Are you wanting to reduce your ‘clothing consumerism’? Oxfam has the answer, by launching their ‘Second Hand September’ campaign. It’s a pledge, a challenge to only buy second hand for 30 days. And the reason why? Throwaway fashion is posing a real impact on our environment – every week, 13 million items of clothing ends up in UK landfill.
I love this campaign and there are ways to make second hand shopping as smooth as possible, it just involves a bit more thought. I’m no expert, but I’ve got some inspiration for you.
SHOP YOUR WARDROBE
This could be a long process but if you thrive from organisation (like myself), of course, it’s a fun task in itself. As September is a transitional period between summer and autumn, it’s the best time for a wardrobe sort out. It’s when you can add the transitional pieces back in, drag them out of the boxes and find your favourite jumper again. A tip for sorting out your wardrobe is to store the items you’re not sure about after the season – if you haven’t worn it, it might be ‘back in fashion’ in a years time. Once you’ve gone through seasons of not wearing it and not loving it, then it’s time to donate it!
SCROLL THROUGH SECOND-HAND SITES
If you are missing the ‘retail therapy’, you can buy secondhand online through Depop, eBay or Oxfam – instead of scrolling through clothing retailers. My top tip is to find out your size in the item and there will be quite a bargain to be had – I knew that I fitted a size 4 in Vans and found a basically new pair for half the price. It’s all about sussing out what will be a worthwhile purchase rather than buying everything and anything because it’s secondhand.
UNSUBSCRIBE FROM RETAILER EMAILS
Does the subject header ‘50% off ends TONIGHT’ ring a bell? I seem to subscribe to every email going and they do entice you in. So unsubscribe, lose the promotion emails and replace with sustainable fashion accounts on social media. Seeing their finds (and the bargains) are a good source of inspiration for making a ‘wish list’ and looking out for those items in the charity shops.
VISIT THE LOCAL CHARITY SHOPS
The visits will be in a slightly different way at the moment, but most of them are still open for visitors. A charity shop browse is always good in my opinion, even if you don’t find anything to purchase. Sometimes you’ll find a gem! Visiting the charity shops also includes donating items, rather than throwing them away. They’ll become someone else’s second hand purchase!
SHARE YOUR EXPERIENCE
For a powerful and positive impact with this campaign, we need to spread the word. Tell others about articles you’ve read on sustainable fashion, share resources and if you want to, create a ‘swaps’ pile from your wardrobe for your friends/family to ‘shop’ from.
Let me know if you’re taking part in Second Hand September and show me the secondhand gems that you find!