The importance of climate change recently became a very hot topic, in a literal sense, as Cop26 took place in Glasgow.

We all have a duty to look after the places we live, either further afield or closer to home. And working in an industry that operates almost exclusively within the second-hand sector has many benefits. Both buyers and sellers can save the planet from the overuse of precious natural resources.

Manufacturing has been in decline for some years now and the rising cost of materials as they become more and more scarce increases the initial cost of manufacture. Combined with the throwaway society of modern shopping and short shelf lives, products can often move through our hands far too quickly and end up as refuse. The modern age of plastic production has only sped this process up as we manufacture inferior items quickly and at low cost, a practice that would have been unheard of in past generations. Back then, we took far greater pride in the invention and process of making an item to last.

Recently, there has been a surge in artisan crafts as customers now shop with an ethical mind and a curiosity as to how an item was made, where its materials were sourced and its environmental impact. Many of us also spent lockdown inside, which led to a surge in decorating and decluttering as we cleared our lives of any unwanted or unnecessary decorations – or surplus items clogging up our homes. As a result of both, we’ve seen a great influx of items into the auction house, with more and more clients wishing to sell their goods and increasing demand from buyers. This has led to higher prices for all of our areas of selling.

Making the most of what we have is important for a number of reasons, not just the fact that landfill is saved – giving furniture and homewares a new lease of life creates a constant circle. It’s often said that one person’s trash is another’s treasure; we can all look at the same item but often with a different vision or intention for its future use.

Restoring or renovating a piece can certainly give it a new purpose, as well as offering a great sense of accomplishment and ownership as you put your unique spin on an item to perfectly fit any space or décor desired.

We all have a small part to play in the protection of our planet and buying second hand is a great, easy option. We should make the most of what have already and appreciate the heritage of what has passed before.

Garth Drinkall