“Nothing lasts forever; the Mona Lisa won’t last forever.”

Adam Minter is the author of Junkyard Planet and the just-published Secondhand: Travels in the New Global Garage Sale. It’s a great book that offers hopeful answers and hard truths. It’s a history of the stuff we’ve used and a contemplation of why we keep buying more. Secondhand shows us that it doesn't have to be this way, and what really needs to change to build a sustainable future free of excess stuff. He lives in Petaling Jaya, Malaysia.


  • What it will take to build a sustainable future without all the excess we accumulate.
  • If you love thrift, you love finding value where other people don’t and have a different definition of “waste.”
  • While you might know where your recycling goes, it’s also important to know where old clothes, plates, and furniture end up. 
  • Different countries have different approaches to the thrift phenomenon. 
  • The racial and political realities of how U.S., Canadian, and European goods are being shipped to the developing world.
  • How right-to-repair legislation will help boost secondhand markets.
  • If we want a secondhand economy, we have to repair stuff and donate to thrift stores.