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This month we chat with author Adam Minter on his newest book “Secondhand: Travels In The New Global Garage Sale”. It’s out this month on Bloomsbury. We’ve followed Minter’s coverage of resource flows and waste for a couple of years now, and we were excited to read this book.
From Japan to Ghana and back again
Minter starts his book with a visit to “decluttering” in Japan and in the US, and we ask about this, and what the lifecycles of our stuff have to do with our own mortality. We talk about the global economies of resale goods, and ask him about a trip to the US-Mexico border as well as to visit repair and refurbishing businesses in Ghana.
While these economies often go under-counted by governments and policymakers, they are thriving and very dynamic. Minter brings them to life with his storytelling and the vivid characters he meets.
The future of secondhand
Even after exploring the decline of some secondhand economies, and the challenges small businesses face, we’re cheered to hear that Minter is quite optimistic about the future. He believes that more durable and repairable goods are an inevitability and he also believes that emerging economies will come around to more eco-friendly consumption far faster than we have in Europe and North America.
Minter was kind enough to record a special excerpt from the book of special interest to our audience, which we interweave with our interview.
[Feature image courtesy of Adam Minter]