Second Hand September: How you inspired us

Second Hand September: How you inspired us

Second Hand September is a challenge to shop and manage your wardrobe in a more sustainable way โ€“ and throughout the month youโ€™ve been inspiring us with your incredible second hand finds, your passion and your commitment.

Itโ€™s impossible to choose from the 50,000 (eek!) incredible posts celebrating Second Hand September, but weโ€™ve had a go at choosing our top looks to keep you going on your second-hand journey beyond the month of September.

Gorgeous Summer Finds

These preloved outfits were made for the sun. From stunning florals to light floaty combinations and bright colours, you made the most of that last bit of sunshine in September.


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So it’s #SecondhandSeptember! As a lifelong wearer of #SecondhandFashion, I’m so happy that this month is about encouraging the world to adopt the secondhand clothing lifestyle! (In safe ways). This monochrome look is #Secondhand and #Preloved! Did you know that more 80 – 150 billion new garments produced worldwide each year, more than double what was made in the year 2000. Of the textiles made each year, 85% ends up in landfill or incinerated. Having a circular fashion system where majority of people wear secondhand reduces our reliance on brand new clothes which require plundering the earth for raw materials and fossil fuels to manufacture them. This polka dot top is from @savers_au / @savers_thrift op shop. The tan belt is from @noffsopshops. The skirt and red vintage bag in photo 2 are from @facebookmarketplace. #CircularFashion #CircularEconomy #MakeFashionCircular Thanks beautiful @elifezgi.budak for the lovely photos! ๐Ÿ’š๐Ÿ’š

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โ™ป๏ธ๐šˆ๐š˜๐šž ๐š๐š˜๐š—โ€™๐š ๐š‘๐šŠ๐šŸ๐šŽ ๐š๐š˜ ๐š‹๐šž๐šข ๐š‹๐š›๐šŠ๐š—๐š ๐š—๐šŽ๐š  ๐š๐š˜ ๐š‹๐šŽ ๐šœ๐š๐šข๐š•๐š’๐šœ๐š‘. โ™ป๏ธ๐šˆ๐š˜๐šž ๐š๐š˜๐š—โ€™๐š ๐š—๐šŽ๐šŽ๐š ๐š๐š˜ ๐š‹๐šž๐šข ๐š‹๐š›๐šŠ๐š—๐š ๐š—๐šŽ๐š  ๐š๐š˜ ๐š๐šŽ๐šŽ๐š• ๐š•๐š’๐š”๐šŽ ๐šข๐š˜๐šž๐š›๐šœ๐šŽ๐š•๐š. โ™ป๏ธ๐™ฐ๐š—๐š ๐šข๐š˜๐šž ๐š๐š˜๐š—โ€™๐š ๐š—๐šŽ๐šŽ๐š ๐š๐š˜ ๐šœ๐š‘๐š˜๐š™ ๐š‹๐š›๐šŠ๐š—๐š ๐š—๐šŽ๐š  ๐š๐š˜ ๐š๐š’๐š—๐š ๐š๐š‘๐šŽ ๐š๐š‘๐š’๐š—๐š๐šœ ๐š๐š‘๐šŠ๐š ๐šข๐š˜๐šž ๐š•๐š˜๐šŸ๐šŽ ๐š๐š˜ ๐š ๐šŽ๐šŠ๐š›! โ™ป๏ธ๐š‚๐š‘๐š˜๐š™๐š™๐š’๐š—๐š ๐š™๐š›๐šŽ๐š•๐š˜๐šŸ๐šŽ๐š ๐š’๐šœ ๐šŠ๐š— ๐šŠ๐š๐šŸ๐šŽ๐š—๐š๐šž๐š›๐šŽ ๐šŠ๐š—๐š ๐š ๐šŽ ๐š•๐š˜๐šŸ๐šŽ ๐š๐š˜ ๐š๐šŠ๐š”๐šŽ ๐šข๐š˜๐šž ๐š˜๐š— ๐š๐š‘๐šŠ๐š ๐š“๐š˜๐šž๐š›๐š—๐šŽ๐šข!!! . . . Model: @cnrgrn Photography: @serenhmorris #buypreloved #bethnalgreen #londoncharity #londoncharityshop #buyforcharity #thrift #thrifted #thriftedfashion #thriftedshirt #secondhandseptember #oxfambethnalgreen

