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  • Writer's pictureMarley Alles

Embrace sustainability this September with secondhand shopping

In a world grappling with the environmental consequences of fast fashion and excessive consumerism, a movement has gained momentum to counteract this trend: Secondhand September. This annual initiative encourages people to commit to buying only secondhand items throughout the month, promoting sustainable consumption practices and raising awareness about the impact of our choices on the planet. As September rolls around, let's delve into what Secondhand September is all about and why it's a meaningful step towards a more sustainable future.

The Origins of Secondhand September Secondhand September was first introduced as a campaign by Oxfam, a leading global organization working to alleviate poverty and address social injustices. The concept originated from the realization that the fashion industry is a major contributor to pollution, resource depletion, and unfair labor practices. The campaign encourages individuals to resist purchasing new clothing items for the entire month of September and instead turn to secondhand and vintage options.

Why Secondhand September Matters

  1. Reduced Environmental Impact: The fashion industry is notorious for its substantial carbon footprint, excessive water usage, and waste generation. By participating in Secondhand September, you contribute to reducing the demand for new clothing production, thereby lowering the industry's negative environmental impact.

  2. Less Waste: The "throwaway culture" is a major concern when it comes to fashion. Secondhand shopping extends the lifespan of clothing, diverting items from landfills and incinerators. This shift towards circular fashion helps in conserving resources and reducing waste.

  3. Supporting Ethical Practices: Many secondhand shops, thrift stores, and online platforms contribute to charitable causes or support fair trade practices. When you shop secondhand, you indirectly contribute to ethical initiatives and the betterment of local communities.

  4. Unique Style: Secondhand shopping opens the door to a diverse array of styles, eradicating the cookie-cutter look that mass-produced fashion often promotes. You can discover one-of-a-kind pieces that align with your individuality.

  5. Financial Benefits: Secondhand doesn't mean second best. You can find high-quality items at significantly lower prices, allowing you to build a wardrobe of well-made, timeless pieces without breaking the bank.

Tips for a Successful Secondhand September

  1. Plan Ahead: Assess your wardrobe and identify what items you might need. This prevents impulsive purchases and ensures you make mindful choices.

  2. Explore Variety: Visit local thrift stores, consignment shops, and online platforms specializing in pre-owned fashion. You'll be surprised by the range of options available.

  3. Quality Check: Inspect items for wear and tear, checking zippers, buttons, and seams. Opt for pieces that are in good condition and have potential for longevity.

  4. Creativity in Styling: Experiment with mixing and matching to create new outfits from your existing wardrobe. This can reignite your love for clothes you already own.

  5. Share Your Journey: Engage with the Secondhand September community by sharing your experiences, finds, and challenges on social media. Inspire others to join the movement.

6. Try Renting: Instead of buying items secondhand, try renting them to keep items rotating in the circular economy of fashion (like renting the dress on the left on rax!)

Secondhand September is not merely a month-long challenge; it's a call to shift our consumption habits towards sustainability. By participating, you align yourself with a global movement working to address the environmental and ethical concerns posed by the fashion industry. Embrace this opportunity to make a positive impact, support charitable causes, and discover your unique style while reducing your carbon footprint. As we navigate the path towards a more sustainable future, remember that every secondhand purchase is a step in the right direction.


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