The month of September has long been a staple in the fashion calendar, and now we have another reason to celebrate the new season; Secondhand September. Today marks the start of Oxfam’s campaign for the cause, which encourages consumers to wear or buy second-hand clothing as a way to combat the negative effects of fast fashion on the planet. And this year their campaign is being fronted by the actor and style icon Sienna Miller, a long-time fan of vintage fashion.
For the campaign shots, which will be appearing in the windows of more than 500 Oxfam shops across the country, Miller has chosen some of her favourite pre-loved items, including a faux fur leopard print coat and a show stopping green gown, which will be available to buy at their pop-up shop in Selfridges. “I am delighted to be the face of Oxfam’s Second Hand September to help draw attention to how choosing second-hand fashion can be kinder for our planet,” said Miller of the campaign. “These small changes can make a huge difference. And rooting around in a charity shop is like hunting for treasure. Be a magpie!”
The pop-up store has been curated by Oxfam’s independent adviser and fashion stylist Bay Garnett, and was designed to celebrate the sorts of vintage treasures that can be unearthed in charity shops – think plenty of heritage tweed and sheepskin coats, as well Eighties punk-inspired clothes and velvet dresses. Illustrator James Lacey, of Pointless Illustrations, has also designed a one-off T-shirt for the event, which will be on sale in store.
“I have always loved charity shopping – the creativity involved in putting random clothes together to make an outfit, and the independence of choosing second-hand,” said Garnett. “But aside from the fun, we all need to think about shopping second-hand with the climate emergency in mind – so that we’re using less of the planet’s virgin resources, and sending less to landfill. No matter how small our acts and choices seem, we can all make a difference. I love how the Selfridges pop-up shop brings Oxfam prices to Oxford Street, making it a choice that’s accessible to everyone’s pockets.”
It’s no secret that the fashion industry needs to find a way to become more sustainable, and fast. Consumers currently send 13 million items of clothing a week to landfill, and the textile industry accounts for up to 10% of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions, which is more than international aviation and shipping combined. Oxfam’s campaign comes ahead of the UN climate summit COP26, which will be held in Glasgow in November, and offers a vital opportunity for global leaders to take decisive action to tackle the climate emergency.
The Oxfam x Bay Garnett pop-up shop will run from 6 September until the end of December, and the money raised will go to Oxfam’s work beating poverty around the world – in particular they are focusing on helping people cope with severe weather events, as well as plan for the consequences of future climate change. People can also support Second Hand September by shopping on the Oxfam Online Shop or by finding their local store using the online shop finder tool. Approximately £29m is raised each year from selling clothing in Oxfam shops – the profit raised from this is enough to provide clean water for more than two million people during a drought.
Get involved in Oxfam’s #SecondHandSeptember initiative by buying only second-hand clothes for 30 days or more and donating your pre-loved items. Learn more at oxfam.org.uk