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โ™ป๏ธ๐Ÿ’œDearest @baygarnett you really do make the BEST of shopkeepers. Hope the tills keep on ringinโ€™. Caroline x . โ™ป๏ธ๐Ÿ’œSecond hand: @zara tiered maxi dress, ยฃ18, bought earlier today at the @oxfamgb pop-up @theofficialselfridges London with all proceeds to Oxfam. . โ™ป๏ธ๐Ÿ’œCurated by Bay Garnett and the @oxfamfestshop team the pop-up – part of Oxfamโ€™s Second Hand September campaign – runs in conjunction with Project Earth, Selfridges sustainability initiative, both weaving so well together. Here for the next 4 weeks the stock continues to rotate and theyโ€™ve kept the pricing as they would within Oxfam (think boutique end) which is quite incredible given their 2nd floor designer label neighbours. . โ™ป๏ธ๐Ÿ’œIt really was a treat for me to get into London today and what made it special was being able to try on (in a beautiful dressing area) and to see garments treated as they would if brand new: from the velvet hangers; the spacing on the rails; the lighting; the swing tag labels; to the iconic Selfridges yellow bag & tissue paper and fantastic service. At this end of the fashion spectrum it is all in the detail so itโ€™s wonderful to see the second-hand-kid-on-the-block looking very much at homeโ™ป๏ธ๐Ÿ’œ . โ™ป๏ธ๐Ÿ’œStyled with @cabbagewhiteengland silver stars bangle; grey plastic bangle and Holmes of Norwich vintage clutch all @oxfamgb finds. Emerald & diamond 1920s ring @loweandsons. . NEW: @hokaoneone Arahi trainers @upandrunninguk Chester. Neon hoop earrings @claireseurope. Knickers modelโ€™s own. . Photo thanks to Mary Jones. #secondhandseptember #knickersmodelsown #slowfashion #secondhandfashion #projectearth #selfridges #selfridgeslondon #prelovedfashion #zara #zarawomen #maxidress #purple #purpledress #hokaoneone #arahi4

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I bought this dress for ยฃ6 (thatโ€™s right, SIX quid!!!) in @oxfambotanic back in August for my wee nieceโ€™s christening. I have honestly never gotten as many compliments about a dress in my life and so many people expected it to have cost an absolute fortune. Iโ€™m not even sure what the original brand is or how much it initially sold for, but I LOVE finding absolute hidden gems like this in charity shops, and it also means that most likely, nobody else will have the same outfit as you! Plus if youโ€™re like me and you often buy a fancy dress to more or less only wear the once for a special occasion, you wonโ€™t feel as guilty as you would if you had spent a fortune on it for it to just hang in your wardrobe the rest of the time!! ๐Ÿ‘— Bonus benefits: More money for fun things ๐Ÿ˜‰ #sustainablefashion

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Are you taking part in @oxfamgb #secondhandseptember? ๐Ÿ‘•๐Ÿ‘—๐Ÿ‘Ÿ๐Ÿ‘’ Check out these pics of Team TCC’s favourite secondhand outfits. Most of the clothes are either bought from charity shops or borrowed from friends and family and they look great! โœจ There are lots of benefits to shopping secondhand: ๐Ÿ’š Lower carbon emissions โœ… Did you know that the fashion industry emits around 10% of global carbon emissions? โ™ป๏ธ Reduces waste โœ… every week 11 million items of clothing from the UK end up in landfill! ๐Ÿ’ต It can save you money โœ… secondhand items, not just clothes but household appliances and technology, often cost less! ๐Ÿ’š Helps charities โœ… buying from charity shops provides those charities with essential funds. Itโ€™s not too late to sign up! #charitytuesday

