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Everything You Need To Know About Second Hand September

Hands up if you’ve been taking part in Second Hand September!

At Filling Good, we love reusing. Why? Using what you already have (again and again and again) is often the most sustainable option. It prolongs the life of the items you already own, preventing them from going to landfill and the unnecessary use of resources to create something new. It’s a win-win in our books.

So, when September rolls around, you can bet we’re jumping on board with Second Hand September.

What is Second Hand September?

Set up by Oxfam in 2019, Second Hand September aims to reduce textile and clothing waste by promoting (you guessed it) second-hand shopping! The month-long campaign is all about removing the stigma around charity shop clothing to promote donating, reusing, re-wearing, restyling AND repairing your clothes throughout September and beyond.

Okay, but why should I shop second-hand?

Gosh, where to start? Well, first off the fashion industry is one of the worst offenders when it comes to greenhouse gas emissions. According to the Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP), the textile industry is responsible for 92 million tonnes of waste annually, making it the second-largest global polluter.

In Europe, overconsumption of clothing, footwear and household textiles is the fourth largest contributor to greenhouse gas emissions, after housing, transport and food.

Closer to home, we Britons are responsible for throwing away a staggering £140 million worth of wearable (yes, perfectly wearable) clothes each year. As a result, demand for raw materials is soaring and is expected to triple by 2050.

However, we’re yet to feel the real consequences of our actions. Currently, it’s those who have contributed the least to the climate crisis that are feeling the brunt.

The majority of fast fashion items are produced in the global south using non-recyclable materials like polyester. The people making our new clothes are often overworked, underpaid and forced to labour in unethical conditions. And, when we’re done with the items they’ve made? We dump them right back onto their doorsteps to pollute their land and waterways.

How can I make a positive difference?

Since capitalism is here to stay (for now), the best way you can act against the fast fashion and harmful textile industry is to vote with your money and encourage a circular economy.

When so many pairs of jeans already exist, it seems a bit silly to dump so much CO2 into the atmosphere for one new pair. Recirculating our clothes by shopping second-hand, re-wearing and repairing is the best way to avoid this unnecessary waste.

Have a well-loved item coming apart at the seams? The ECO Action Hub located in the Nicholson Shopping Centre hosts monthly repair cafes run by a lovely bunch of volunteers. Book a slot to get your items repaired to reduce the demand for new clothes and reduce the impact on the planet.

Okay, I’m in! But, what about underwear, socks and bras?

If the thought of second-hand underwear gives you the heebie-jeebies, we don’t blame you. In fact, we’d encourage you to avoid buying used pants for obvious hygiene reasons. But that doesn’t mean you have to buy from nasty, unethical fast fashion brands to cover your modesty.

Fortunately, there are many sustainable textile options, like bamboo, organic cotton and hemp made by ethical and eco-friendly brands. And, we’ve got some in stock at Filling Good!

One of our favourites is Boody - a certified B Corp that focuses on simple designs, eco-friendly materials and sustainable manufacturing. They use bamboo to create soft and comfortable designs. The bamboo is grown sustainably and then processed organically without pesticides or fertilisers (read our blog about why organic is better). The result is zero-waste, long-lasting pants that don’t cost the planet.

Wonderful! So, where can I shop second-hand?

We’re so glad you asked. We’re lucky enough in Maidenhead to have so many options for second-hand shopping. Check out our top picks below.

Charity and second-hand shops

Online second-hand shopping

Don’t want to buy? Try renting!

With so many options available locally and online, it couldn’t be easier to build yourself a sustainable second-hand wardrobe. Did we miss any? Let us know in the comments!

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