Join Oxfam’s Second-Hand September campaign and pledge to say no to new clothes for 30 days.

Our collective conscience has been pricked for some time by the terrifying message about the landfill we create with our constant purchase of fast fashion. Now, the charity Oxfam is doing something about it. This month, you can join their Second-Hand September campaign and pledge not to buy any new clothes for the duration.

They say: “We’ll give you all the fast-fashion facts, second-hand shopping tips and inspiration you need to make your 30 days of no new clothes a breeze. Saying yes to second hand stops great clothes from going to landfill – giving them a longer life.”

The charity has discovered that every week 11 million items of clothing end up in landfill. And that new clothes bought in the UK produce more carbon emissions per minute than driving a car around the world six times. And that, in one month alone, the emissions from new clothes bought are greater than those from flying a plane around the world 900 times. And that the carbon footprint from the new clothes we buy every year as a nation is more than if all 66 million of us flew to Malta for a holiday.

There is no getting away from it: our love of poorly and unethically made throwaway fashion is putting unsustainable pressure on our planet.

Danny Sriskandarajah, Oxfam’s Chief Executive, says: “These staggering facts about fashion’s impact on the planet and the world’s poorest people should make us all think twice before buying something new to wear.

“We are in a climate emergency. As consumers, it’s in our power to make a real difference. Buying second-hand clothes helps to slow the ferocious fast-fashion cycle, giving garments a second lease of life. By taking part in Oxfam’s Second Hand September, we are also sending a clear message to the clothing industry that we don’t want to buy clothes that harm our planet and the people in it.”

Lauren Bravo, 31, a writer from London, is up for the Second Hand September challenge. She says: “When I learned about the impact fast fashion is having on the planet and the lives of garment workers, I was pretty horrified.

“I read about the sheer volumes of clothes going into landfill, about dyes polluting rivers and synthetic fabrics leaching microplastics into the marine environment, and I decided that I needed to change my shopping habits.

“I used to buy clothes as a quick fix, to be worn for a few weeks before I got bored of them. Now I only shop second-hand in charity or vintage shops, and I try harder to treasure and look after the items I have, instead of viewing them as disposable.

“It was challenging at first. The treadmill of cheap trends can be hard to resist, especially when online shopping makes it so easy. But now shopping second-hand has become second nature, and gradually I’ve let go of that urge to buy new things every week.”

As well as signing up to their pledge, Oxfam is encouraging people to share their second-hand finds or upcycled items on Instagram and Twitter, using the hashtag #SecondHandSeptember and tagging @oxfamGB. Every photo shared using the hashtag and tag will be entered into a prize draw and a winner will be randomly drawn each Friday during September.

It’s time to take inspiration from this incredible charity’s rallying cry: “Oxfam is a global movement of people all working towards the same goal – an end to the injustice of poverty.

“Together we save and rebuild lives in disasters, help people earn a living, and speak out on the big issues, like inequality and climate change, that keep people poor. Join us!”

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September 2019