by choosing to go second-hand, I not only have a fabulous pair of flowery canvas Docs to work in every day at a fraction of the original cost, I have gained a new friend/art lover and I am helping to save the planet by keeping stuff out of landfil - albiet one pair of boots at a time (you've got to start somewhere). And the lovely seller, Ellis, has made a few quid herself, too. I will definitely be giving Vinted a visit again.
So next time you're looking to buy some new clothes or shoes, consider looking at Vinted as it's not all second-hand on there, there's plenty of new new stuff, too, and all at a fraction of the cost of what you would pay in a high street shop (not that there's many of those left, but that's a subject for another day). Let's face it, there is too much stuff going into our landfil sites already thanks to today's consumer throwaway society - you'll be doing the planet a favour as well.
What is your best ever second-hand purchase that you still use today?