Oxfam has issued a 'Second-Hand September' challenge

thrift store finds
Public Domain Pixabay

Don't buy any new clothing for 30 days and discover the wonders of the thrift shop.

British charity Oxfam wants you to accept a challenge called Second-Hand September. The name is self-explanatory: pledge not to buy brand-new clothing for 30 days in an effort to cut down on the environmental impact of clothing production and, perhaps most importantly, to discover how easy, fun, and cost-effective this practice can be.

September tends to be a month of high consumption for many people, with all the back-to-school shopping and preparation for cooler weather. But this makes it a great place to start; if you can shop second-hand in September, you can do it at any time of year because it only gets easier from here on.

Oxfam has partnered with model Stella Tennant to promote the challenge. She and her daughter Iris pose in a range of photos, made to look like a conventional fashion shoot, while wearing second-hand shop finds. Tennant, who appeared on the cover of Vogue in 1993 and has walked many a luxury fashion catwalk since, is a firm believer in the need to change our collective consumption habits.

She told the Guardian, "It’s going to take us a long time to change our habits, but I think that this is so obviously a step in the right direction." During Second-Hand September, people will have to "just think a bit differently about how you would normally shop... [it is] a period of time to consider what you’re buying and what you’re consuming and why: what do you really want; what do you really need?"

I realize that we are already well into September, but it's never to late to sign up for a worthy challenge like this one. Extend it into October, or make next month your challenge month, or see if you can go till the end of the year without buying anything new. You can share photos of your thrift-store finds on social media, using the hashtag #SecondHandSeptember. The point is, we have to change the way we shop, and joining a global challenge like this one is a great way to stay accountable and on track. You can find more information here.

Oxfam has issued a 'Second-Hand September' challenge
Don't buy any new clothing for 30 days and discover the wonders of the thrift shop.

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