It’s September which means a new school year, a fresh start and what feels like a new year altogether. But that doesn’t mean you need new clothes, or at least to buy them new. Oxfam have set up Second Hand September, where you can pledge to buy only second hand for the whole month, whether that be from Depop, Ebay or Charity Shops.
One of the first ethical fashion posts I uploaded onto my blog was actually ‘why you should shop charity shops‘ and the dress I wore in the post I’ve just taken with me on holiday to Spain – it is over three years old and still one of my most loved pieces in my wardrobe – proof that it doesn’t have to be new or an incredibly expensive sustainable brand to be a durable purchase. Every week the UK sends 11 million items of clothing to landfill, yet what we buy should not be disposable and part of the initiative is to not only encourage buying second hand but changing attitudes to buying new clothing and a more conscious decision.
When I went a clothes ban last year, my mindset really changed towards the way I bought new clothing, in a similar way to buying second hand clothing. I um and ah and think: do I really need this? Because I still want to curate a wardrobe where every piece is as loved as the next one. I do think there retains a story behind charity shop garments and I love the anticipation of not knowing what you’re going to find, if you find anything at all. It is that lapse in acquiring new goods that encouraged me to steer away from constant consumerism altogether and I am a lot more conscious about what I buy, even if that is second hand.
Other than underwear and shoes, second hand clothing makes up the majority of my wardrobe which won’t be changing any time soon with university on the horizon. So maybe second hand September won’t just end when the month is up?
If you haven’t been charity shopping before or don’t go often this is the perfect opportunity to do so! You’re not always going to find what you want but when you do you almost love it even more because there is something quite unique. If the garment isn’t quite right, altering can work wonders. The white skirt in the photos is from a charity shop and I sewed up a side to make it smaller as it was just to big. Take it to a tailors, ask a friend or even hand sewing might solve a fashion conundrum.
I encourage you to take part this September and if you do then send a pic, tell me what you bought, has it changed your mind on second hand buying? Don’t forget to tag #secondhandseptember or @oxfamgb in any social media posts.