#SecondHandSeptember slashes UK shoppers’ carbon footprint by 1500 tonnes – the same emissions equivalent to driving a car around the world 200 times

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Tens of thousands of people have made a difference tackling climate change by pledging to only buy preloved clothing during Oxfam’s #SecondHandSeptember campaign.

More than 62,000 people took the #SecondHandSeptember pledge, including a host of famous faces – top designers Vivienne Westwood and Henry Holland, fashion icon and singer Paloma Faith, models Stella Tennant, Lily Cole and Georgia Jagger, and actress Rachel Weisz.

Oxfam hopes the campaign will increase general awareness and encourage people to modify their shopping habits as a step towards more sustainable consumption.

In one month, more than 37,000 people shared #SecondHandSeptember on social media, often with pictures of the outfits that they had purchased in charity shops.

Oxfam revealed in research in August that the carbon footprint of new clothes bought in the UK every minute is greater than driving a car around the world six times.

Fashion commentator Caryn Franklin MBE, said: ‘It’s fantastic to see how many people have gotten behind Second Hand September. It just goes to show the effectiveness of mindfully transforming habits and behaviours. I’ve heard from people who have said it has made them rethink their attitudes to buying new. We all have the power to make a big difference to climate change.’

Stella Tennant, who modelled in the Oxfam fashion show earlier this  year, said: ‘I’m delighted to see the positive impact made by Second Hand September. I hope this will snowball year on year as more people take on the challenge.’

Bay Garnett, stylist, editor and consultant, said: ‘I’m delighted that Second Hand September has caught on and shown such a genuine level of passion and commitment in people to buy less new, new, new.  It just shows that so many people are ready to change the way they shop.’

Danny Sriskandarajah, Chief Executive of Oxfam GB, said: ‘Tackling something as big as climate change can feel impossible as we go about our daily lives, but Second Hand September shows that you can make a difference as an individual. It’s fantastic to see that tens of thousands of people took part and together reduced their carbon footprint equivalent to driving a car around the world 200 times.

‘Choosing second-hand is one way that people can vote with their purchasing power – and buying or donating clothes through Oxfam raises vital funds for our work fighting poverty and supporting people hit by the climate emergency.

‘There’s a real energy among many people to reduce their carbon footprint and a growing demand for the fashion industry to change. We hope that companies respond by doing much more to ensure that clothes are produced in ways that are kinder to the planet and the people who make them.’


Notes to editors:

Click here to read the methodology behind Oxfam’s research.

Shares of #SecondHandSeptember on social media refer to Twitter, Instagram and Facebook from August 27 to September 27, 2019.


  • Oxfam fashion fights poverty: Every garment sold in Oxfam’s shops on the high street and online helps beat poverty. One dress could raise enough money to provide a woman in Bangladesh with a safe bathing cubicle, a shirt could provide safe, clean water for ten people in an emergency, and a coat could help train two farmers in Rwanda to better cope with extreme weather conditions. Last year Oxfam shops raised almost £19 million for our work fighting poverty around the world – that’s life-changing.
  • Oxfam fashion is sustainable: We’re part of the solution to fast fashion because we give clothes a second chance to be sold and prevent them ending up in landfill. Our pioneering recycling hub Wastesaver saves more than 12,000 tonnes of clothing from going into landfill every year.
  • 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, like inequality and climate change, that keep people poor. Join us!

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