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How’s #secondhandseptember going for you so far? I’ve obviously gone crazy on new puppy supplies, but for me? I’m 99% second hand this month, having had to upgrade my gym kit as – surprise surprise – it no longer fits after 6 months of not being used, and I’m loyal to the brand that stretches across my bum. This whole lewk is 100% thrifted, including the shoes you cannot see. There’s so much treasure to be found out there, preloved and lovely and affordable! . . . #ColoursInCaptivity #confidentlycolourful #EricaTakesSelfies #midsizecollective #midsizegals #midsizestyle #shpbrights #happyselves #discoverunder10k #averagegirlsize #reallifeandstyle #size14style #comfyandcute #secondhandstyle #thriftedstyle #colourfulandkind #charityshopfind #secondhandfinds

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Autumnal Treasures

It’s the time of year to start wrapping up in cosy jumpers and warm coats, as well as the stunning auburn gems found by these second-hand pros.


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Itโ€™s September! Which means @oxfamgb #secondhandseptember is back ๐ŸŒ๐Ÿงก๐ŸŒฟ itโ€™s basically a pledge we can all take to only buy secondhand for 30 days or more. 336,000 tonnes of clothing are being sent to UK landfill each year, that weighs as much as the Empire State Building! โฃ โฃ Last years #secondhandseptember created a carbon footprint reduction from everyone who took part was 1,500 tonnes โ€“ the same emissions equivalent to driving a car around the world 200 times. Letโ€™s do it again this year! โฃ โฃ One of my favourite ways to shop secondhand is by searching for vintage clothes online on Etsy, eBay and depop. I also love going to charity shops and finding gems. I would love for you to get involved as well if you can. Dm me pictures of your secondhand outfits or tag #secondhandseptember & #secondhandwithflorence and at the end of the month I will share my favourite outfits on my stories! ๐Ÿ’ซ๐ŸŒป

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So today sees the end of #secondhandSeptember and my relaunch of #prelovedpretties but as you all know this is a way of life for me. I gave up fast fashion many moons ago, of course there are rare times I purchase new but it’s aways a considered purchase, however I never feel the same giddiness as I do when I find a vintage gem in a charity shop! It’s my ultimate in feel good shopping so I’m thrilled that preloved is getting the attention and platform it deserves in the style stakes. . Thank you to all who have shared their looks with me and joined in to really celebrate how creatively stylish shopping secondhand can be. I hope you have all enjoyed some inspiration… I know I have! . Im closing the show, of course, in a fully thrifted outfit.this vintage housecoat is giving me life! Does this count as going out in my Pj’s? @affectionatelyaudrey #hodgepodgestyle ๐Ÿ˜˜ . . . . #slowfashion #charityshop #charityshopfind #sustainablefashion #ethicalshopping #ootd #outfitinspiration #style #fashion #greenfashion #ethicalfashion #slowfashionblogger #saynotofastfashion #thriftedootd #lotd #secondhand #preloved #housecoat #prelovedpretties #wiwt #fashiondiaries #fashiongram

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Denim Thrifters

Considering that it would take 13 years to drink the water that goes into making a new shirt and pair of jeans, thrifting second hand denim is a win for the environment and for keeping clothes out of landfill.


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Thrifted Top Shop Skirt ยฃ1.00 Thrifted Cropped Shirt ยฃ3.00 #secondhandclothes #mysecondhandwardrobe #secondhandseptember

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Special Day Find

Finally, we saw stunning photos of brides choosing preloved dresses on their big day, but Bophanieโ€™s story was particularly touching for her family experiences with Oxfam.


