Second Hand September

Second Hand September

by Charli Cox

It’s basically impossible to ignore the effects fast fashion is having on our planet, from water use and raw material production, to slave labour and companies burning and burying unwanted stock. But, what better time to start making a change yourself through second-hand shopping and purchase clothing that is already in rotation than during Second-hand September. Since starting Koha, I have become very much aware of the vast amount of clothing that there is, un-used, discarded and this is global. There is a lot of clothing we have already purchased, and still, much more that is being bought every single day...

Although I really do think now that change also must be led by the fashion industry, that the industry collectively must do better, we the people are having an impact. People, in general, are more vocal and more aware of the industries' impacts on the planet and voicing their opinions and there is a huge movement within the industry for change! Sustainable fashion is becoming more desirable, including second-hand shopping. Which is something I’ve always loved for as long as I can remember. I love the buzz it gives you, finding that special one-off piece, perhaps buried at the bottom ​of the box​. I enjoy not knowing what I am going to find, and knowing that the chances are slim of bumping into someone wearing the same thing as you.

I am not saying that shopping second hand is the only way to stop the beast that is ​“fast-fashion”​. There are some essential items you should be purchasing new, and luckily, we have a myriad of brands who are front footing this with quality, natural ​clothing​fibres that will last you a lifetime. One of my ​favourites​ is a boiler suit I picked up from @kowtow. I will never get bored of it and always feel my best when I wear it. It’s a versatile piece which I can wear to pretty much any occasion. More brands are looking at repurposing waste materials, for example, the demand for face masks since COVID came about would have done wonders for company’s excess materials project plans! This pandemic has created an opportunity to reimagine our economies and how we live, to make lasting changes that set us on track to a brighter world. Well, that’s the optimism in me speaking.

Take time to revisit your wardrobe, create new looks with old clothes, appreciate what you have, and pass on what you don’t ​need​ to a good cause. I stick to a one in, one out policy with my wardrobe. It helps me make the most of what I’ve got and ​gives me​versatile pieces that can be worn for any occasion. I do see the demand for fast fashion reducing, we’ve already seen some large companies close their doors. We can transform the industry, but we must collectively work together to share knowledge and educate within our communities.