Innovation That Matters

Secondhand store showcases previous owners & the stories of their things


A new store in Tokyo encourages sellers and buyers of secondhand objects to share ‘personal culture’ along with the goods that are changing hands. Pass the Baton, which opened in the Marunouchi district last month, lists previous owners as ‘exhibitors’, complete with their photo and a short bio. Their personal page on Pass the Baton’s website shows the items they’re selling, have sold and will sell in the future. Kazuko Okuma, for example, is selling a number of items from her travels abroad, including a golf trophy that she won in South America, and sold a bag bought for a dance in Monaco. The store’s web manager, Kelly Kikuchi, explains the reasoning behind Pass the Baton: “My generation facilitated both the evolution of simple resale into ‘vintage’, and the rise and plateau of internet auctions. Back then, it was about economy, discovery, curiosity. Now, it is about expanding, exploring the meaning and relevance of second-hand.” Pass the Baton is an attractive concept on various levels: the strong story element not only adds value for potential buyers, but might also make it easier for sellers to part with their possessions, knowing that an object’s story is carried along with it. And while the items they’re selling probably aren’t those they value most, displaying a person’s collection of things underscores the role of consumers as curators and gives buyers a peek into their life, as well as the opportunity to see whether their tastes align. It’s a retail concept that should appeal to authenticity-seeking consumers everywhere—time to bring it to other parts of the world? Spotted by: Cecilia Biemann


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