eBay’s Head of Pre Loved, Emma Grant, on Oxfam’s Second Hand September. Image: eBay
Celebrating Second Hand September with Oxfam is a great opportunity to keep the green recovery front of mind and ensure that we all play our part to reduce fast fashion where possible.
At eBay, we saw that lockdown sped up the transition to a greater sustainability-conscious society, as we witnessed more pre-loved listings and sales post-lockdown with 30% more second-hand sales made in June 2020, compared to March. With people’s wallets becoming tighter, an uneasiness about going out shopping, and after some time away from the materialism of day-to-day normality, it seems that we are all more in tune than ever with charities, small businesses and caring for the planet.
We’re so excited to be supporting Oxfam’s Second Hand September this year by hosting a joint auction of curated vintage and Oxfam pieces, which launched today and will run until 12pm on 20th September. There are some incredible luxury items, so make sure to place a bid so you don’t miss out! All of the funds will go towards Oxfam and the incredible work they do reducing poverty worldwide.
Oxfam-donated sequin Stella McCartney dress, True Vintage beaded jacket and Sergio Rossi heels are all available to bid on. Bids start from 99p. Images: eBay
If you miss out, fear not, you can always get your hands on a second-hand steal on eBay this September by following these simple steps. And remember to donate to Oxfam at checkout when you do!
1. Commit some time
The nature of vintage clothing is that you’ll need to have a good scroll before that one-of-a-kind gem catches your eye.
2. Be specific with your search terms
If you’re looking for a particular item, be specific in your search. Naming brands or eras that are associated with the style you’re looking to emulate will help you narrow down the search to the most relevant items. For instance, if you’re looking for the perfect vintage rain mac for Autumn, try including Burberry or 70s trench in your search.
3. Focus on timeliness trends
To get the most wear out of second-hand fashion and to get the best bang for your buck, look for timeless, stylish pieces that will always look ‘modern’. Coats, boots and handbags are sure-fire investment pieces.
4. Avoid anything too fancy dress
Think about how a vintage piece will fit in with your daily wardrobe – can you wear it with your new handbag or favourite jeans? Stay away from anything too ‘fancy dress’.
5. Be flexible with sizes
The fits and cuts of vintage and pre-owned fashion can differ hugely from what we’re used to seeing on the high street, so don’t expect your usual size to fit you perfectly. You may have to size up or down to get the fit that works for you, so always check the specific measurements.
6. The tailor is your friend
Shortening hemlines and streamlining waistlines are all easy and relatively inexpensive at your local dry cleaner, meaning you can achieve the perfect fit and modernise any vintage piece.
7. Don’t be put off by a little wear and tear
A few buttons missing shouldn’t put you off investing in great quality vintage or pre-owned fashion. Think of it as an opportunity to personalise and upcycle a classic piece – giving it your own style touch! If you’re not confident with a needle and thread your local dry cleaners will sow on buttons, accessories or fabric patches for a minimal cost.
8. Stay away from significant damage
Don’t risk your money on items that are fraying, holed and stained. That kind of damage likely can’t be fixed, not matter how beautiful the piece.
9. Don’t be afraid to ask questions
Not sure how a particular item will look on you? No need to panic. The beauty of shopping through a platform means you have a direct line to the seller where you can ask any question under the sun – from an items’ ‘real’ sizing to the best description of its colour, condition and material feel.
10. If you like it buy it
Vintage fashion is so often one-of-a-kind pieces. Don’t let it be the one that got away that keeps you up at night!
We’re also encouraging our customers selling their own second-hand items to donate a percentage of their proceeds to support Oxfam’s work around the world; the equivalent percentage in fees will be waived by eBay for Charity, or if you aren’t up for a wardrobe clear-out donate at checkout where we’re hosting Oxfam all month. If you’re in the mood to Marie Kondo your wardrobe, follow these simple tips to donate to Oxfam:
1. When you create your listing on eBay, look for our charity ribbon and check the box that says “Donate a portion to charity”
2. Select ‘Oxfam’ and the percentage you want to donate
3. List the item and start raising money for a cause you care about!
Keep your clothes in your wardrobe and out of landfill with these nifty stain-shifting home remedies, shared by our friends at Love Your Clothes
Stains. They’re one of the biggest reasons great clothes get binned. But no longer will that chocolate smudge force you to say farewell to your beloved t-shirt. Never again will a splosh of coffee come between you and your suit. And, if you’ve just dropped a forkful of jalfrezi down your favourite jumper, don’t fret – it’ll be sorted in no time. All thanks to these simple guides, courtesy of Love Your Clothes.
