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A Guide to Second Hand September

From Veganuary to Movember and Sober for October, a range of charitable organisations and movements attach themselves to months of the year encouraging people to try new things and make a difference. A recent development of this is Second Hand September, an incentive for people to only buy second hand goods from charity shops and online marketplaces like Ebay and Depop. The reason for this is due to the amount of waste, harmful emissions and pollutants created from the fast fashion industry. Simply buying more second hand goods can help you reduce this, and also it means you can find one off unique pieces that you can treasure for years.

As this is a new movement currently taking place, we thought we would collate together a mini guide to second hand September and why you should take part.

The origins of second hand September

Organised by one of the UK’s leading charities, Oxfam created Second Hand September to raise awareness of the environmental impact that the fast fashion industry has on the environment.


A quick look on the Instagram account of non profit organisation, Fashion Revolution, shows the detriment to which the fashion industry has on the environment. For example, their recent posts showed that buying one new cotton shirt produces the same emissions as driving a car for 35 miles, and the emissions produced from new clothes bought in the UK each month are greater than those from flying a plane around the world 900 times. With two tonnes of clothing bought each minute in the UK and 11 million garments ending up in UK landfills each week, you can see why this movement is needed.


A glance at the fast fashion industry

As indicated above, the fast fashion industry has created a myriad of issues including over-consumption. With new trends and pieces being produced every day, the idea that clothes were only created according to four seasons a year has certainly aged. Infact, the industry profits on persuading and making people think that they should not wear old purchases because they are ‘last years colour’ or are now considered out-modish. As a society, we are so consumed at needing to wear what’s ‘in’, that we are causing irreparable damage and as a result, there may be no future trends at all if environmental collapse does occur.


Rare pieces at a fraction of a cost

Many people may turn their noses up at buying second hand, however, this certainly shouldn’t be the case! Charity and vintage shops can be a hidden treasure trove where you can find one off pieces of furniture and clothing in good condition, from big name brands and at a fraction of their original cost.

What’s more, there are plenty of vintage fashion apps that have earned the credentials of celebrities and brands where they sell their old pieces. These include, Depop, Vestiaire Collective, Vinted, Ebay, and Hardly Ever Worn It.


At Devon Contract Waste, we are passionate about preserving our planet; that is why we support any eco-friendly effort that consumers and industries can take. It’s not too late to jump on the Second Hand September bandwagon, and you can always choose a different month or goal if you prefer. For instance, why not give up buying new clothes for Lent? Or perhaps Old for October and No New November? To find out more about our recycling, waste collection services and zero to landfill policy, simply contact us today.

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