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โ€œIn 1981, Oxfam employees posted in Cambodia befriended and sponsored my parents who were fleeing from the Khmer Rouge. They helped them leave a Thai refugee camp, campaigned for their UK citizenship and set up what would become our family home, even posting internal office sign-up sheets to find furniture to fill it. โ€œIt was so important for me to get my wedding dress from Oxfam, to pay a small tribute to the people and organisation that we literally owe our whole lives to. As we told the story of the dress in our speeches, I knew how much it meant to my mum and dad, as well as our sponsors (now our oldest, closest family friends) who sat next to them on the day. โ€œAside from the sentimental reasons, it felt so good to choose second hand. I ended up with two perfect dresses (which were ex display rather than pre worn) and the volunteers did everything they could to make it a special โ€˜bridalโ€™ experience. I tell anyone who will listen the story and am so proud to be an Oxfam bride.โ€ Bophanie Bophanieโ€™s incredible story is about more than a wedding dress. It tells us about resilience, friendship and what we can achieve when we come together. Here she is walking down the aisle with her parents. Swipe to see the sign-up sheet Oxfam staff posted in their office back in 1981, when they helped her family find furniture for their first home in the UK. Better still, all the funds raised from her dress will help other families through difficult times too. Weโ€™re so happy she shared this remarkable family story with us โ€“ thank you, Bophanie . . . . . . . . . Photos: Ed Lovelace @drlovelace #SecondHandSeptember #SustainableFashion #SecondHandFashion #SlowFashion #Fashion #SayYesToSecondHand #SecondHand #PreLoved #Sustainable #Vintage #Oxfamily #Bridal #Bride #Wedding #WeddingDress @oxfamonlineshop

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Thank you to everyone who took part in Second Hand September 2020. Whether you had conversations with friends and family, bought some second-hand items or donated clothes to keep them from landfill โ€“ youโ€™ve made a difference.


eBay launch vintage auction for #SecondHandSeptember

eBay launch vintage auction for #SecondHandSeptember

eBayโ€™s Head of Pre Loved, Emma Grant, on Oxfamโ€™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 peopleโ€™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.

Weโ€™re so excited to be supporting Oxfamโ€™s Second Hand September this year by hosting aย 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 donโ€™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 youโ€™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 youโ€™re looking for a particular item, be specific in your search. Naming brands or eras that are associated with the style youโ€™re looking to emulate will help you narrow down the search to the most relevant items. For instance, if youโ€™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 โ€˜modernโ€™. 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 โ€˜fancy dressโ€™.

5. Be flexible with sizes

The fits and cuts of vintage and pre-owned fashion can differ hugely from what weโ€™re used to seeing on the high street, so donโ€™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. Donโ€™t be put off by a little wear and tear

A few buttons missing shouldnโ€™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 โ€“ giving it your own style touch! If youโ€™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

Donโ€™t risk your money on items that are fraying, holed and stained. That kind of damage likely canโ€™t be fixed, not matter how beautiful the piece.

9. Donโ€™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 โ€“ from an itemsโ€™ โ€˜realโ€™ 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. Donโ€™t let it be the one that got away that keeps you up at night!


Weโ€™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 arenโ€™t up for a wardrobe clear-out donate at checkout where weโ€™re hosting Oxfam all month. If youโ€™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 โ€œDonate a portion to charityโ€
2. Select โ€˜Oxfamโ€™ and the percentage you want to donate
3. List the item and start raising money for a cause you care about!

Behind-the-scenes: Oxfam Online Shop

Behind-the-scenes: Oxfam Online Shop


In Batley, Yorkshire, there’s a magical place. It’s called Wastesaver and it takes the unsold second hand treasures donated to Oxfam shops and puts them to good use.

At the heart of this recycling centre is a vibrant hub. Here, a team of passionate volunteers take preloved clothes, shoes, accessories and more โ€“ and list them on theย Oxfam Online Shop. Magic.

Take a tour with Holly, the Manager of the Oxfam Online Shop, in the video below or read on for a behind-the-scenes look and our top tips for browsing. Thereโ€™s also a treat at the end of this blog for your next shop!

What is the Oxfam Online Shop?

The Oxfam Online Shop lists 100,000 donated items for you to shop from. An online version of hunting through your local high street charity shops for those unbelievable finds.

And just like when you shop in our Oxfam high street shops, the income raised through our Online Shop all goes towards a fairer world for the poorest people.

Behind-the-scenes clothes rails and accessory shelves all listed on the online shop.

Where do the donations come from?

The donations come from all over the country.

