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Second hand for the new season

All Areas > Health & Beauty > Vintage & Sustainable Fashion

Author: Lynda Rowland, Posted: Friday, 4th September 2020, 10:30

It’s that time of year again. Autumn has arrived and, even if we get a late surge of warm or even hot weather, we can still start to update our wardrobes bit by bit, integrating some cuddlier, cosier pieces with our late summer stragglers.

It’s also an opportunity to have a re-think about how we want to move forward with our clothes purchases. Over the course of the lockdown many of us have found that we haven’t needed to invest in the kind of garments we would perhaps have splashed out on in previous summers. After all, there was not really anywhere to go during those first sunny weeks back in April and May, apart from our own back gardens and brief trips to the local park.

Not only that but no-one needed to splurge on expensive occasion-wear as, sadly, most weddings, garden parties, open-air concerts and other al fresco gatherings had to be cancelled.

So, we can look at this from two perspectives. We have seen how exciting and challenging it has been to shop from within our own cupboards and wardrobes, constructing new looks for our home-based leisure activities. We’ve discovered things we had hardly worn as we pushed them further back to make room for all the new garments we used to constantly add to our collections when shopping was such an easy, breezy activity – not like now!

Surprisingly, we coped very well and also used the time to de-clutter and come to terms with the fact that we don’t necessarily need the latest must-have item as dictated by fashion editors, in order to formulate our own style and keep us on our very own localised best-dressed lists.

It would be nice to carry this ethos on into the Autumn, and we can to some extent but, most people need new things occasionally. Many of us are re-entering the workplace and returning to normality, which means getting out and about and wanting to look good.

It is also nice to treat ourselves sometimes, as well as help keep the economy going by supporting our high-street shops, especially smaller-scale independent and ethical businesses. There is something wonderful about saving up or even just waiting until you see something that really catches your imagination and then investing in a version of it that has been lovingly designed, ethically and sustainably manufactured, and displayed and sold by people who really care about clothing and their customers.

Second Hand September
At the same time, in an echo of the way we have been living so far this year, why not support Oxfam in its Second Hand September initiative? (https://oxfamapps.org.uk/shop-blog/sustainable-fashion/second-hand-september-2020/)

The charity launched this last year but, with many people trying to make economies following the hardships caused by the pandemic, this year’s event could be even more valuable.

Oxfam is asking us to consider only shopping second-hand for the duration of this month – or longer – in order to try to slow down the impact of throwaway fashion. On their website they remind us that every week 13 million items of clothing end up in landfill. By choosing to buy from Oxfam or any charity, not only will you be prolonging the life of clothes, but also re-investing your money into helping some of the poorest people in the world and protecting the environment we all live in.

So, let’s try to keep a balance between breaking out of lockdown by refreshing our wardrobes for the Autumn, but still bearing in mind the simpler life we have lived over the past few months, and how some of the things it has taught us could be worth continuing as we return to normal life.

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