1. Remove grass stains with… hand sanitiser
Yes, even unsightly green marks can be tackled if you know how. Apparently, all you need to do is to squirt some hand sanitiser directly onto the grass stain, rub in and leave for a few minutes, before washing on a normal wash – about 30 degrees – with ordinary washing detergent.
Watch the film
2. Remove chocolate goop with… milk
Who’d have thought full-fat could be so useful? Using a bowl, simply pour the milk onto the chocolate splodge and leave soaking for 2-3 hours. The chocolate should then lift off the fabric. Wash on a normal wash and, if there’s still a slight mark, put it straight back in the washer for another cycle.
Watch the film
3. Remove coffee sploshes with… egg
Yes, egg. Crack into a bowl and beat with a fork, then apply to the stain using kitchen towel, rubbing in well. Then just wash on a 30 degree cycle. See you later latte. Farewell flat white. Adios espresso etc.
Watch the film
4.Remove sun cream with… white vinegar and washing up liquid
Top ruined by yellowy sun cream stains? Apply some neat washing up liquid and rub in. Rinse in cold water, gently squeeze out the excess, then soak in a solution of half cold water, half white vinegar, for about an hour. Wash according to the care label and, if there’s still a bit of staining, repeat the process.
Watch the film
5. Remove curry spills with… washing up liquid and lemon
Madras mishap? First, remove as much curry as possible using a blunt knife or napkin. Rinse in cold water, pat dry, then apply some neat washing up liquid and rub in. Rinse in clean cold water and pat dry again. Finally, take half a lemon and squeeze liberally onto the stain, leave for half an hour then wash according to the care label. If there’s still a mark, simply repeat the steps again.
Watch the film
6. Shift engine oil with… lip balm and cola
Yes, random one this, but apparently it works! Place the stain face down on a paper towel, take a moisturising lip balm and simply rub it on – this should start lifting the oil onto the paper. Repeat a few times, then wash at about 30 degrees but, instead of detergent, pour a bottle of cola in the drum!
Watch the film
Help keep more clothes out of landfill – discover how to shift other unsightly stains at loveyourclothes.org.uk
Photo credits: www.shutterstock.com
We knew you’d do Second Hand September in style. But we downright LOVED your outfits. Here are 30 of our favourites – one for every day of this incredible, change-making month
You wowed in preloved Stella McCartney and Armani. Made a super-cool fashion statement in a dyed vintage nightie. Even introduced us to the wonders of original Beatrix Potter knitwear… If anyone needed proof that preloved clothing can be stylish as well as sustainable, you provided it. Throughout #SecondHandSeptember you shared look after trend-setting look, inspiring even more people to say ‘no to new’. Here are 30 of our favourites – there were SO many more. Please keep them coming – September may be over, but the positive impact of choosing second-hand never will be.
Not only did @jessicamurae share an entirely thrifted outfit, she included fab £1 jeans – a brilliant alternative to water-glugging new ones AND shared her top charity shopping spots.
There are lots of ways to say ‘no to new’ – @shinyshiny054 gave us 3-for-1, with her charity shop dress, ‘local clothes swap’ boots and decade-old jacket from her very own wardrobe 🙂
We had to include this one. Not just for the stunning #FoundInOxfam kimono – but also for Claire’s incredible hair!
This stunning blouse shared by @thestylebalance has already had three owners and counting – preloved, re-loved fashion at its best. Got something gorgeous that you barely wear? Share the love and pass it on.
Savvy swapping is yet another way you helped make #SecondHandSeptember so brilliant, with great finds like this polo neck dress shared by @betsysclosetswapshop
Preloved style gurus like Caroline Jones played a huge role in #SecondHandSeptember, inspiring us all with covetable vintage outfits like this one. Get following for oodles more.
The final week of #SecondHandSeptember and the cracking outfits just kept on coming… We were mightily impressed by this super-hip look shared by @armadioverde
We love this laid-back daytime look, shared on Day 5. Fancy recreating it? You’ll find loads of check shirts and shorts – for women and men – in the Oxfam Online Shop. Just add tights for winter!
It was once a £1 vintage nightie. Then @thecannyfashionista got her hands on it and turned it into an incredible statement dress, fit for a fancy event. We like. A lot.