Most likely, theyโ€™re items that havenโ€™t managed to find a new home at their local Oxfam shop. And because we have to regularly make way for fresh donations, unsold items are sent on to our Batley recycling centre and Online Shop. There they have a second chance at selling to a worldwide audience.

When items are put into the donation banks (for example, at your local supermarket), those items are sometimes brought directly to Batley. And even fashion retailers send their excess stock here for us to sell!

They are all put in the entrance of the recycling centre and sorted on huge conveyor belts to decide whatโ€™s best to do with the items.

From sorting to rail โ€“ Oxfam experts work out whether items are right for Oxfamโ€™s Online Shop.

If the items arenโ€™t right for the online shop customer, they could be saved to go to festivals in the summer with our Festival Shop team. Or sent out to a different Oxfam high street shop better suited to selling that item. If the item canโ€™t be resold, it gets recycled and turned into things like mattress filler.

No textiles donated to Oxfam end up in landfill and this recycling centre alone saves 12,000 tonnes of textiles from going to landfill every year. This is in addition to the 2000 tonnes of donated clothing sold through the shops.

What happens once theyโ€™ve been chosen for selling online?

This is where the dedicated team of volunteers start the process by giving each piece a little bit of TLC. We steam, iron and even repair garments on-site. Then itโ€™s off to a photography booth to take fabulous photos of them for the website. Finally, pieces are researched, described and priced before going live and available to buy.

Volunteers photographing the donations and doing a mini photoshoot for social media before listing online.

Top Tips for finding those gems

As with a high street shop, searching for second hand gems online can take patience, skill and a willingness to look at plenty of things that arenโ€™t your style.

Here are the top 3 tips in finding those gems:

1. Filtering

Whether by size, brand, price or more. You can select multiple by clicking on, for example โ€œSize 14โ€, and then also choosing โ€œSize 16โ€ once the initial results have loaded. It will add your filters together.

2. Using the search bar

When you have a particular item or brand in mind, searching for it will pull up every result relevant to that term. It might take a minute to get those results up, but you can then browse a big range of the type of thing youโ€™re looking for.

3. Browsing โ€œview allโ€ at the bottom of each category

This will show you all the latest listings, regardless of size, brand etc. It means you can see a huge range of new items on the shop and spot things that might be in sizes you wouldnโ€™t typically shop. Another great tip is to do this for both womenโ€™s and menโ€™s. Items like trainers, jumpers and bags can sometimes be listed in one or the other so you might find something you love in an unexpected place!

What next?

Shop on Oxfamโ€™s Online Shop
Follow @OxfamOnlineShop and @OxfamOnlineBatley on Instagram for all the latest treasures.

And if you made it this far, make sure to use code secondhand14 for 14% off the Oxfam Online Shop on your next order. Terms and conditions apply.


What to look out for this Second Hand September

What to look out for this Second Hand September

Fee Gilfeather is Oxfamโ€™s sustainability expert and is a lifetime second hand addict. Here is her round-up of what to expect from SecondHandSeptember 2020.

In June 2019, we launched Second Hand September at Download festival to ask you to be part of the fight against fast fashion.

We even hung a giant washing line up at Glastonbury Festival using unsold clothes from our shops. And shared messages about the impact of fashion on the planet and garment workers.

Since then, Second Hand September has taken on a life of its own, with over 50,000 uses of #SecondHandSeptember. Influencers, celebrities, companies and shoppers all over the world have pledged to change their approach to fashion.

This year has thrown us all into the unknown and given us pause. It has included, for many of us, a look at how we shop and enjoy fashion in a more conscious way. One of the few positives to come out of this pandemic is the opportunity to break old habits and build a fairer and more sustainable future.

Choosing second hand is one way that we can all play a part in shifting to more sustainable consumption. Helping to build back better after the past few months. So weโ€™re asking you to join us again – to only buy second hand clothes for the month of September. Share your pledge using #SecondHandSeptember and tag @OxfamGB.

This could be challenging yourself for the 30 days of September to only buy second handโ€ฆor even a whole year! If you need some inspiration, check out Zaraโ€™s blog on her year of no new.

