Designer Chelsy Christina talks sustainable living, buying secondhand and leaning into your true passions

When it comes to sustainable living, Chelsy Christina is an absolute devotee — and she’s brought a ton of people on board with her.

In fact, the interior designer and content creator amassed a following of thousands on both TikTok and Instagram by sharing how she re-imagines uses for existing items and buys solely from thrift stores, flea markets and vintage shops to create less waste.

According to Christina, she’s been very passionate about sustainability and caring for the planet for as far back as she can remember.

“And then my other big passion is design,” she added. “So I’m always looking for ways to bridge the two.”

But it wasn’t until she found herself working at an interior design firm for several years that something within her really started to shift.

“While I loved the work, it really opened my eyes to the amount of waste that’s created in the industry,” Christina told In the Know by Yahoo.

Then came COVID, when a slow-down in physical work gave her more free time to lean into her passions.

“I was already practicing a sustainable, low-waste lifestyle on my own time,” she recalled. “And so I started doing interior design work while I was creating content around low-waste living. And I didn’t really think anything of it when I first made my first TikTok, but it had the most incredible feedback and engagement, which I was not expecting.”


Some of my favorite thrift finds for the San Francisco project. Designing a home can be low waste and inexpensive! #secondhandhome #thriftedhome #thriftedhomedecor #thriftstorefinds #whatithriftedvshowistyledit

♬ original sound – Chelsy Christina

After that, Christina continued to create content that she cared about, which has now evolved into a focus on sustainable interior design and easy ways for others to design their homes with secondhand items, too.


Some of my favorite secondhand finds I’ve collected over the last few years. This is the result of checking facebook marketplace 10 times a day every day. Let me know if you want to see more! #secondhandhome #secondhandhomedecor #secondhandfurniture #facebookmarketplacefinds #vintagefurniture #vintagehomedecor

♬ original sound – Chelsy Christina

While this sometimes means traveling to thrift shops and vintage stores, Christina also loves getting secondhand finds from Facebook Marketplace and bringing them back to life in her own space.

Aside from being more affordable, Christina also finds it the easiest way to discover your personal style if you’re still honing in on what that is.

“When you’re shopping secondhand, whether that’s at a thrift store or a flea market, you’re usually drawn to an item because it expresses your unique taste,” she said.

In many of her videos, Christina tries to demonstrate how she does this on a frequent basis and hopes to dispel some of the common misconceptions she hears about buying secondhand in general — including that the items are “dirty” or “kind of feel grandma-y.”

“I actually think you can find very modern furniture nowadays, shopping secondhand on places like a Facebook marketplace,” Christina shared. “And if you’re worried about the cleanliness of it, I always just recommend thoroughly cleaning things before they enter your home.”

At the end of the day, her ethos is simple: Use what you have and buy less.

And for anyone trying to live more consciously, that mantra can help you on your journey, too.

“I think a lot of times people assume in order to live a more sustainable lifestyle, you have to buy sustainable products and switch those out for the products you currently have that are less sustainable,” the designer shared. “But really, the most sustainable thing you can do is use up what you currently have before switching to sustainable alternatives.”

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