Jill Hocking has managed the creation and marketing for Oxfam’s Second Hand September campaign for 2019 and 2020
“Second Hand September is about giving us a way to love clothes without contributing to the global crisis of fast fashion”
In 2019, Oxfam was looking for a way to talk about charity retail’s sustainability credentials. For years, charity shops have saved clothing from landfill, extended the life of existing items and therefore reduced the demand on “new”. Yet market research showed that the public didn’t necessarily think of charity shops and sustainability in the same sentence.
This is why the creation of “Second Hand September” was so spot on. It challenged consumers to change their shopping habits in a month when fast fashion is at its most tempting with seasonal sales, fashion weeks and more. The goal was to educate consumers on the impact of fast fashion – both on the people who make our clothes, but also the environmental impact – and show that second hand is a more sustainable way to manage your wardrobe. Over 62,000 people pledged to take part and change their relationship with clothes.
This year, Second Hand September is back, with none other than Michaela Coel being the face of Oxfam’s campaign. The goal to educate is the same, but the challenge has been made more flexible so participants can challenge themselves to shop only second hand for their own length of time (be inspired to shop only second hand for a year by reading Zara’s story).
There are even more ways to show your support for second hand and get involved:
- Go to your local Oxfam or visit the Oxfam Online Shop to find some second hand gems (including a 20% online discount live now!)
- Share your second hand pledge using #SecondHandSeptember and tagging @OxfamGB on Instagram and Twitter. You could pledge to shop only second hand for a month, three months or even a year (whatever is a challenge for you)
- Visit the Oxfam pop up shop in Selfridges until 5th October
- Shop celebrity donations on the Vestiaire x Oxfam shop for premium and designer items (with all proceeds going to Oxfam)
- Watch Oxfam speaking at Liverpool Fashion Summit on Modern Slavery in fashion and the Circular Economy of fashion
- Be inspired by Oxfam’s blogs and by the people taking part using #SecondHandSeptember for all the top shopping tips
- Volunteer in your local Oxfam shop by sorting through second hand gems and styling the shop floor