Oxfam has launched its #SecondHandSeptember campaign for the second year, asking consumers to buy only pre-loved clothing for the month, and share their pledge using #SecondHandSeptember and tag @OxfamGB.
BAFTA award-winning actor, director, screenwriter, producer, playwright and poet Michaela Coel is the face of this year’s campaign, which aims to raise awareness about the impact of fast fashion, but could also provide a boost for charity shops affected by the impact of lockdown.
Coel will feature in the windows of more than 500 Oxfam shops nationwide, showcasing clothing from the Oxfam Online Shop, which will be available to buy from Oxfam’s pop-up shop in Selfridges London Designer Galleries for four weeks from 7 September. This includes a 90s Gaultier PVC red suit, with Ossie Clarke dresses, original leather flying jackets, and 90s sportswear also available.
Michaela Coel said:
“I’m honoured to be the face of Oxfam’s Second Hand September campaign this year. When presented with the data from Oxfam on the impact of fast fashion I felt compelled to add my voice to this cause; I hope it raises awareness and encourages us to reflect on our buying habits and to consider how small changes can have a huge impact on the environment – and in turn the fight against poverty.”
The Selfridges pop-up shop was conceived and curated by Oxfam’s independent fashion advisor Bay Garnett as part of the Selfridges sustainability initiative Project Earth.
Bay Garnett said:
“My idea behind the pop-up shop is about shifting perceptions and context around luxury and second hand clothes – specifically charity shops. So much money is spent by brands in investing in their marketing, advertising and stores; with the aim of charging high prices for their products. This project is a fun way to change the perception of charity shop second hand clothes – shifting them into the luxury context and space of the big guns! With all those bells and whistles – but, crucially keeping the prices the same as they would be in any Oxfam shop.”
Other #SecondHandSeptember partners include eBay, which is holding a joint auction of curated vintage and Oxfam pieces, launching on 10 September, and Vestiaire Collective, which is hosting a charity sale of celebrity donated designer pieces on 16 September.
All proceeds will go towards Oxfam’s work. It raises approximately £29m a year from selling clothing in its shops, with the profit enough to provide clean water for more than 2 million people during a drought. Oxfam is currently also working with local partners, governments and key UN agencies in 65 countries in response to the coronavirus crisis, which also saw it lose £5m a month during lockdown. Its work includes preventive measures like distributing soap and building handwashing stations in the Rohingya refugee camps in Cox’s Bazar in Bangladesh, delivering clean water, sanitation and hygiene in Zaatari camp in Jordan and providing beds, handwashing facilities and protective clothing in quarantine centres in Gaza.
Danny Sriskandarajah, Chief Executive of Oxfam GB, said:
“The pandemic poses huge challenges, but it also creates an opportunity to reimagine our economies and how we live, to make lasting changes that set us on track to a fairer, healthier world.
“Choosing secondhand is one way that we can all play a part in shifting to more sustainable consumption and helping to build back better from the virus. By joining Oxfam’s Second Hand September movement, collectively we can send a message to retailers asking them to change their business models to better protect the people who make our clothes and the planet we all share.”
“The UK has around 11,000 charity shops that are a core feature of high streets up and down the country – as they reopen after lockdown, they need support now more than ever to raise funds for a wide range of important causes.”