How to take part in Oxfam’s Second Hand September

The charity Oxfam is urging people to shop second hand for 30 days. Fast fashion is the second most harmful cause of pollution. So, it’s imperative that this cause is talked about and spread to a wider audience. I wanted to put together a ‘guide’. This will help you get into the second-hand spirit and get you thinking more considerately about our shopping habits.

What is second hand September?

Oxfam is encouraging the general public to sign a pledge to say ‘no’ to new clothes or any fast fashion for 30 days.

This will mean less clothing ending up in landfill, and encouraging you to find a favourite outfit already existing in your wardrobe – it’s that simple.

What is fast fashion?

Fast Fashion (noun.) is “low-priced clothing that is brought to market quickly and copies fashion trends created by luxury brands” [source]. In fact, the word was first recorded in 1860-65

Most high street shops involve fast fashion produce. Think H&M, Primark, New Look, and Urban Outfitters to name but a few. The amount of waste that fast fashion produces is also a great concern, as well as the ethical impact regarding sweatshops. The work is often very dangerous, unethical, and workers are underpaid.

On 24th April 2013, the Rhana Plaza building in Bangladesh, home to five garment factories, collapsed killing at least 1,132 people and injuring more than 2,500 people. It has been one of the most tragic accidents in recent history and highlights the impact fast fashion is having on people working in these appalling conditions. Since the Rhana Plaza collapsing there have been over 100 accidents involving 491 workers being injured, and 27 losing their lives.

How can I get involved?

You can start by taking the pledge of Second Hand September right here. It’s as simple as entering your name and email address. Throughout September, Oxfam will be handing out tips, styling tricks and more.

Why not look through your wardrobe and see what items you already own? You can make up a new outfit for work or the weekend with that old blouse, or jeans.

A clothes swap with your friends, family or for charity is also a good way to take part in Second Hand September. Make it fun and have a bit of a fashion show with your pre-loved items.

You can shop for new items in your local charity shops and online. The money goes straight to a certain charity, and you can find some great bargains for fantastic prices.

Georgia Shipley

To date, Georgia has self-published her own collection of poems titled Girl, Drowning which focuses on the themes of depression, relationships and self-love. Her collection takes readers on a journey of two halves: The Rising and The Descent.

In 2019 she graduated from university, reading English Language & Creative Writing (BA) Joint Hons, and has previously worked in Social Media, Marketing, and Copywriting. Now, Georgia is the Editor of TFE in her spare time.

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