I have always been a lover of antiques and vintage treasures. I grew up surrounded by them and was heavily influenced by my grandmother’s love of the same. Her house was always filled with beautiful pieces that were at least a hundred years old or more. She had an intense love of china and I’ll admit I absorbed far more of that information than I had ever planned to.
While my tastes were not as invested in flow blue and chintz china, I grew to love vintage and antique clothes, hats, mosaic glass, parasols, gilded trinket boxes, vases, hand painted portrait brooches and a plethora of other things. I still delight in perusing antique malls in hopes of finding some beautiful treasure. It was only the other day it struck me how helpful this love and appreciation of vintage and antique is.
Ask anyone today about Pyrex and they will tell you they just don’t make it like you used to. The vintage versions are highly sought after. Their durability and resilience to make some wonderful casserole for the family dinner endures. I hear that same “They don’t make it like they used to.” over and over. I see it myself when I pick up an antique teacup and then go to my local Homegoods and pick up a new one. Cheap, light and not made to last seems to be the order of the day from clothing to just about any item in your home.
We are now and have always been consumers of something, but in a factory world over run with lack of ethics, short cuts in production, allowances for dangerous chemicals, and garbage perhaps it is time to take a page from the past. One of the number one ways we can reduce our waste as consumers is by re-using items. Don’t buy that cheap set of dishes at Target because they are $8 and if they break who cares. That sort of throw away thinking is part of what landed us in this mess in the first place.
Instead, invest in the past with that retro set you’ve been eyeing at the local flea market. Make use of something made well that you love the look of and enjoy the benefit of having something likely to last much longer, saves the environment from both production waste and product end of life waste and is stylish to boot! It’s a win, win for all! There are so many places to look for still amazing re-usable and lightly loved items such as thrift shops, flea markets, farmers markets, antique shops/malls, vintage stores, donations stores and swap meets. Indulge your inner collector, fashionista, preserver, quality snob, fixer upper, chef, mechanic, artist and environmentalist by giving a new life to the old, the bold and the beautiful.