Secondhand September

Secondhand September just a 'trend' or something more?

Every year there seems to be another #challenge to take part in, some of them are silly and fleeting but others can have a lasting impact and are worth some attention.

#SecondhandSeptember was started by Oxfam 4 years ago and still attracts many people to take part each year. It's a great way to encourage people to shop differently, even just for a month. Reducing the amount of new clothes we buy and finding new ways to shop. The first step to changing habits is to break the cycle, so even for future purchases you might consider looking what is available secondhand first.

There are many ways to shop second hand and even charity shops have online shops too now. It may take longer to find the garment you need in the size or colour you want but then that's half the point, slowing down our consumption, also giving you time to consider do you really need it, do you already own something similar you can wear?  

Whilst it can be a slower more time consuming way to shop there are many benefits to shopping Secondhand

  • often things are cheaper than brand new
  • you can find unique pieces
  • today's trends often mimic vintage styles so your look can still be current
  • you will be saving something from going to landfill
  • reduce impulse purchases that you don't need
  • often you are supporting small businesses or charities

One of the problems with Secondhand is that the fit or style might not be perfect, buying online it can be tricky especially with vintage sizing to know whether something will fit or not. With a bit of time and imagination it is possible to alter your purchases to make them perfect just for you. If you are not confident enough to make the changes yourself there are many new websites and platforms that can link you up with a local seamstress or tailor to help you.

I recently bought a suit on Ebay, I loved the colour, it is a vintage wool suit made in Yorkshire. When it arrived I realised the jacket was too big on me and the skirt a bit too frumpy for my style..

Here is the suit in it's original state. To make this wearable for me I made some small changes, I shortened the sleeves of the jacket and considered resetting the sleeve at the shoulder to make it smaller and I also shortened the skirt to fit my personal style (and easier to cycle in!)

The result, a more modern look and a suit that fits me! I have already worn it a lot and know from the quality of the fabrics it will last longer than cheaper fast fashion alternatives. I now feel this suit truly belongs to me, it's something I will take care of and wear for a long time to come.

I would encourage everybody to shop Secondhand, not just for September but year round, there are so many treasures to be found and the joy of finding and wearing something unique to you is unmatched by shopping off the rail from fast fashion brands.

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