• Josephine Philips

Why you need to try #SecondHandSeptember, the Dry January of Shopping

Dry January, Sober October, Movember, Veganuary. There’s another to add to your list of monthly projects. Oxfam’s campaign for #SecondHandSeptember.

In its aim to raise awareness of the impacts of fast fashion, both for the environment and the workers up and down the supply chain, Oxfam is rallying for people to join a pledge to not buy new clothes for the month of September. It’s been charmingly referred to as the dry January of clothes addicts.

Taking part will make you stop and think about the way you shop, and in the same vein allow you to be more creative when it comes to buying clothes. Thirty days is around the time it takes to form a new habit (or quit a bad one) therefore #SecondhandSeptember is the perfect way to get you started on your sustainability fashion journey.

Oxfam claims that if everyone in the UK took part in Second Hand September the country would save the same amount of emissions as flying a plane around the world 900 times. Not only this, but you wouldn’t be handing over your hard-earned cash to corporations that are exploiting millions of workers (majority of which are women of colour) in the garment industry.

To make the whole campaign even better, Michaela Coel, a British Actress, director, screenwriter and producer known for Chewing Gum and I May Destroy You (which is a must watch by the way) is the face of the movement. She’s said that she hopes it “raises awareness and encourages us to reflect on our buying habits."

How to get involved

Sometimes you know you want to take part in something (especially if Michaela is doing it) but it’s hard to know where to start, so here is a brief summary of our tips to help you on your journey:

3 ways you can get involved in second-hand September without spending a dime:

· Host a clothes swap with friends and family. One man’s trash is another man’s treasure, right? Choose a few items you don’t wear enough, and you think could be loved by one of your friends more and all meet up to take a look at each other gems and swap to you hearts content.

· Raid your parents’ wardrobe (with or without permission) - there are always some old unworn gems hidden away in there.

· Have a try at upcycling or repairing things you’ve already got in your wardrobe. Fixing or changing up your wardrobe can make things feel new. From cropping cardigans and blazers to turning trousers into shorts see what you can do to change up your current clothes.

If you do need to buy "new" clothes, there are several means through which you can still get your 'fix' during this September month.

Here are 3 different ways to buy second-hand:

· Going to your local charity shop. For some of you this may be second nature, but for those who are starting their charity shop journey, Here is a fantastic article on how to find the best clothes. There’s a real magic to it if you’re open minded, because you never know what treasures you’ll find. All this and you’ll be donating to some great causes.

· Surfing Depop. With over 150,000 items uploaded every day you don’t have a shortage to pick from. Not only that but you’re able to search for specific things that you’re looking for and can also follow specific seller’s shops that match your style.

· Vintage sales – although you may not be able to go in person The Vintage Kilo Sale are hosting their first online events on the 3rd, 13th, 17th, 20th and 26th of September so check that out if you want to buy a whole outfit for £15.

Oxfam are also hosting a range of events throughout the month of September in celebration of the movement.

Second-hand September events to get involved in:

· A luxury pop up hosted by Oxfam in Selfridges starting on the 7th.

· An auction as part of an Ebay-Oxfam collaboration on the 10th.

· Vestiaire collective is hosting a charity sale of pieces that celebrities have donated on the 16th.

It’s important to note that shopping sustainably shouldn’t be limited to the four weeks of September but #SecondHandSeptember is a great way to start. So join here!

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