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Updated: Aug 21, 2020

Buy nothing new in September

As we begin the month of September, Oxfam have a fabulous initiative #secondhandseptember. We are being asked to pledge not to buy any new clothes for 30 days. Have you taken the Pledge? The campaign was launched at Glastonbury this year. Or maybe you have seen information on-line?

There will be many for whom this is just not on their radar. Perhaps you have never considered shopping for second hand clothes. I could tell you horror stories about how much damage our fast fashion habit is doing to the planet, not in this post though. I would prefer to focus on just how much fun you can have and the positive differences you will be making by embracing #secondhandseptember.

Tiny changes may be a better way for you to start enjoying pre-loved items – see, how much better does “pre-loved” sound! Is there one key purchase that you know you need for the autumn? A jacket is the perfect place to start. It is not hard to find excellent quality jackets in great condition in most charity shops if you are prepared to look. The current trend for “boutique” charity shops makes this even easier. You will find curated offerings, attractively displayed with changing rooms. The prices will reflect the effort put into displays as well as the location of these outlets, however you will find some absolute gems.

I seem to be remarkably lucky in the Princess Alice Hospice shops. My haul in recent months has been a fabulous Cos dress which I wore for business networking meetings, a Sportmax jacket that will come into its own as the winter party season begins and, just today, a Bershka top which will update last year’s maxi skirt perfectly.

Everyone shops differently. Maybe you are an impulse buyer. This is probably the easiest way to approach charity shops. Entering with neither preconceptions nor a list means you are free to just see where the fancy takes you. This often results in the most creative purchases, though you do run the risk of a mismatched collection of goodies. This never worries me - even if a piece gets re-donated this remains a more economical way of shopping, the charity shop simply wins twice!

Others prefer a strategy when they hit the shops. Research will have been done, gaps in the wardrobe identified and this shopper is on a mission. A pre-loved veteran will know that it is perfectly possible to shop this way, though success is more likely if you don’t have a deadline. Regularly popping in to a few places where a good selection can be found increases your chances of finding the perfect piece. If time is short then it’s a good idea to pick an area which has a high number of charity, vintage, dress agency outlets and expect to pay more.

I would love to hear from you about your pre-loved treasures, please comment below or tag me in your social media posts.

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