Oxfam is encouraging fashion-lovers to rethink the month that’s usually associated with Fashion Week, in a bid to urge shoppers to think more consciously about their clothing purchases and curb our fast fashion habits.
In the UK alone, around a whopping 11 million items of clothing end up in the landfill every day, research by Oxfam has found. Throwaway fashion is having a lasting effect on our planet, which is of course unsustainable. Some simple swaps, such as shopping second-hand, can make a mighty difference. The charity explains: “Join Second Hand September and pledge to shop only second hand for 30 days or more. You’ll give clothes a longer life by keeping them from landfill. And by shopping with Oxfam, you’ll be reinvesting your money into helping the poorest people on the planet earn a fair living and beat poverty.”
There are plenty of ways you can get involved with the initiative:
1. HAVE A CLEAR OUT
Want a clutter-free closet? Sorting out any garments you no longer wear will free up your wardrobe space, while also helping to put you in a positive state of mind. Before giving your clothes to charity shops, ensure they are clean and without stains. If you’re looking to make some extra cash, there are many options for you to sell garments via eBay or Depop.
2. MAKE THE MOST OF YOUR WARDROBE
Gone are the days where an outfit repeat would be unthinkable. With even the most stylish women documenting how they rework their wardrobes, there’s no excuse for us to not make the most of all the clothes we have already.
3. SHOP SECOND-HAND
Buying second-hand helps to lower the overall demand for new clothing to be produced. Whether it’s popping into your local charity store or swapping clothingon an app, doing so will help to prolong the life of items that would otherwise end up on landfill. Never shopped second-hand before? #SecondHandSeptember is a great time to give it a go.
4. SWAP YOUR CLOTHES WITH FRIENDS
If you have items of clothing that you no longer wear, why not swap them with someone else? Your trash could be someone else’s treasure. Whether it’s a dress, jumper or a winter coat, swapping clothes is much better than buying — and can help to curb fast fashion, too.
5. UPCYCLE YOUR OLD GARMENTS
We are consuming household objects and clothing at an unsustainable rate, regularly replacing broken items for newer versions instead of simply cleaning, fixing or upcycling them.
Refresh old garments by giving them a new lease of life; turn tired-looking jeans into a pair of shorts, dye an old shirt a new colour or add some playful patchwork prints onto a denim jacket. Upcycling old garments not only refreshes what you currently own, but it will help to prolong the life of some of your favourite pieces. Why not get creative?
6. RENT YOUR CLOTHES
One way to help tackle fast-fashion is by changing the way you think about shopping. With fashion being one of the most polluting industries in the world due to high demand, sharing our wardrobes makes a lot of sense. Rental and swapping garments for special occasions eliminates single use outfits and reduces the risk of panic buying for one occasion that feeds into the fast-fashion cycle.
7. CONTINUE THE DISCUSSION ON SOCIAL MEDIA
A simple way to keep up the momentum around shopping second hand is to share the campaign across social media using the hashtag #SecondHandSeptember. It’s a simple way to share your tips and tricks with others.