5 good reasons to choose secondhand gear


August 9, 2023


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Buying secondhand items goes well beyond simply making savings. It’s giving a second life to clothing that still has a lot to offer. It’s a significant gesture for the planet. It’s gearing up in the best possible way to fuel your passion for the outdoors… 

In fact, buying secondhand has nothing but advantages. This more sustainable way of consuming allows us to have a positive impact on the future of the world and those who live in it – all that with no compromise whatsoever on quality. 

Statistics clearly show that buying and reselling used products is a habit that’s gaining popularity. There are more and more of us taking the plunge every day. But even so, most of the world’s clothing still gets thrown away when it’s no longer used. 

We (like many others) think it’s time for a change. This is why we created ReSAIL, so that products still up for adventure can keep going out in the fresh air. If you already know all our eco-friendly tips, let’s now look at the top five reasons why you should go secondhand (if you haven’t already).  

In this article, you will discover the five main reasons for buying secondhand:

  1. Secondhand equipment and clothing are better for the planet
  2. Supporting local economy and secondhand stores
  3. Creative thinking: give a new life to your clothing and equipment
  4. Gearing up on a budget with secondhand goods

Secondhand: choosing circular economy and battling overconsumption

It’s not uncommon for a jacket or backpack to end up in the trash even though it’s still ready for adventure. Nowadays, there are many ways to keep this from happening and put items back in circulation. The things we no longer use can certainly make someone else happy. And that’s exactly why ReSAIL was created.

Leading outdoor brands are constantly improving their products to make them more durable. Why not take it as an opportunity to buy secondhand? A good camping tent can hold up over many seasons. If a piece of equipment is only used a few times a year by its owner, we might as well find a new home for it when it’s no longer needed.

Secondhand makes it possible for everyone to buy quality products at a lower price – without shopping for new goods. This lowers our environmental impact, which is all the better, especially given the ecological toll overconsumption takes on our planet.

By choosing secondhand clothing, we can treat ourselves to nice useful things in a much more sustainable way. We also take a stand against fast fashion, which is very damaging both environmentally and socially. Manufacturing conditions, endlessly changing collections, questionable quality… these are all consequences of fast fashion that we can act against, not least by buying and reselling used products. On the social level, buying secondhand or from sustainable brands allows us to fight against women and child labour in poorer countries.

Let’s break the habit of buying more and throwing away more; let’s buy better and put what we no longer need back into use. Outdoor gear and clothing can have more than one owner!

Secondhand equipment and clothing are better for the planet

The textile industry is one of the most polluting in the world. Making a single pair of jeans alone can consume up to 10,000 litres of water. And once it’s been made, it will sometimes be sent to the other side of the world to be sold.

Every year, an incredible amount of clothing is thrown away, ending up in landfills rather than drop-offs and waste sorting centres. Thanks to secondhand, quality products can equip more than one individual instead of growing the pile of textile waste. This is good news, as most clothing is made from synthetic fibres that are not biodegradable, which means it takes decades for these products to break down in the environment. Let’s all be more responsible.

Used equipment and clothing are entitled to a second life – and to all the other ones that follow. Resale, recycling, upcycling… There are a number of initiatives available today to repurpose your old favourite jacket or the tent you used on your first weekend camping trip. Between secondhand stores and thrift stores for everyday clothing and initiatives like ReSAIL for your outdoor passions, there’s no shortage of options.

A product passed on from one owner to another means less waste, plus an opportunity to reduce your carbon footprint. According to the organization WRAP (Waste & Resources Action Programme), extending the life of a garment by 6 to 9 months reduces carbon emissions, water consumption and textile waste by 20 to 30%.

Supporting local economy and secondhand stores

In Quebec, Ontario and all over the world, secondhand clothing boutiques and stores provide a real alternative for dressing more responsibly. By purchasing from these used-clothing retailers, you are supporting a social and united local economy, as well as having a positive impact on our planet. You are supporting the socially and environmentally conscious.
As an outdoor enthusiast, you may already know that the leading brands aim to develop products that are built to last. The manufacturing processes, the quality of materials, the countless little details… everything is thought out to make outdoor clothing and equipment tough and time-proof. A Columbia or The North Face jacket has many years in front of it. If you no longer wear yours, put it back to good use by donating or reselling it.

If you want to gear up for outdoor pursuits, initiatives like ReSAIL are just what you need. On the platform, you will find a vast selection of clothing and equipment to enjoy the great outdoors to the fullest. This means you can access top outdoor brands without breaking the bank – and support a Canadian company and the local economy at the same time. Embrace slow fashion: take the time to pick out what you really need and shop responsibly.

Creative thinking: give a new life to your clothing and equipment

There are those who roam secondhand stores and boutiques looking for clothes to wear, and there are those who shop for sweaters, pants and jackets to transform and repurpose them.
Whether it’s for their own use or to put their work up for sale, creators around the world share ideas and tips on how to give new life (and sometimes new function!) to clothing and accessories. That’s another great way to keep textiles out of landfills.

The upcycling trend is all about reusing and reworking products, whatever their material, to create unique pieces. The idea is to make something new from existing products, thus extending their lifespan and reducing waste. Here are a few examples that are sure to please outdoor enthusiasts:
Fanny packs made from tired windbreakers;

  • Crossbody bags made from truck tarp;
  • Tote bags made from tablecloths, sheets, etc.;
  • Waterproof bags made from packaging bags.

On ReSAIL, you will find plenty of tips and best practices for taking care of your outdoor clothing and equipment, and for repairing them when necessary. And if they are on their last legs, repurpose them; the wide array of ideas and tutorials online will surely inspire you. Let your creativity run free!

Gearing up on a budget with secondhand goods

Some outdoor clothing and equipment can be pretty expensive. Winter jackets, cross-country skis, camping tents… Sometimes you have to invest several hundred dollars before you can enjoy the great outdoors. Top-brand items cost a bit more than entry-level models, but the investment is well worth it: the equipment you buy will last you many years.
The quality and durability of the products made by these top brands give them a great advantage: they can easily be resold and put into new hands for further adventures. Even more so if their first owner had little use for them because they were bought too big, too small, too fast…

Shopping for secondhand products means you can treat yourself and save money all year round – no need to wait for sales. There’s also no compromise on quality; quite the opposite. Buying used sometimes means accessing a higher quality range of products than you would have been able to buy new!

A (good) winter jacket stays warm, even if it has already been through a winter or two. A waterproof tent stays waterproof even if it has already spent ten nights outdoors. A backpack that has only been used for two seasons still has plenty of walking days ahead of it. This is why it pays to visit ReSAIL regularly: you’re sure to find what you’re looking for at the best price.

Most outdoor enthusiasts are concerned with preserving nature. Gearing up with used equipment and clothing helps to protect our playgrounds. Less waste, fewer new products purchased, more circularity… Everybody wins, and nature too.

To further explore the theme of staying well equipped for less, take a look at our tips and tricks for maintaining and repairing your outdoor gear. Well-maintained equipment means a lot more outings!


Getting equipped for the great outdoors is a necessity, whatever the activity. Shopping secondhand is an eco-friendly option that helps cut expenses while reducing our carbon footprint and the production of textile waste. 

By embracing this type of approach, we are contributing to a more virtuous economy and helping to ensure that everyone can take full advantage of our preserved natural environments.

Let’s make an impact together by shopping secondhand, on ReSAIL or elsewhere. Secondhand is gaining ground, but believe us: the best is yet to come.


Why secondhand?

What is the future of secondhand?


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