Hannah helped spread the word about #SecondHandSeptember and proved you can holiday without buying new too. We love her sundress, #FoundInOxfam for £3 – search the hashtag for more great finds.
What do you do when you find a fab Stella McCartney dress in Oxfam? Put it on and shrink yourself down to fairy size for the ultimate autumnal Instagram pic of course. Got to love @leapofcharly
Of course it’s not all about the outfits… @thedelightful.mrsb knows all about the power of preloved accessories. Check out this stunning necklace ‘beautiful quality and it goes with absolutely everything’ 🙂
Once you discover the wonders of second-hand fashion, you can spot preloved gems pretty much everywhere. This stylish look shared by @alterszura was sourced in Bristol and Amsterdam.
This beautifully chic look had to make the top 30. Merci beaucoup @closet_therapy_paris for bringing us a blast of Parisian style…
You can’t beat a bit of preloved Boden. These shorts were a great way to finish off this simple but stylish look – and make the most of the last of the sunshine. Big thanks for sharing, @mumdrobe
In Erin’s own words ‘couples who thrift together, thrive together’ and these guys certainly looked happy in their super-hip second hand outfits, shared on Day 29.
Throughout the month, you showed us that you really can find preloved clothes for every occasion – check out this stunning vintage gown, shared by slow fashion ambassador @veshoevius
Throughout the month, you continued to share loads of ways to say ‘no to new’, be it charity shops, clothes swaps or, as with this pretty dress, a quick click on Depop.
With just days to go, @stephnimmo picked up this great shirt for just £3. What better way to see out a month of ‘no new’? Fancy working some paisley into your wardrobe? Search the Oxfam Online Shop now.
Described as probably her ‘best ever second hand purchase’, @annabel_czyba snapped up this chic cashmere Armani jacket 15 years ago. And it looks as fabulous as ever.
It’s a jumper. With Jemima Puddleducks on. How could this not make the cut? @cyclingkirst was lucky enough to bag this original Beatrix Potter jumper in tip top condition.
Callie spotted this amazing skirt in a charity shop years ago, now teamed with a £2 second-hand jumper to create yet another covetable #SecondHandSeptember look. Search the hashtag for more.
Brights are huge news this season and we love this berry red slip dress worn by slow fashion queen @restylethemother Start following for vast quantities of vintage inspiration.
Charity shops are just brilliant for basics – and a black dress like this one can be styled up in SO many ways. Perfect for daytime with a simple white tee… and matching backdrop.
A charity shop bargain circa 2018, Kate says she loves this skirt more every time she wears it. We can see why. Find more striking florals in the Oxfam Online Shop now.
Upcycling was ANOTHER way you made #SecondHandSeptember rock. We love this bold print skirt, refashioned by @sewistandthecity from an old sundress. Find more great upcycling ideas here
Big hand to the Oxfam GB Yemen team, rocking their finest second hand clothes in support of our month of ‘no new’…
It’s chunky. It’s peachy. And it was #FoundInOxfam for just £7. We’re loving this super-cosy knit – thanks for sharing, @brixcollective_ Read our blog for more great autumn-winter looks
Half-way through the challenge, preloved style blogger @hannahxelliman celebrated by sharing this gem of an outfit. Like her style? Check out Hannah’s top tips for charity shopping
In the words of @switchoff.ie ‘Coat: 20 Shirt:5 Wellies: 2 Sustainable fashion: PRICELESS’. We couldn’t have put it better ourselves.
How to find something you love in your lunch break
Fee Gilfeather is a self-confessed charity shopping addict with a wardrobe filled to the brim of incredible thrifty finds. And with years under her belt working with Oxfam shops, she really knows her stuff. Here she shares her top tips for finding something you love when time isn’t on your side.
Charity shopping is a great way to spend a leisurely day out. Take a friend, stop for lunch and plenty of coffees and you’ve got a pretty perfect day. And everything you buy is saved from landfill and it’s all for a good cause. Win win win!
But sometimes you don’t have the time to browse, you might only have half an hour to spare on your lunch break or simply can’t resist popping in when passing by (I’ve often dropped into a charity shop on my way to a meeting). Your time for mooching and trying things on is limited, so here are my top tips for getting the most out of charity shopping in a hurry.
