Shop savvy, save the planet

Oxfam’s Second Hand September is a campaign that aims to raise awareness of the environmental impact on fashion, and is encouraging people to avoid buying new clothing for the entire 30 days of the month. The campaign encourages fashion-lovers to rethink their shopping habits and say no to new clothes, as throwaway fashion is having a lasting effect on our planet.

Laura Arrowsmith
Lecturer in Fashion Business and Promotion

We have become far too comfortable with fashion and poorly made synthetic clothing that doesn’t have longevity, and are now branching out into hunting for those vintage finds that will stand the test of time.

Every week 11 million items of clothing in the UK are sent to landfill causing a huge environmental impact, therefore, by shopping second hand you can ease the pressure of feeling guilty and adding to the environmental damage. So why not give it a go.

Laura’s seven top tips for Second Hand September:

1. Identify gaps in your wardrobe -  Be sure to understand what you actually need or want, as you can easily get carried away with buying items that you’ll never get around to wearing and, therefore, at a later date the product being discarded again.

2. Establish your budget -  Make sure you don’t get carried away by the final bidding war with other buyers on reselling sites. This is an easy mistake to make and you may find yourself paying way more than you originally wanted to, and ending up with buyer’s regret.

3. Read the seller’s description on the item condition - Photos can be misleading and you don’t want to be disappointed when the item arrives on your doorstep.

4. Allocate time to searching and finding what you are looking for - There are treasures to be found, but you’ll need to stick with it to discover the gems.

5. Make room in your wardrobe- Someone’s trash is someone else’s treasure.

6. Big brands often donate old stock to charity shops - Often tags are removed to prevent store returns, so be sure to keep a look out.

7. In more affluent areas designer items are donated to charity shops - It’s worth the day trip to hunt out the branded bargains.