Seconde main, vintage ou antique ?

Second hand, vintage or antique?

With the rise of the second-hand trend, terms and discourses are rapidly becoming intertwined. While “vintage” is fashionable, “second-hand” is sometimes shunned because of the interpretation given to it. So here is a little summary to untangle this jargon.

Second hand
Second hand does not indicate the age of a garment or item and is in no way related to its quality. This general term simply means that the part has belonged to one or more other owners beforehand. Therefore, vintage or antique furniture is also second-hand, unless the item in question still has its original tags! 

The unloved
If the term "used" is a synonym of "second hand", it often has a negative connotation in the minds of many. For its part, the term "used" is rather pejorative and designates an object that has been used and has lost the appearance of new**

The term vintage refers to when the item was made. According to Larousse, the adjective vintage qualifies a piece of clothing, an accessory, etc., from previous decades, brought up to date. Although this definition does not mention a specific date, there is some debate about the minimum age a piece must be for it to be categorized as vintage, i.e. between 20 and 30 years old. The popular Etsy site has decided on its side. On Etsy, for an item to be considered vintage, it must be at least 20 years old.* 

Like the term "vintage", the adjective "antique" alludes to age. Antique objects belong to a distant time, to a distant past**. Although no date is again specified in the official definitions, popular propriety proposes that an object more than a hundred years old can be considered an antique.

The retro is said of a style, of a fashion inspired by what was done in the first half of the xxAnd century**. As a result, both current and vintage furniture can be qualified as retro.

In any case, it doesn't matter whether a second-hand object is vintage or antique, let's continue to promote circular consumption which makes a real difference for our planet. 


**The definitions in italics are taken from the Larousse dictionary.
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