Oxfam Secondhand September 2021

secondhand september banner.

Could this be the year that you choose to join in with the #secondhandseptember movement? By saying yes you will give your clothes a longer life, be kinder to the environment, reduce waste and say no to everything that is bad about the fast fashion industry.

What is Secondhand September?

Second Hand September is a 30-day campaign run by Oxfam encouraging people across the UK to stop buying new clothes for the month in a bid to curb our fast fashion habits — and it's easy for everyone to get involved with.

Did you know? 13 million items of clothing go to landfill every week and 95% of textile waste could be used or recycled.

Find out more about Oxfam GB's Second Hand September here.

How does buying secondhand help curb climate change?

There is already too much clothing in the world. By opting for second hand, you are reducing the demand for new clothes and reducing the future waste which is often shipped to poorer countries in vast amounts where they do not have he facilities to process the waste. There is no such thing as 'away'.

Climate change is having a devastating impact on us all, particularly poorer countries with a lack of infrastructure and it is unfortunately having a disproportionate effect on those already in need. People who are in poverty were struggling to get necessities but with these even more extreme weathers brought on by climate change they do not have access to water in droughts, money to repair their houses after floods and so much more. To help these people we need to be more conscious consumers and support the sustainable and ethical brands and habits, Secondhand September is just the start.

How to get involved with #SecondHandSeptember

  • Buy only second hand clothes for 30 days or more.
  • Donate your pre-loved items to your local Oxfam shop.
  • Donate clothes by post, for free!
  • Volunteer in your local Oxfam.
  • Share your one-of-a-kind finds using #SecondHandSeptember and tag @OxfamGB.

We believe in protecting our planet and helping people to beat poverty around the world. Giving clothes a longer life to reduce waste is one way to do this.

More ways to fight fast fashion

  • Always ask big fashion brands #whomademyclothes
  • Be cautious of greenwashing i.e. large fashion brands conscious or recycled ranges which are still made in vast volumes and do not pay garment workers fairly.
  • Write and petition brands to produce less.
  • Support garment workers in their campaigning for fair living wages.
  • Call out 'take back schemes' by big fashion brands whose purpose is to encourage us to buy more clothes.
  • Up-cycle, mend and repair your clothes.
  • Carefully sort and organise your clothes you plan to donate. If something is too ragged for you, it will most likely be too ragged for someone else!
  • Host a swap shop with friends and family.
  • Look for second hand items in charity shops, ebay, facebook marketplace, depop, boot fairs and much more.
  • Borrow your friends clothes for events.
  • Rent clothes for special occasions. A couple of our favourite companies are Hurr and By Rotation.
  • Shop vintage.
  • Buy less.
  • When buying new, opt for sustainable fabrics and slow fashion brands that are transparent in their operations including garment worker pay.

Shopping second hand is very time consuming and not an option for everyone so do not feel guilty if you purchase new items. Just remember to ask yourself if you really need it. The main thing we need to remember is to buy less.

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