24 August 2023

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Second Hand September

Crystal palace shop

Come and visit one of our 23 shops with items of quality clothing in need of a new home and find yourself a bargain pre-loved outfit. Together, we can all be Champions for Change – starting this September.

Second hand September

Ever since St Christopher’s opened its first store back in the 1980s, our ever-expanding selection of outlets (we have over 20 now) have been at the forefront of the sustainability agenda – helping shoppers breathe new life into their unwanted items, while clothing them and furnishing their homes with quality pre-loved outfits and household objects. We really do like to see ourselves as champions for change and this September we’re looking to motivate as many people as possible to join us as we celebrate Second Hand September

At the end of a summer in which most of Europe (if not the UK!!) baked in abnormally high temperatures and suffered terrifying fires, none of us should need reminding of the urgent need to look at how we can all do our bit to protect the environment and do more for the planet.

Oxfam started the Second Hand September campaign in 2019, encouraging us all to do a one-month shopping detox – to buy no new items of clothing for the 30 days of September. When you think that the fashion industry produces 1.2 billion tonnes of carbon emissions every year (that’s ten percent of ALL global greenhouse gas emissions) and that 11 million items of clothing end up in landfill every week, you can see why now is the time to act!

According to Oxfam, if everyone in the UK took part in Second Hand September the country would save the same volume of emissions as flying a plane around the world 900 times. In 2022, more than 26,000 actively engage in the campaign – only buying second hand clothes for the whole month. That’s a lot, but we reckon there’s potential for South Londoners to make a massive difference.

Maybe think about it as like Dry January for shopaholics, but way more fun!

Half a million of you visited our stores in 2022, breathing new life into 1.2 million items, so we’re starting from a good place. 

When shopping app Vinted asked people last year how they felt about switching away from new, a third said many of their favourite outfits were pre-loved while one in five said they felt more confident wearing second hand. Knowing they were doing something good for the planet meant half felt less guilty shopping this way. So, not only does it do good, but it feels good too.

UK charity shops keep 339,000 tonnes of textiles out of landfill or incineration each year – that’s equivalent to the weight of 27,000 double decker buses – almost four times more than the total fleet driving around London. Everyone who shops in one of our stores is contributing to that. And, during September, you can engage your family and friends in this more conscious shopping behaviour too. The range and quality of clothes we have in our stores is incredible – they really will be pleasantly surprised.

It’s always easier to take a new path when the steps along the way are marked out – so here are four for you to follow to help you really own Second Hand September.

Re-connect – stop and think about how your clothing is made – all the resources that go into it and whether you need to buy new.

Re-wear – Once you’ve bought you’re pre-loved clothing – take pride in wearing those outfits again and again.

Re-purpose – for those wardrobe items that have really had their day, learn how to repurpose them and use the fabric to make something entirely new and if you’re not super smart with a needle and thread find your local textile bank or give it us to recycle. It’ll be sent off to be made into an entirely new item of clothing.

Re-place – Operate a one in, one out policy. So, every time you come shopping in one of our stores, come armed with an item you’re no longer going to wear but which you’d like to donate – the higher quality the better.

Sustainable Heart

Work to these four principles during September and you’ll be kicking off the autumn in stylish, sustainable fashion.

Sustainable Heart

If you’re a charity shop newbie – no problem. Staff and volunteers in all our stores will be delighted to welcome you and you won’t miss the Second Hand September window displays.

We’ll also be going big on social media. Do share photos of you in your favourite Second Hand outfits – there will be prizes, in the form of St Christopher’s retail vouchers, for the best.

Together, we can all be Champions for Change – starting this September.

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