This year our campaign is even bigger and better than ever. Our shops will be showcasing the very best of second hand throughout the month. And you can choose from over 100,000 items on the Oxfam Online Shop 24 hours a day. Weโ€™ll be sharing lots of tips and stories on our social media and blogs, so make sure you give us a follow.

Weโ€™re delighted to have lots of new partners celebrating second hand with us throughout the month. Read on to find out what to expect from Second Hand September 2020.

Michaela Coel wears a second hand pale orange jumpsuit

The Face of Second Hand September

Weโ€™re incredibly excited that BAFTA award-winning actor, director, screenwriter, producer, playwright and poet Michaela Coel is launching Second Hand September 2020!

We are very grateful to her for donating her time to fight throwaway fashion by starring in a photoshoot in donated second hand clothes from Oxfamโ€™s Online Shop. These amazing photos will feature in the windows of more than 500 Oxfam shops nationwide. On top of that โ€“ youโ€™ll be able to buy the outfits in a pioneering pop-up shop in Selfridges.


Opening on 7th September, this pop-up shop was conceived as part of Project Earth, Selfridges sustainability initiative. It aims to change the way Selfridges does business. And the way customers shop in the next five years. Weโ€™re very excited to be a part of it! The shop in Selfridges London Designer Galleries will be open for four weeks. It will stock some epic outfits, including an iconic 90s Gaultier PVC red suit as worn by Michaela, Ossie Clarke dresses, original leather flying jackets, and 90s sportswear.


On 10th September, eBay is celebrating second hand with a joint auction of over 100 fabulous items of curated vintage and Oxfam pieces, selected by stylist Lucy Tempest Walker. Youโ€™ll also be encouraged to donate a portion of your proceeds when selling your own second hand items on eBay to support Oxfam’s work around the world; the equivalent percentage in fees will be waived by eBay for charity, or you can donate at checkout where Oxfam will be hosted all September.

Vestiaire Collective

Pre-owned premium retailer, Vestiaire Collective is running the Oxfam pledge to shop second hand and is hosting a charity sale of celebrity donated designer pieces on 16th September with all proceeds going to support vital projects run by Oxfam.


Make sure to look up the Oxfam Festival Shop on Depop for our first ever Depop x Oxfam shop launching on 1st September, stocked with gorgeous second hand finds from the Oxfam Festival Shop that we were due to sell at festivals this summer โ€“ weโ€™ll be adding new items throughout the month.

Liverpool Fashion Summit

Weโ€™re ready for Liverpool Fashion Summit 9th -11th September where weโ€™re speaking on issues of modern slavery and the circular economy in relation to the fashion industry. Itโ€™s free to join and thereโ€™s a huge range of exciting speakers over the three days.

Volunteer with us

Another way you can support Oxfam besides taking part in #SecondHandSeptember is to volunteer in one of our shops. Following the pandemic, some volunteers have been unable to return to their positions because they are shielding and we really need your help to keep our shops running โ€“ and what better way to share your passion for second-hand than sorting through donations to find treasures to put out on our rails, or curating an exciting new window display or managing a shopโ€™s Instagram account to showcase the best of Oxfam fashion.

Why is Second Hand September important to us?

The average lifespan for an item of clothing is 3.3 years. A whopping 336,000 tonnes of used clothing are sent to landfill every year in the UK. By choosing second hand clothes, youโ€™re giving clothes a longer life and keeping them from landfill.

And then to keep prices low, garment workers are often not paid a living wage โ€“ these are people from the poorest communities around the world, and this unfair treatment makes it impossible for them to work their way out of poverty. By joining Oxfamโ€™s Second Hand September movement, collectively we can send a message to retailers asking them to change their business models to better protect the people who make our clothes and the planet we all share.

By shopping with Oxfam, youโ€™re reinvesting your money into vital work around the world supporting the poorest people on the planet to build sustainable livelihoods and beat poverty – including helping vulnerable communities deal with the consequences of coronavirus around the world.

We hope that even more people will choose second hand this month, for people and planet.