1. Know your style favourites
Are you usually found in jeans and a shirt? Or are you more skirts and tees? My wardrobe is full of knee length dresses so I often make a bee-line for the dress rail first as the best use of my quick visit is to find a good quality, long-lasting favourite that I can wear again and again. I’ve also got a growing collection of bright 70s print shirts which are easy to spot on a rail from across the shop floor!
2. Know your colours
Many charity shops display clothes by colour (called Colour Blocking in the trade) which means a shopper in a hurry doesn’t have to cover every rail to find their treasure. I’ve learned that blue suits me and that I should steer clear of yellow and orange.
3. Don’t always rush it
I use my ‘leisurely’ charity shopping days to learn what colours and styles I like, what to look out for and which brands are likely to fit me well in the changing room. One year I tried on several different dresses in my local hospice shop and found a beautiful Hobbs dress for £20, it would have been over £100 new. Since then I’ve found two other similar Hobbs dresses and now if I see this brand I know it’s worth trying on.
4. Basic layering
It can take time to try on a range of interesting dresses or outfits to find the one that suits, and with an afternoon free it’s worth the effort as those are the treasures that will make your wardrobe unique. But it’s not all about the key stand out pieces, when pressed for time I look for wardrobe staples – if you know your size you can quickly find plain long sleeved tops or tees to complement any outfit, often without needing to try them on. Over the years I have collected several M&S thermal tops which I wear under dresses in winter.
5. Have a wish list for homewares
It can be hard to take it all in when a shop has a fantastic collection of bric a brac. If I don’t have time to explore the shelves thoroughly then a quick scan for some key items will do! I’m currently looking for a butter dish for my mother-in-law and a Pyrex bowl for home. And I collect vintage ‘Taunton Vale’
Hopefully with these tips in mind, you’ll never need to pass by a charity shop again!
Farmer and textile maker Hooran talks about food, flooding and fighting poverty.
“Yesterday, my daughter fainted in assembly,” says Hooran. “Her teacher told her to start eating fruit in the mornings before she comes to school so she has enough energy. It made me so upset to hear that, because we barely have enough money to buy roti (bread). Fruits are a long shot away.”
This is what life on the frontline of the climate crisis is like for Hooran in Badin, Pakistan. She’s one of the 1.8 million people living there who endure frequent floods, but also drought-like conditions caused by a lack of water and changing rainfall patterns. All of this means it’s harder to grow crops, feed livestock, and get by from one day to the next.
“My children are not healthy,” says Hooran. “They are quite weak because of the lack of nutrition available to them.”
This is worlds away from the childhood Hooran remembers.
“Growing up, I used to go to school, cut wood to earn money, and help my mother with the chores. In our house there was livestock, farming and my mother’s tailoring business, and all of this meant we had multiple sources of income. I had a very happy childhood because of this.”
But as the years went on, the weather became less predictable – and so did the harvests. “Our crops started decreasing. We used to grow rice, sugarcane and cotton. When the farming started to fail, we started selling the livestock to survive.”
In 2003, a cyclone caused flooding that destroyed all of Hooran’s crops and land. The climate emergency is making extreme weather like this more and more frequent.
Oxfam is helping people prepare for climate change, deal with its effects, and adapt when disaster strikes.
In Badin, we’re focusing on supporting women, young people and people with disabilities to develop new farming methods and learn other skills to make a living.
Hooran learned new practical skills so she could earn money beyond farming.
“I learnt how to stitch, make soap bars and gurda (a local drink made from sugarcane). I chose to be a part of the training to learn how to sew undergarments. I wanted to make it better for women and girls here when they go through their period. We have to suffer through really unhygienic conditions because we don’t have the resources to buy pads, and they are so expensive. So I want to start making these undergarments so they can use them during this time.”
She’s also learned how to grow vegetables even under the unforgiving conditions that the extreme weather brings.
“Before the training we could only buy stale vegetables, but now we can grow our own fresh vegetables with our own hands… now we are free from that stress.”
There is still much work to do but Hooran is adapting fast so she can earn a living. This shouldn’t have to be her reality.
It is a fact that the world’s poorest people have contributed the least to the climate emergency, yet they are suffering the most.
Urgent action is needed to save our planet.
By not buying new clothes for 30 days, you’re helping to reduce the harmful effects fast fashion has on people and planet.
Find out more about our work and how you can support people who are already facing life-threating repercussions of the climate emergency.
Photos: Khaula Jamil/OxfamAUS