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In the last 5 years, 48% of the Italians have purchased from second-hand markets and 41% affirm they want to continue with such a habit. These are the main figures from the 2013 National Report on reuse by the Second-hand Operators National Network, produced by the Social and Economic Research Centre Occhio del Riciclone (i.e. the Reuser’s eye), with the support of the Ministry of Environment.
Last year, hundreds of millions of pieces of furniture, objects, toys, household products, white goods and books were resold with sales volumes of billion euros and such low prices to compete with Asian import.
It deals mainly with local networks and short supply chains, created by either privates (today approximately 4,000 in Italy) – who take over a space where they can sell goods on behalf of a third party – or groups of citizens gathered in no profit associations. According to sociologists and market experts, second-hand goods purchasers are educated, young rather than old, and look for saving. It is a booming habit, which is taking the shape of an evolution in consumption styles, despite current bad economic trends. It is not a coincidence that the European Union does include this habit among the strategic tools for relaunching the community economy. It is possible to create virtuous Reuse Centres: Cooperativa Insieme in Vicenza, for example, has a brand new storage and inventory scheme and, thanks to a reuse model integrated in waste management, it is recycling every year 400 tons of goods (not garments), by putting them back on the market. Even the sectors of clothes and white goods repairing are growing. Areas of second-hand non-professional free exchange are born for example in Turin, one of the leading cities in this field. (www.occhiodelriciclone.com).
A biodynamic life
by Giuliana Zoppis
News, events, products and services for an innovative and conscious lifestyle:
all that can give an ecologic shift to everyday actions with responsibility, curiosity, creativity and the desire of improving us and the world we live in.
This is the section led by Giuliana Zoppis, architect, journalist and expert of ecodesign, biobuilding and socio-environmental sustainability. In 2006, together with Clara Mantica , she founded Best Up the first chain for promoting the sustainable living.