More and more people have left behind the stereotypes around second-hand items. Precisely in Costa Rica, since 2017, the SJO Bazar is held every month, a market for second-hand items where you can get clothing, toys, vinyl, decorative items and more, all at affordable prices in a safe and inclusive environment.
During this month, SJO Bazar takes place on December 1st and 15th from 10 am to 6 pm, in the ‘El Atlántico’ Parking lot in La California neighborhood, San José.
This market offers the opportunity to buy products at prices ranging from 100 colones onwards and in excellent condition. “We wanted to do something that was inclusive and that brought together all these subcultures of the city like the ‘hippie aunt’, the ‘punketto cousin’, ‘those who want everything handmade and vegan’, and we achieved that, a traditional market, with themes relevant for 2019 such as ecology and reuse”, said Kevin León, spokesman for SJO Bazar.
The first edition was held on the 3rd floor of a building. Now, its organizers seek to reach more people, part of the novelties they have incorporated are repairs and adjustments to the clothes in place, and even redesign a garment to go out with something completely new. “In the first editions, we had to call friends crying to participate to fill 10 fields and now there are more than 700 people registered and wishing to participate”, explained León.
Reuse as a way to generate revenue
One of the projects that participate in SJO Bazar is ‘La Ropavejera’ by Diana Gutiérrez, who created this initiative after going through an economic crisis.
“I was going through a very strong economic crisis as a single mom and head of household and what I saw was that we had many things that we were not using and were in good condition. We started with a garage sale in the Natural Market of Curridabat, and then the owner told me to try it with a business. I started to receive clothes in consignment because our things ended in the first month and so we can also help circulate the money among more people”, Gutiérrez commented.
This initiative that takes on new strength in the country has been carried out for almost 20 years in other sectors, such as the well-known Flea Market near the “El Mayoreo” Market adjacent to the Municipality of San José.
Currently, the fashion industry is the 2nd most polluting in the world; second only to the oil company, due to overproduction, the use of polluting chemicals, and energy, as well as the water footprint. This is revealed according to data from the most recent annual report ‘Pulse of the Fashion Industry 2019’.