Like thousands of others, I am becoming increasingly concerned by our culture of consumerism and waste.

With Christmas coming I have been giving it more thought. The gimmicky gifts and stocking fillers lining the shelves seem so unnecessary and wasteful. The amount of ‘stuff’ we accumulate and chuck is shameful. Nothing is made to last these days. When products are so cheap to buy, it is easier to throw than repair. With climate change at a state of emergency, we need to change our ways before it is too late.

Now this is what I love about my business. Selling your second hand items gives them a new lease of life. They will be used, loved again and saved from landfill. About 60% of what I sell is vintage or antique. This is what I love the most. These items are often unique and stylish and there is always someone looking to give them a new home. What’s more, instead of just buying ‘off the shelf’ items, my buyers have the opportunity to purchase something different and develop their own individual style. I personally prefer to choose a unique piece instead of mass produced furniture. In my opinion, it is often flimsy and a bit bland and samey.

Recently I have been doing a lot of furniture refurbishing and ‘up-cycling’. Vintage is very ‘in’ at the moment, especially anything mid century and retro. The decor I grew up with is suddenly the height of fashion again. These pieces were high quality and made to last. They are solid and with some love, restoration or re-style, they will last for years to come. The coffee table that has seen better days or the old chest of drawers with tea stains can be transformed and renewed. And what’s more, it need not be expensive. It’s a winner all round!

Next time you are having a clear out, have a think about what can be resold or donated to a good cause. Think about that old coffee table or sideboard. Can it be restored or refurbished into a beautiful new piece and take pride of place for another 20 years? Or can it be sold to someone who would like to do this?

And at this time of year, please think when buying gifts. Will they be used? Do they really need them? Father Christmas will be bringing second hand pyjamas to our house this year. They have been handed down to me in beautiful condition, so why buy new? I hope it will teach my children the importance of reusing whilst encouraging the habit of thinking before they ‘consume’.

Please remember, Reuse, Recycle and Refurbish!