We live in a world where new is often equated with better. We're told to buy the latest gadgets, upgrade our homes with the newest products, and keep up with the latest trends in fashion and design. We scroll through Instagram and Pinterest, lusting after picture-perfect interiors with pristine furniture and gleaming surfaces. And when we need to furnish our own homes, we head straight to IKEA, convinced that brand-new and mass-produced is the only way to go.

But what if we told you that there's another way? What if we told you that you can create beautiful, unique, and sustainable interiors using secondhand furniture and materials? What if we told you that reclaimed doesn't have to mean vintage, and that you can incorporate secondhand items into any style or aesthetic?

We need to change our mindset when it comes to sustainability and design. We need to move away from the idea that secondhand is only for vintage lovers or those on a tight budget. We need to embrace the idea that reusing and repurposing items is not only good for the environment, but also adds character to our homes.

By incorporating secondhand materials and products into our spaces, we reuse existing resources, reducing the need for new production and limiting the amount of waste that ends up in landfills.

So whether you're renovating a space, redecorating a room, or just looking for a few key pieces to update your home, consider incorporating secondhand furniture and materials into your design. With a little creativity and resourcefulness, you can create a home that's not only beautiful, but also conscious and sustainable.

Where and how to source secondhand materials and products?

When it comes to designing interiors, incorporating secondhand materials and furniture is an excellent way to create conscious and unique spaces. Using second hand items in combination with new sustainable and natural products will reduce the environmental impact of your interiors.

There are several ways to find secondhand products. Here are six top markets in the UK:

1. Portobello Road Market in London: This market has over 1,000 dealers selling everything from vintage clothing to antique furniture.
2. Brighton Flea Market: This market has a diverse range of vintage and retro furniture, homeware, and decorative items.
3. Authentic Reclamation Yard in Sussex: This reclamation yard specialised in reclaimed and salvage building materials including flooring, doors and architectural salvage.
4. Manchester Renew Centre: This centre offers a wide variety of reclaimed furniture, building materials, and homeware in both their physical and online shops.
5. Giant Flea Market at the Bath and West Showground in Somerset: This market takes place on the first Sunday of every month and attracts over 600 stallholders and thousands of visitors. It offers a wide range of secondhand and vintage items, including furniture, homeware, clothing, and more.
6. Hackney Flea Market in London Fields, East London: This market takes place on the second weekend of every month and offers a range of vintage and retro furniture and homeware.

It's worth noting that many secondhand shops and markets also have an online presence, allowing for easy browsing and purchasing from the comfort of your own home. Facebook Marketplace and Gumtree are also excellent resources for finding secondhand furniture and homeware.

Salvo - the one stop shop for secondhand sourcing

Another excellent resource for finding second hand materials and products is Salvo. Salvo is a UK-based company that specialises in the salvage and sale of architectural antiques, reclaimed building materials, and vintage and industrial furniture. Founded in 1991, Salvo aims to promote the use of sustainable materials in construction and design by providing a marketplace for secondhand and salvaged items.

In addition to its online marketplace, which features thousands of items from over 500 dealers, Salvo also offers a range of resources and services for those interested in salvage and architectural salvage. These include a directory of salvage and antiques dealers, a calendar of upcoming events and auctions, and a blog that covers a range of topics related to salvage and sustainability.

One of Salvo's newest initiatives is Truly Reclaimed, a certification scheme that aims to promote the use of genuinely reclaimed and salvaged materials in construction and design. The scheme provides a set of guidelines and criteria for identifying and verifying reclaimed materials, as well as a certification mark that can be used to signify that a product has been made with truly reclaimed materials. By promoting the use of these materials, Truly Reclaimed aims to reduce the environmental impact of construction and design and promote sustainable practices.

By working with Salvo and other salvage and architectural antiques dealers, designers and homeowners can incorporate unique and sustainable materials into their interiors and projects. Whether you're looking for reclaimed wood flooring, vintage lighting fixtures, or salvaged doors and windows, these resources can help you find high-quality and distinctive items that add character and history to your space.

Blending the old with the new

We must embrace a mindset of reuse and repurposing, and find beauty in unexpected places. And when new products are required, look for sustainably sourced options - supporting local independent makers, using bio-materials, or choosing recycled materials all help to create more unique and sustainable interiors. While incorporating second hand furniture and materials is a great way to reduce waste and promote conscious living, it can sometimes be challenging to blend them seamlessly with new products.

But fear not! With a little creativity and resourcefulness, it's entirely possible to create interiors that combine the best of both worlds. Here are some key takeaways and actionable tips that your can use to incorporate secondhand and sustainable materials into your next interior design or renovation project:

1. Look beyond new items: Instead of automatically reaching for new furniture or decor, consider the potential of secondhand items. Flea markets, vintage stores, and online marketplaces are great resources for finding unique, pre-owned pieces.
2. Mix and match: Don't be afraid to mix secondhand items with new sustainable products. The contrast between old and new can add depth and character to a space.
3. Think sustainably: If new items are necessary, consider seeking out local, independent makers who use sustainable materials. Look for products made from recycled or upcycled materials or natural, biodegradable materials. On IGOLO we dedicate our efforts to assessing all of our brands and writing about why and how they are sustainable. Check out the individual values on the product pages and the sustainability tab to find out more about the product and the brand!
4. Get creative: Repurpose old items or materials to give them a new life. For example, turn old doors into a headboard, or use reclaimed wood to create a unique accent wall.
5. Embrace imperfections: Secondhand items may have signs of wear and tear, but these imperfections can add charm and authenticity to a space.

By incorporating these tips into your next design or renovation project, you can create a unique and sustainable interior that reflects your personal style and values.

If you need any assistance or guidance on incorporating secondhand and sustainable materials into your next interior design or renovation project, reach out to us! We can help you find the perfect mix of new and pre-owned items to create a beautiful, sustainable interior that reflects your personal style and values. Contact us today to learn more about our services!
February 27, 2023

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