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What Is #SecondHandSeptember and How Can You Be a Part of It?

Out with the new, in with the old — this month we are indulging in all things secondhand and encouraging you to follow suit. Not only is pre-owned fashion a great nod to sustainability but it can also encourage us to reflect on our buying habits. Ahead, find out how you can join the #SecondHandSeptember movement and make an impact.

If we can normalise buying secondhand cars and furniture, then owning some pre-loved clothes shouldn’t seem stigmatising anymore. This is exactly what Britain based non-profit Oxfam has set out to do with #SecondHandSeptember and here’s how you can participate;


Globally, an estimated 92 million tonnes of textiles waste is created on an annual basis and the equivalent to a rubbish truck full of clothes ends up on landfill sites every second. It is also estimated that by 2030, we are expected as a whole to be discarding more than 134 million tonnes of textiles a year. Considering the environmentally harmful implications that come with buying new clothes and treating them as disposables, it would be wise to reduce the number of new purchases and turn to pre-owned clothes instead. By pledging to shop only second hand for the month of September or beyond, you’ll have the opportunity to give clothes a longer life and keeping them from ending up in landfills. 


The most sustainable clothes are the ones that are already in your closet — reusing clothes can conserve between 90-95% of the energy needed to make new ones. However, effective reuse requires the clothing in question to be of superior quality and if that isn’t available then shopping for vintage or secondhand is your best bet. Just because the pieces may be old, doesn’t necessarily mean they feel outdated or need to be treated like museum relics. From Oxfam’s very own second-hand online store to pre-owned e-tailers like ThredUp, The RealReal and Poshmark make sure that the secondhand clothes they receive are in near-mint condition and passed through a row of quality checks before they go up on resale. 


Participating in secondhand September also means breaking the cycle of disposal and caring for your clothes the right way so that they can be up for further use once you’re through with them. When clothes have finished their life in your wardrobe, you can give them a new lease of life via an Oxfam shop as every garment sold through their platform raises money to fight poverty around the world. One dress could raise enough money to buy drought-resistant seeds for a family to keep growing food despite a changing climate.

Published by: Vibhuti Vazirani/ 2020-09-13

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