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A Guide to Second Hand September

September is one of my favourite months of the year. It's always been an exciting month for me working in the Fashion Industry, with the change of season into Autumn, which is my favourite season! It's also my birthday month and for so many of us it feels akin to January, with the return of kids to school after the holidays and that 'back to work' feeling. Another reason to get excited about September is all the amazing Preloved Fashion inspiration out there with the launch of Second Hand September.

If you've not heard of Second Hand September before, it's about not buying new for the month of September. It's lead by Oxfam but championed by all Preloved advocates, businesses and stylists! Sienna Miller is fronting the campaign this year, with the quote "If we all make small changes, together we can make a difference." I couldn't agree more, this is definitely my philosophy as a Stylist. I've joined in with it for the past couple of years, and it's been an amazing way to get acquainted with lots of fab new second hand sellers. It also tends to be a great month to grab amazing preloved finds on second hand platforms such as Ebay, Depop and Vinted. But we must also remember, the most sustainable items of clothing, are the ones already sat in our wardrobes!

I wanted to write this blog post to share with you some of my top tips for shopping second hand, not just in September, but all year round. The great thing about Second Hand September, is that it encourages us to reconsider how we shop for fashion, with a more mindful and considered approach. According to ThredUp 'If everyone bought one used item instead of new this year it would save 449 million lbs of waste, 25 billion gallons of water and 5.7 billion pounds of C02e.' So we can all make a huge difference supporting this campaign.

Why Join in with Second Hand September?

  • Support charities such as Oxfam by reinvesting your money into vital work being done by charitable organisations, whilst reducing your carbon footprint on the planet

  • Gives you a kick start into slowing down your fashion habits

  • Encourages you to fall back in love with your own wardrobe and maximise what you already have

  • Rewear Your Wardrobe - According to The Ellen MacArthur Foundation, 'If the number of times a garment is worn were doubled, the greenhouse gas emissions over it's lifetime would be 44% lower'

  • It promotes re-use and circular fashion, reducing clothing being sent to landfill and in turn reducing CO2 emissions

  • If you donate to local charity shops, it also keeps the local economy going, reinvesting in the local area

Top tips for buying Preloved and in Charity Shops:

  • If charity shops aren't for you, you can find some beautifully curated selections from online resellers, some of my favourites are listed below

  • When shopping in Charity Shops, don't just shop in the section for your size, you can often find items that fit you with a different size label on, this is often because the previous owner has shrunk the garment, or it's been put in the wrong section!

  • Check out the mens section too, I love finding things like cashmere sweaters which are often a more flattering, modern and looser fit in mens styling

  • Keep in mind your wish list. Don't buy things just because they're a bargain! Do you really need it?

  • Have in mind at least 4 different outfits that you can create from your existing wardrobe to go with any 'new' item you want to buy

  • Stick to the colour palette that works for you, but if you do find something you love in a colour that doesn't work for you, consider dying it at home in the washing machine!

  • You can get some really great quality premium pieces for an amazing price. Look for investment pieces missing from your wardrobe such as jeans, leather jackets, coats, handbags and designer shoes

  • Plan ahead! Buying off season is often the best way to pick up a bargain! Also think about any special events or occasions you have coming up in the year ahead such as weddings

Where to Shop Preloved Online:

If you'd like a Preloved Directory, subscribe to my emails on my website, and you will be sent my free Luxe Sustainable Style Guide which has a very comprehensive Preloved & Vintage Seller Directory. Maybe you'd like some more help maximising your existing wardrobe, with a fresh pair of eyes you can feel like you've been shopping without leaving your house! Book in for my Wardrobe Edit Service here. If you'd like some personalised look books and Personal Shopping videos focusing on preloved and sustainable fashion, why not join my Style Subscription service?

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