September is a big month in fashion. It’s the month when thoughts turn to stocking up on knitwear and perhaps acquiring a new autumn/winter coat (I’m determined to finally find my perfect camel-coloured coat this year). Such is the significance of the month that the September 2007 issue of ‘Vogue’ magazine weighed nearly five pounds, the weight coming from all the advertisements aimed at seducing autumn shoppers. The edition of magazine also starred in its own documentary film that you can watch here.
In 2007 when the film was made, few people were aware of the environmental impacts of fashion. Now, many of us know that fashion is a huge contributor to climate change, biodiversity loss and pollution. It’s also an industry that relies on exploited and underpaid labour. So, while back in 2007 an autumn haul of new clothes seemed innocent enough, these days it’s something I want to avoid.
Second-hand September is an alternative strategy for fashion lovers: because most of the environmental impacts of clothing happens during the production phase, Oxfam encourages people to buy only second-hand clothes throughout the month. By choosing preloved fashion, we reduce the demand for the production of new garments, thereby reducing the ecological harm of the fashion industry. Visit Oxfam’s second-hand September webpage here.
Four reasons to take part in second-hand September are:
(1) A month isn’t that long!
A month without buying brand new clothes isn’t that long: it’s a way to dip your toe into the world of second-hand fashion without making a daunting ‘for ever’ commitment.
(2) Finding great second-hand fashion is easier than it’s ever been
Of course, visit Oxfam this Second-hand September. Equally, peer-to-peer platforms such as Vinted, Depop, or sites such as Re-Fashion and eBay, now make it super easy to find excellent quality preloved clothes from your favourite brands. There are so many brilliant clothes just waiting for you, I promise. At the more luxury end, Vestiaire Collective has a great selection of designer clothes.
(3) Be the envy of your friends
I’ll be showing off some of my best second-hand gems on Instagram using the hashtag #thanksitsthrifted. Whereas shopping secondhand used to be considered a bit embarrassing, these days it’s a badge of honour.
(4) Save cash
Shopping secondhand can save you lots versus brand new, even on items that have only been worn a couple of times. I’ve picked up & Other Stories jumpers for 20 quid that I’d have paid 60 for at full price.
I hope you’ll give second-hand shopping a try this September and that you have fun with it
#secondhandfirst #sustainablefashion #ethicalfashion #thanksitsthrifted #preloved