Second Hand September & beyond
The British charitable organisation Oxfam started the Second Hand September campaign to encourage people to buy second hand items only during the month of September. This is a month that is normally associated with fashion weeks around the world to encourage shoppers to fill their wardrobe as a new season approaches.
Here’s a few shocking facts about the fashion industry:
- An average person throws away over 30 kg of clothes every year
- 94 million kg of waste were generated by single use outfits in 2019
- Between 2000 and 2015, clothing production doubled
In recent years, there has been a drive towards sustainability and a greener way of living and Second Hand September encourages people to be more conscious and stay clear of fast fashion which is so damaging to our planet.
So if you're looking to be more fashion conscious here's a few pointers.
1. Share/swap your clothes
Sharing or swapping clothes amongst family and friends is an awesome way to be more sustainable. The best example of this is baby & kids ‘hand-me-downs’. It is a concept that’s been around for a long time. Not only can it divert a lot of baby clothes from going to waste, but it can really save a lot of money. Think about who of your family and friends has babies or kids similar to yours and ask if they want to receive or give any items of clothing they no longer need. This concept of sharing or swapping can also work well at times where you need a dress for a particular occasion. Eliminate the risk of buying, or even worse panic-buying, a brand new garment for one occasion only. It’s a shame to let perfectly good clothes lie in your wardrobe for months and years on end thereafter!
2. Care for your clothes properly
Ideally no items of clothing are left in storage for a long period of time. If you need to store clothes from one year to the next then make sure you wash it following the instructions on the care label. It is recommended to fold knitwear and trousers as this prevents them from losing their shape whilst garments such as shirts and dresses are better off stored on hangers. If there are items you want to part with, consider donating or selling to second hand stores if they are still in a good condition.
3. Buy second hand
This is what this month is all about. If you need to update yours or your little ones’ wardrobes, look out for second hand items. Second hand items are normally still in mint condition and you will pay just a fraction of the original price. Have a look at these second hand local stores.
Babies & kids: The Cloth Nappy Company
Vintage clothing: Thrift by Alternative
Vintage & second hand clothing: Vogue Xchange
Charity shop: Happy Paws Charity Organisation
Vintage Clothing: The WareHouse Vintage
4. Support sustainable brands
If you do feel the need to purchase some new items of clothing, make sure you are opting for more sustainable brands. Recently, it has been getting more and more difficult and confusing with issues around greenwashing to know who the sustainable and ethical brands really are. It’s therefore important to consider certain criteria. Consider the materials brands use to manufacture their clothes. Some materials such as hemp and linen have a much lower environmental impact than synthetics such as polyester, nylon and lycra unless they are recycled. When the price seems too good to be true it normally is. Familiarise yourself with B Corps as these are companies that operate to the highest ethical and environmental standards.