Rising star fashion designer, Harris Reed creates spectacular catwalk looks from Oxfam clothes

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- Short URL: https://www.oxfam.org.uk/mc/4qmjz5/

Last night fashion’s rising star, designer Harris Reed, demonstrated his commitment to second-hand shopping and sustainability in spectacular fashion. All 10 catwalk looks at Found, his London Fashion Week show at the Serpentine Pavilion, were created using clothes donated to Oxfam.

Harris, who is committed to minimising waste by repurposing fabric in his creations, has dressed some of the world’s leading celebrities, including Iman at the recent Met Gala in New York, Rihanna and Harry Styles.

Inspiration for the show’s designs came from a spectrum of sources, including the Oxfam Kingston Riverside wedding boutique and the Oxfam Online Shop, which he said became a go-to destination during lockdown.

Harris said “Being able to shop from the comfort of your own home, the Oxfam Online Shop became my salvation during the pandemic.”

The collaboration with Oxfam comes during the charity’s Second Hand September campaign which fights the harmful environmental effects of fast fashion and celebrates shopping for pre-loved clothes.

Fast fashion damages the planet. UK consumers send 13 million items of clothing to landfill each week, and the textile industry accounts for more than 10 per cent of emissions, which exceeds aviation and shipping combined. And it harms people because typically garment workers are paid a pittance and remain in poverty, no matter how hard they work.

Oxfam’s #SecondHandSeptember is part of the solution. It asks the public to only buy second-hand for the month and donate their pre-loved items to Oxfam. Each year, more than 14,000 tonnes of clothing (47 million items) are diverted from landfill by being donated to, and recycled by, the charity.

To create his ground-breaking catwalk looks, Harris purchased a selection of garments from the Oxfam Kingston Riverside wedding boutique. The haul included pre-loved wedding gowns, morning suits and veils.

The items were then reimagined and given new life by Harris, who produced stunning black and white looks that wowed the show’s audience with their originality and drama.

Jan Harmsworth, the Oxfam boutique’s manager said: “We were so excited to have Harris in our shop. He’s such a forward-thinking, inspirational designer making non-binary fashion without barriers. We have lots of fashion students here in Kingston who buy our clothes, give them new life by deconstructing and then recreating them into something completely individual. Oxfam fashion is for everyone.”

Like all the money raised from Oxfam fashion, the clothes Harris purchased help fight poverty around the world. Approximately £29 million is raised each year from selling clothes in Oxfam shops. The profit raised from this is enough to provide clean water for more than 2 million people during a drought.

Lorna Fallon, Oxfam’s Trading Director said: “Oxfam is thrilled to be working with Harris Reed, who shows it’s possible to transform second-hand wedding attire into haute couture gracing the runway. This month, we are asking people to only shop second-hand as part of our Second Hand September campaign to raise awareness about the harmful effects fast fashion – clothes that are produced in high volume and at relatively low cost to the consumer – has on the planet.

“Upcycling is a brilliant way to breathe new life into clothes and tailor what you find in a charity shop to your tastes. This way we can help protect our planet by giving clothes a longer life, while raising money to help people around the world beat poverty.”

Harris is donating one of the looks from Found to Oxfam, where it will be on display and on sale to the public at the Selfridges x Bay Garnett Oxfam pop up shop on the London store’s third floor.


For more information or for more images contact Emma Fabian, Oxfam PR Lead, efabian2@oxfam.org.uk; and media.unit@oxfam.org.uk / +44 (0)7748 761999.

Images willbe available here. Please credit the photographer Jason Lloyd Evans.

Notes to editors:

  • Get involved in Oxfam's #SecondHandSeptember initiative by buying only second-hand clothes for 30 days or more and donating your pre-loved items. Learn more at www.oxfam.org.uk/second-hand-september
  • Oxfam has more than 70 years’ experience championing second-hand and now has 561 shops in the UK. By buying and donating your clothes through Oxfam shops, you can help to protect our planet, while helping the poorest people around the world to escape the injustice of poverty. To find your local Oxfam shop go to www.oxfam.org.uk/shopfinder. Visit Oxfam’s Online Shop at www.oxfam.org.uk/shop To make a clothing donation via the post, order a free bag here: https://www.oxfam.org.uk/donate/donate-to-our-shops/
  • The Oxfam x Bay Garnett pop-up shop in Selfridges runs from 6th September until the end of December. Like all Oxfam fashion, the money raised will go to Oxfam’s work beating poverty around the world.
  • Oxfam is a global movement of people all working towards the same goal – an end to the injustice of poverty. Together we save and rebuild lives in disasters, help people earn a living, and speak out on the big issues that keep people poor, like inequality and climate change.
  • The textile industry accounts for up to 10 per cent of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions –that’s more than international aviation and shipping combined. Source: Quantis: https://quantis-intl.com/report/measuring-fashion-report/ ; EuropeanParliament: https://www.europarl.europa.eu/news/en/headlines/priorities/climate-change/20191129STO67756/emissions-from-planes-and-ships-facts-and-figures-infographic
  • Harris Reed

Fighting for the beauty of fluidity, half-American, half-British Harris Reed designs to create conversation. Growing up with a strong sense of self, Reed was able to quickly understand the transformative power of clothing and its correlation with identity and liberation. Reed’s design process takes inspiration from the current social and political issues that Reed feels most connected to. The work Reed creates is built from assessing the responsibility that fashion must spark conversation in relation to the injustices that are happening within society today, yet all while staying true to the brand’s ethos that strives for a vision of gender fluidity and inclusivity. The overall DNA of the Harris Reed brand and personal identity, is best described as Romanticism Gone Nonbinary. It puts the wearer and their fluidity - in whatever way it manifests front and centre. Personally, Reed dresses themselves to invite the looks and stares, to blur the preconceived fault-lines people have about gender and sexuality. For Reed, fashion is truly revolutionary and has a huge role to play in pushing the world to a more expressive and accepting place - using their platforms to share their personal visionary values, to help those seeking acceptance and self-love. Aside from fashion, Reed is also well known for their campaign and relationship with Gucci, as well as being an innovative key figure within the new generation of young creatives, whose work marries genres from fashion, film, beauty, culture and the digital world through a gender fluid lens.

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