Shoppers urged to buy second-hand clothes in September to help tackle climate crisis

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Shoppers are being urged to only buy pre-loved clothing for 30 days, as leading charity claims throwaway culture is making climate change worse.

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As part of their Second Hand September campaign Oxfam is asking consumers across Scotland to only buy second-hand clothes for the month of September and to donate their pre-loved items.

Ahead of the UN climate summit COP26 in November shoppers are being urged to drum up support by sharing their one-of-a-kind finds pledge using #SecondHandSeptember and tagging Oxfam on social media.

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Alice Cruickshank is 'a big fan' of second-hand clothingAlice Cruickshank is 'a big fan' of second-hand clothing
Alice Cruickshank is 'a big fan' of second-hand clothing

Oxfam Scotland says that across the UK, 14,000 tonnes of clothing each year (over 47 million items) are diverted from landfill through being donated to their shops.

The charity has 41 high street shops across Scotland and an online shop, a virtual treasure trove of tens of thousands of second-hand items.

READ MORE: Cop26: Edinburgh Council announces ambitious plans to reach net-zero emissions by 2030

Tom Richardson, Oxfam’s Retail Operations Manager, said: “We’ve all seen the warnings from scientists over the summer about how climate change is a clear and present danger to all of our lives and futures. Governments must act to slash emissions quickly, but Oxfam’s Second Hand September campaign gives people across Scotland a chance to reflect on their own buying habits and make second-hand their first choice.

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Alice Cruickshank shows the look you can achieve buying pre-loved clothesAlice Cruickshank shows the look you can achieve buying pre-loved clothes
Alice Cruickshank shows the look you can achieve buying pre-loved clothes

“By buying and donating second-hand clothes with Oxfam, you’re giving clothes a longer life, slowing down fast fashion, and helping to protect our planet. And by shopping with Oxfam, you’re reinvesting your money into vital work beating poverty worldwide – supporting people to speak out and stand up to the climate crisis, creating a fairer and greener future for everyone.”

Consumers send a staggering 13 million items of clothing a week to landfill and the textile industry accounts for around 10 percent of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions – that’s more than international aviation and shipping combined.

Scottish ethical stylist Alice Cruickshank said: "Embracing a more sustainable wardrobe can feel daunting and confusing, which is why I'm such a big advocate of shopping second-hand. Not only is this an affordable option to update your wardrobe consciously, but buying clothes in this way is so wonderful for discovering what style means to you and avoiding 'fast fashion' trends. To me, shopping second-hand is a joyful experience."

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