Secondhand: Travels in the New Global Garage Sale

Secondhand: Travels in the New Global Garage Sale

Downsizing. Decluttering. A parent's death. Sooner or later, all of us are faced with things we no longer need or want. But when we drop our old clothes and other items off at a local donation center, where do they go? Sometimes across the country-or even halfway across the world-to people and places who find value in what we leave behind.

In Secondhand, journalist Adam Minter takes us on an unexpected adventure into the often-hidden, multibillion-dollar industry of reuse: thrift stores in the American Southwest to vintage shops in Tokyo, flea markets in Southeast Asia to used-goods enterprises in Ghana, and more. Along the way, Minter meets the fascinating people who handle-and profit from-our rising tide of discarded stuff, and asks a pressing question: In a world that craves shiny and new, is there room for it all?

Secondhand offers hopeful answers and hard truths. A history of the stuff we've used and a contemplation of why we keep buying more, it also reveals the marketing practices, design failures, and racial prejudices that push used items into landfills instead of new homes. Secondhand shows us that it doesn't have to be this way, and what really needs to change to build a sustainable future free of excess stuff.

Title:Secondhand: Travels in the New Global Garage Sale
Edition Language:English
ISBN:9781635570106
Format Type:

    Secondhand: Travels in the New Global Garage Sale Reviews

  • Rachel Pollock

    This book is engrossing and eye-opening. I had no idea how extensive the secondhand industry is on a global scale, and to what extent discarded/donated things get restored, refurbished, rebuilt, and r...

  • Randal White

    Secondhand, Travels In The New Global Garage Sale, is an in-depth look at what happens to your "stuff" when you dispose of it. Whether it be Goodwill, a "downsizing" service, or wherever. The author t...

  • Kelly

    This was a fascinating look at how global the secondhand market is. I've been interested in "recycling" for the better part of a year now, after learning how it does and doesn't work now that China no...

  • Bandit

    Who knew there was such a thing as recycle themed journalism. Well, there is, Adam Mitner’s doing it. And this is his second book on the matter, titled appropriately enough Secondhand. Mitner was ra...

  • Julie

    I guess my rating is based on most of the information was not new to me, and the first half of the book wasn't particularly interesting. Things picked up around page 133 when I learned about refurbish...

  • Susan

    I really enjoyed this book and it’s caused me to rethink what I buy and what I donate to Good Will (I now vow to to donate more because others can better use things I am not using and otherwise lett...

  • Ginger Hudock

    If you have ever donated items to Goodwill or another thrift store and wondered what happened to them, then this book is for you. This is a well-done piece of journalism where the author follows items...

  • Alexis

    This is the story of your stuff. Not the stuff you're using: the stuff you're not using, not anymore. What happens to it, if we don't throw it in the trash or the recycling bin? (Recycling was the top...

  • Holly Minion

    — I heard about Secondhand through an interview with the author on NPR one evening. I thought it would be a fascinating look around the world at what happens to things after they are donated. But ...

  • Andrea Larson

    Was one of your New Year's resolutions this year about stuff? Buying less, decluttering, reorganizing? Do you wonder what happens to everything we donate or recycle? If you do, pick up this book. Seco...