Second Hand September: no new clothes for a month

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Picture of a jacket, cardigan and T shirt bought from charity shops for my post on Second Hand September

Second hand shopping

This weekend, I’m starting Second Hand September and saying no to brand new clothes for 30 days. If I do need something, I’ll head to a charity shop instead.

It’s an Oxfam project, with more details here if you’d like to join in: Second Hand September.

Have you ever thought about how often you buy new clothes? New outfits every week? Once in blue moon? Turns out our choices about what we buy, and where, hit much more than our wallets.

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Pinterest sized image of clothes for my post on Second Hand September

Why take part in Second Hand September?

Environmental concerns, worries about working conditions, financial reasons, supporting charity shops – take your pick.

Picture of blue skies and green fields for my post on Second Hand September

Preserving the planet

Environmental concerns

Since I was a kid, the price of cheap and cheerful clothing has plummeted. Fast fashion is bought and then binned. What a waste of resources! Production processes can also damage the environment, creating carbon emissions and harmful chemicals.

According to Oxfam:

  • New clothes bought in the UK produce more carbon emissions per minute than driving a car around the world six times
  • A whopping 11 million items of clothing end up in landfill every single week

Yet an Oxfam survey found that more than half of UK adults are not aware that fast fashion is damaging the environment.

Worries about working conditions

Every time I pick up a cheap T shirt, I worry about the working conditions required to sell it for so little, with reports about dangerous factories, long hours, pitiful wages and child workers.

Picture of a diary, five pound note and coins for my post on Second Hand September

Here’s to spending less in September

Financial reasons

I’m also taking part in Second Hand September from pure self interest. We could do with cutting back after our summer spending.

We’ve been away on a couple of fab holidays (to Corsica with Mark Warner*, more to follow, and to the Isle of Wight) and enjoyed other assorted outings, but it all adds up. We’ve also faced big bills preparing my daughter to start secondary school, from school uniform and shoes to stationery supplies.

I reckon many of us have more clothes than we really need. Back in January, I resolved to make the most of the clothes I already had, rather than buying more (What are your financial resolutions?).

I’ve looked back through my spending diary, and reckon I did pretty well in the first half of this year.  Over six months I only forked out £32 on clothes for me. That included socks, tights, a £4.50 charity shop Planet jacket and a £9.50 charity shop Hobbs dress.

In July, I splashed out on a Seasalt jumper in a sale, which at £35.97 more than doubled my clothes spending for 2019. But August was the big one. I bought clothes for our holiday – shorts and a T shirt in sales, sunglasses from a supermarket, cut-price rash vest and surf shoes, plus a swimming costume at the airport. It added up to nearly £100.

So during September, I’m keen to save money by digging through my wardrobe, and sticking to charity shops for anything extra.

Picture of a charity shop for my post on Second Hand September

Stocking up at charity shops

Supporting charity shops

I’m already a big fan of buying clothes from charity shops. It means I can buy better quality clothes for far less than full price, knowing the money goes to good causes. I’ve written before about some of my favourite finds in charity shops, such as my dresses from Hobbs, Précis, M&S and jacket from Caroline Charles. Plus buying second hand extends the use of scarce resources and cuts landfill.

Previous post: A cornucopia of charity shops

So for all these reasons, I’m excited to start Second Hand September. Save money, save the planet, support great causes – what’s not to like?

I’ll be posting my top tips on bagging bargains from charity shops. A bunch of other UK Money Bloggers are also taking part, so do look out for other posts on blogs and social media. Check out this podcast where I chatted to Andy from Be Clever with Your Cash and Hollie from Thrifty Mum all about Second Hand September:

Now – over to you. Could you take part in Second Hand September too? What’s the best bit of clothing you’ve bought from a charity shop?


*indicates an affiliate link, so anything you buy through it will help support the blog, as I will get a small commission at no cost to you. Many thanks!

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  1. Scott
    11th September 2019 / 10:22 am

    I do really well with not buying clothes. This year I’ve bought 3 pairs of work trousers, 3 pairs of work shoes and 1 pair of gardening trousers

    • Faith
      12th September 2019 / 10:08 am

      Good for you, do agree that many of us really don’t need to buy many more clothes.

  2. 10th August 2021 / 8:18 am

    Its really wonderful tips these tips are really helping me thank you so much.

  3. 13th September 2021 / 12:19 pm

    Really beautiful article and a great resource thanks for share it

  4. 23rd September 2021 / 11:33 am

    Very useful post i really appreciate thanks for sharing such a nice post.

  5. 14th February 2022 / 6:27 am

    Wonderful article, thank you for sharing the info. It isn’t too often that you simply read articles where the poster understands what they’re blogging about.

  6. 11th November 2022 / 3:21 pm

    You can buy panties as well with these clothes.

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