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Yes, believe it or not, September is here! Now if you’ve followed this blog for a while you will know that I absolutely love shopping second-hand and also that I love a challenge! September brings those things together in the form of Oxfam’s annual Second Hand September challenge.

Let me tell you what it’s all about and how you can join in the fun…

What is Second Hand September?

In 2018 Oxfam launched a campaign called Second Hand September to raise awareness around the environmental impact of clothing consumption. The campaign is designed to encourage and inspire people to rethink the way they shop and to make positive changes for people and the planet.

Why is shopping second-hand so important?

Did you know that the fashion and textiles industry is one of the most polluting industries, up there with fuel and agriculture?

Fast fashion is particularly damaging to our planet. Not only are there huge amounts of energy use and waste generation during the production stage of clothing, but the damage also continues right through the retail phase, wearing of clothes and finally the way we dispose of clothes that we no longer want or have use for.

Were you aware that 13 million items of used clothing end up in UK landfill every week?

By choosing to shop second-hand instead you are saving clothes that may otherwise have gone to landfill. Giving these clothes a new lease of life is a fantastic way to reduce their environmental impact whilst also refreshing your wardrobe to reflect your own unique style.

Another benefit of shopping second-hand with charities like Oxfam is that your money is helping really important causes all around the world. Oxfam for instance has projects that range from installing drinking water pumps in third-world countries to helping farmers to access drought-resistant seeds and many other vital projects for people and the planet.

How can I get involved?

The Second Hand September campaign includes a really simple and fun challenge. For 30 days in September, you must pledge to only buy second-hand clothing. That’s right when that shopping urge hits then head to your local Oxfam, or any other charity shop, jumble sale or online platform to choose second-hand garments rather than new ones.

If you want to you can share your finds online using #SecondHandSeptember or #FoundInOxfam and tag @oxfamgb. This way you can join a vast community of second-hand bargain hunters to celebrate the joy of shopping in a way that is kinder to the environment and your wallet!

3 Top Tips for second-hand shopping

  1. Keep an open mind!

There’s definitely an element of hunting for treasure involved when shopping in charity shops. Try not to be too specific when thinking about the items you are shopping for as it’s unlikely that you will find exactly what you want straight away. Sometimes I can visit several charity shops in one go and find nothing that I want, and other times I can strike lucky and find loads of awesome garments. Shopping this way requires a bit of patience, creativity and an open mind.

  1. Look around the whole shop

Charity shops are often laid out differently from most high-street stores. Sometimes they organise clothing by colour, but often it’s in gendered sections or by items such as a rail of dresses, and another for trousers. I recommend looking in every section as often things can get put in the wrong section.

Also, keeping that creative open mind, there could be a garment in a men’s/women’s section that actually fits you and your personal style. This is particularly the case with vintage garments such as men’s shirts that can easily be reworked for a more feminine look. Remember it’s all about hunting out the items that really excite you.

  1. Travel to different areas

Charity shops rely on donations of clothing in order to fill their shops. This means that the types of garments they stock are often reflective of the area the shop is situated in. For example, if you are looking for designer gear, you should head to more affluent towns or cities. But, if your style is more along the lines of vintage or unusual items then it’s often best to head to areas with an elderly population, or student communities. Make a day of it and use it as an excuse to explore your local area in a new way.

So will you be joining me in the Second Hand September Challenge?

I’ll be sharing all my finds over on Instagram and TikTok so keep checking in to see what treasures I have discovered! Happy shopping!

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