Customise a regular beach dress into a wedding dress

Customise a regular beach dress into a wedding dress

How I customised a regular high street beach dress into a unique wedding for less than ยฃ300

The thought of a 4 digit price tag for a dress freaked me out and hunting for the prefect wedding dress takes too long. Having a wedding dress made from scratch was very pricey but buying a dress that fits me and changing the top part was the killing idea.

For my wedding I wanted a dress that makes me feel unique and represents my values. I am not the kind of person who would spend hundreds or thousands of pounds on an outfit! Itโ€™s so not meโ€ฆIโ€™ve never done thatโ€ฆwhy would I do so for my wedding knowing that I would never wear this dress again?

I started to look at second hand dresses. The hunt for it can be difficult and very time consuming. So I quickly switched to the idea of making my own wedding dress, or shall I say I found a dress maker that could make it for me, I am totally hopeless when it comes to using a sewing machine!

1. Find a dress maker

Quick search online for โ€˜Dress maker near meโ€™ and I called the first 2 that were listed. Turns out making a dress from scratch will be quite expensive too but one of them suggested that I bought any white beach dress that fitted me and to only worry about how the bottom part looked.

Hereโ€™s the secret: what takes the longest to make (and the priciest) is the overall fabric, the shape and the fitting. The top part can be adjusted or replaced.

2. Find a cheap beach dress

I wanted an A-line style dress. So, I was looking for long, tulle, maxi dresses in my size. Try to ignore the horrible top part, the extra sleeve you donโ€™t want or the weird keyhole opening at the front. The dress maker will be able to make a new front, exactly like you want. Just focus on the length, the colour and the fabric.

When you try it on and itโ€™s a little bit transparent, donโ€™t worry, your dress maker will be able to add a liner fabric underneath.

I found bought mine online, during sale for ยฃ49!

3. Buy some nice lace

I wanted my wedding dress to have lace on the front and at the back. I went to a specialist shop and bought 1m of very fine and good quality lace. This was the most expensive part, ยฃ100. (I still have some left).

I also bought silk ribbon to make fake buttons for the back.

4. From a regular beach dress to my unique wedding dress

Et voila the result! She made a Cache Coeur style front, with a layer of lace on top, made some shoulder sleeves with the lace running throughout the back and sheโ€™d hidden the back zip with a range of silk buttons.

I paid ยฃ150 for her work and along with my pre-loved beach dress, I managed to wear my dream wedding dress for less than ยฃ300, unique and made for me.

Are you planning for your big day? Become the sustainable bride by finding your perfect dress with Oxfam along with bridal accessories and shoes.

Written by Stephanie Shawย 

6 Simple Ways To Remove Stubborn Stains

6 Simple Ways To Remove Stubborn Stains

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. Theyโ€™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 youโ€™ve just dropped a forkful of jalfrezi down your favourite jumper, donโ€™t fret โ€“ itโ€™ll be sorted in no time. All thanks to these simple guides, courtesy of Love Your Clothes.

1. Remove grass stains withโ€ฆ hand sanitiser

6 Simple Ways To Remove Stubborn Stains - oxfam second hand september
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 โ€“ about 30 degrees โ€“ with ordinary washing detergent.

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2. Remove chocolate goop withโ€ฆ milk

6 Simple Ways To Remove Stubborn Stains - oxfam second hand september
Whoโ€™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 thereโ€™s still a slight mark, put it straight back in the washer for another cycle.

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3. Remove coffee sploshes withโ€ฆ egg

6 Simple Ways To Remove Stubborn Stains - oxfam second hand september
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.

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4.Remove sun cream withโ€ฆ 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 thereโ€™s still a bit of staining, repeat the process.

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5. Remove curry spills withโ€ฆ washing up liquid and lemon

6 Simple Ways To Remove Stubborn Stains - oxfam second hand september
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 thereโ€™s still a mark, simply repeat the steps again.

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6. Shift engine oil withโ€ฆ lip balm and cola

6 Simple Ways To Remove Stubborn Stains - oxfam second hand september
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 โ€“ 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!

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Help keep more clothes out of landfill โ€“ discover how to shift other unsightly stains at


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