It’s hard to believe that just over a year ago I pledged to not buy new clothes throughout September which ended up turning into the whole year!
So Oxfam started Secondhand September last year and are continuing to do it this year, you can read about it HERE. It’s amazing to see so many more people joining in this year and I hope that some of you guys do the same.
While some people may think it’s a hard thing to do, it’s actually easy if you put your mind to it. It really makes you question how much you need the clothing you pick up in shops because most people just buy for the sake of it or for retail therapy but actually this helps to only want to buy clothing when you need it. It makes you more conscious.
It also encourages you to shop secondhand which is the whole premise of it. You can find so many gems in secondhand shops and you’re helping out by stopping some clothing ending up in landfill by giving it another life and also helping out the charity! It’s just for 30 days, but if you love it then maybe you could carry on?
I actually wrote a post about it last year, if you wanna read that HERE! It’s very interesting to read back on that post because I still stand by everything I said.
So over the last 52 weeks, I would say I shopped 90% secondhand. I am not perfect. However on my post last year I actually wrote the exceptions that I would make which included underwear, workout clothes and work uniform. These were the things that I would allow myself to buy new and they are basically the only things I did. I needed new underwear and I chose not to buy it secondhand and I wanted to get it from ethical but I honestly can’t afford that so I had to go to high street store
Next is workout clothing and again ethical stuff is expensive. I did a half marathon (not to brag or anything) and needed new kit so had to go to high street store. I also need new trainers soon so will have to buy new again.
Finally is work clothing which for me was my branded top, which I was given and I know it’s not ethically made but unfortunately that’s out of my control.
The only other things that I can remember that I bought new is a pair of Converse but I bought them from their Renew range so they’re made of part recycled materials. It’s not perfect but it’s better than their other shoes. I also bought a couple of things from Lucy and Yak (I did a whole post about them HERE) and they’re a slow fashion brand so I knew the stuff was made ethically. I’m sure there’s a couple of other things as well that were made less ethically…
So I’m not perfect but it’s definitely considerably better than previous years!
I hope that over the next 12 months as well, I can be even better.
I really think I have picked up some of my favourite pieces of clothing this year in secondhand shops, you can find some really unique pieces! I also have been shopping more on Depop (because of lockdown) and have found some cute pieces that I can’t wait to wear. There’s so many places you can pick stuff up secondhand, it’s not just charity shops. There’s loads of places online, or you could even do a clothes swap with your friends.
Obviously it would be amazing if everyone could do this but I understand that for some people it’s just not possible. I know how lucky I am to live somewhere that is full of secondhand shops, and to have grown up only shopping secondhand but it’s the case for a lot of people.
I really hope that people are slowly starting to change their mindset around clothing and also that lockdown hopefully made people appreciate the clothing in their wardrobe a bit more, because the most sustainable clothing are the ones that you already own!
You have to think when you are holding an item in a shop, how much you really that item. You also need to pretend to be Marie Kondo and ask yourself how much joy that item is gonna bring you. Buying clothing just for the sake of clothing is just a waste of money and resources, you need to think more consciously about your purchases.
I highly encourage you to give the Secondhand September a try, it’s not too late to start! It’s not like there’s prize for completing it or anything, so if you slip up then it’s not the end of the world and you only have you to blame. You could also do it with your friends or family so that you then have some people to hold you accountable. Or even just share your progress on social media so that you can hold yourself accountable and check out the Secondhand September hashtag to find more accounts doing the same. There’s so many amazing ethical fashion accounts out there!
I really hope that you consider giving this a try!
Will you be shopping secondhand this September?
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