Second-hand September

We’ve had Plastic Free July what now? Second-hand September! Also known as No New September. So, what is it and how can you take part?

What is it?

Simple. Started by the charity Oxfam, Second-hand September is a personal promise to not purchase anything new for the entirety of September. Of course, this doesn’t include food, we’re talking clothes, furniture and gadgets etc. Not only does this give you an opportunity to save some money, it also makes you re-evaluate your consumer habits and make use of what you already have.

Why are we doing it?

The fast fashion industry is one of the biggest polluters on our planet, from the gallons of water required in the processing of materials to the non-biodegradability of most synthetic fibres. Fast fashion brands also have a sordid history of human right violations, with dangerous working conditions and slave wages for most of their workers. There have also been reports of large fashion brands baling all of their old stock together and slicing it up to prevent it from being re-sold or donated.

Second-hand September is a good way of taking a stand against fast fashion and the current culture of disposability and cheap junk. If enough of us join this boycott, then it will send a serious message to these brands that they must start taking responsibility for their environmental impact.

So, what if something crops up that you don’t have the supplies for? Well there are two main options to consider before heading into town to peruse the shops.

1.      Ask friends and family.

Say you have a smart event that you need to attend, or you’ve been asked to help out with a bake sale. Instead of just buying a new outfit or stocking up on baking supplies just ask around to see if your friends and family have something that you could use. Most of the time someone that you know will have almost exactly what you’re looking for, and if not they may know someone who has.

2.      Check out your local charity shop

This is also a great way to support another good cause. Check out your local charity shops to see if they have what it is that you’re looking for. The bonus of this is that most of the items that you find in a charity shop won’t come with unwanted plastic or packaging.

Use this as an opportunity to connect with others, sharing clothes and other items. Try going to a local swap meet to see if you can pick up something special and maybe get rid of items that you haven’t used in a long time.