GUEST POST | It’s almost that time again! The summer is drawing to a close (although did we really have a summer this year? Debatable), and it’s nearly Second Hand September. Second hand September is a campaign originally created by Oxfam, which aims to encourage us to shop pre-loved, and ditch fast fashion for a whole calendar month.
With the British Fashion Council stating that there are enough clothes on the planet currently to dress the next 6 generations, it’s a good time to pause and examine our relationship with fast fashion.
As well as being more environmentally friendly, shopping second hand is a significantly cheaper way to shop.
Never taken part in Second Hand September before? Here are my six top tips to get you ready to take on the challenge:
Download these handy apps
Ahead of Second Hand September, it’s a good idea to get familiar with a few useful apps that will help you throughout the month.
Second hand shopping apps such as Vinted, Depop and Ebay are the perfect introduction to second hand shopping, as the filter functions allow you to search by brand, price, and size, making it easier than ever to find exactly what you’re looking for. Plus you can expect to pick up pre-loved items for a fraction of the original retail prices!
As well as buying pre-loved clothing, you can also sell your unwanted items on these apps too. This month could be the perfect time of year to get listing, as during Second Hand September, the apps are likely to become even more popular. One person’s trash really is another’s treasure, after all!
Along with apps to buy and sell clothes, there are also virtual closet apps that help with organising and even suggesting new outfit combinations. Apps like Pureple, and Whering allow you to ‘digitalise’ your wardrobe; think Cher from Clueless!
Outfit planning apps are a great way to mix and match your existing items to create brand new looks, and to make the most of your collection.
Follow instagram accounts for thrifted outfit inspo
If you are new to shopping pre-loved, one of the easiest ways to find inspiration is by admiring the online experts in second hand style.
Some of my favourite second hand fashion accounts include Lucyjane.fashion, Thrifty Finnie and Jazzabellediary.
It’s also worth searching hashtags such as #thriftchallenge, #secondhandfashion and #vintagestyle to find more thrifty fashionistas on instagram who share their charity shop bargains and vinted hauls.
If you’re new to styling secondhand items, it’s really useful to see how to put different looks together, or upcycle pieces to make unique, one of a kind outfits.
Try a ‘shop your wardrobe’ challenge
Instead of buying more items, you might choose to spend the month focusing on making the most of the clothes you already have.
Many of us have wardrobes fit to burst with items that we don’t wear half as often as we could. Let’s get some of these items back into rotation!
A wardrobe challenge is the perfect way to fall back in love with your existing closet. There are several variations of the ‘shop your wardrobe’ challenge, and you can adapt them to fit your preferences.
One idea for a wardrobe challenge could include wearing different coloured clothes on each day of the week. Monday could be a black and white outfit, Tuesday you could opt for warm colours, on Wednesday’s we wear pink, etc.
Alternatively you could try to wear a different item from your closet every day of the month. If you find yourself reaching for the same pair of jeans day in day out, this could be a great challenge to push you out of your comfort zone.
There are so many different wardrobe challenges to try, and pinterest is a fantastic source if you are in need of prompts. Make yourself a chart to tick off your progress, or you could even share your looks on social media.
These wardrobe challenges can often help to identify your personal style if you find yourself stuck in a rut, and the prompts can be a great chance to get experimental!
Arrange a clothes swapping event
To really get into the spirit of Second Hand September, why not host a swap shop event with your friends. Collect your unwanted clothes, shoes or accessories, and get ready to swap!
You could limit invites to close friends if you would prefer to host a more intimate gathering, or perhaps you could look into opening up your event to the public. The more attendees, the more items you will have to trade!
Be sure to set a couple of rules for your event. You could ask for a minimum or maximum number of items per person, and be sure to remind your guests that items should be clean and in good condition.
By hosting a clothing swap party you could end up with a few gems to add to your wardrobe, and it won’t have cost you a penny. Also, it’s a great way to spend time with your friends on a budget.
Declutter your wardrobe to rediscover any hidden gems
Before you rush and buy a whole host of items during Second Hand September, it’s a good idea to declutter your wardrobe first to have a clear idea of what you’re working with.
You might discover that your wardrobe is lacking layers for the cooler months, or that you own way too many mini dresses when you usually reach for a maxi instead.
Identify the gaps in your wardrobe, so you know exactly what you’re looking for when you begin shopping.
September is also the perfect time of year to declutter, as the seasons change and we transition to the cooler months.
Plan ahead for big events or occasions during September
One of the reasons that fast fashion is so popular is due to sheer convenience. Stressing that you don’t have a dress for a birthday party this weekend? No worries, you can order multiple dresses in various sizes and they can arrive on your doorstep within 24 hours.
If you want to succeed in the Second Hand September challenge, the key is to plan ahead.
Think about any events you have coming up during the month, what you plan to wear for the events, and whether you need to purchase any items to complete your looks. Give yourself plenty of time to source your ideal outfit online or by browsing the charity shops, and you will avoid that last minute rush, which often leads to panic buying items we don’t really love (and paying extra for the privilege).
Get your calendar out and make a list of any upcoming weddings, birthdays, evenings out with friends or work events you have planned during September, and take a few minutes to think about your outfits in advance.
Ten minutes of planning is likely to save you a whole lot of stress and unwanted spending!
I hope these tips help you to plan for an enjoyable Second Hand September!
About the author: Taryn is a money and lifestyle blogger at ‘Saving in London City’ who is on a mission to share the best money saving tips and tricks with her readers. Taryn discusses the best ways to explore the capital on a budget, whilst saving towards her long term money goals, which include saving for a house deposit, travelling the world and investing. You can find her on: her blog, Instagram or Twitter.