Old to gold: rediscovering value of second-hand 1
Old to gold: rediscovering value of second-hand 1
  • Chung Che-yoon
  • 승인 2013.09.13 16:55
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“Second-hand” becomes part of life in the UK

Photo by Chung Che-yoon.
According to Trend Monitor, a specialized marketing research company, a survey targeting 500 people in their 20s showed that 61.4 percent thinks simply possessing more goods would make them happier. Especially for college students, who have indiscreet consumption habits, second-hand can become an alternative. However, the awareness toward second-hand goods is still underdeveloped in Korea. To benchmark the United Kingdom’s (UK) successful adoption of second-hand culture, reporters from the Ewha Media Center comprising the Ewha Voice, the Ewha Weekly and the Ewha Womans University Broadcasting System conducted overseas research. In this edition, the Ewha Voice reports on the background of Britain’s second-hand culture and how it has affected people’s lives.

“Second-hand” becomes part of life in the UK
Wandering through the stacks of second-hand goods and looking for necessary items is a common daily routine in the UK – the country is well-known for its habit of thrift. However, experts say it is impossible to detect the origin of such culture as the tradition has been developed over numerous generations.
“Even back in the 19th century there are evidence of middle class collecting surplus goods and redistributing them to the poor,” said professor Nicky Gregson (Durham University), who wrote a paper on second-hand culture. “There is certainly a long tradition of the ‘hand-me-down-around’ economy, whereby people pass unwanted things around.”
How British people view second-hand goods is different from that of other countries.
“People make decisions based on their needs,” said professor Edmund Brown (University of Leicester), who wrote a paper on charity shops as second-hand markets. “The fact about whether this good is first-hand or second-hand does not play a significant role.”
Another unique aspect about British second-hand culture is that the method of trade is diverse.
“Second-hand has always been around in the UK, but that the forms it takes have diversified in recent years with different versions of both the philanthropic and entrepreneurial forms there to be seen.” professor Gregson said.
In the UK, there are various forms of second-hand trade for people to cherish and encounter vintage goods.

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