Michaela Coel Is Urging Us All To Buy Only Second Hand Clothes For The Whole Of September

She's the face of Oxfam's second annual Second Hand September campaign, designed to raise awareness of the impact of fast fashion.

michaela coel oxfam second hand september

by Hannah Banks-Walker |

I May Destroy You, created by and starring the BAFTA award-winning actor, director, screenwriter, producer, playwright and poet Michaela Coel, has been one of the most talked about events of 2020. No mean feat when we're all facing a global pandemic. Now, she has been unveiled as the face of Oxfam's Second Hand September, an initiative which began last year and encourages us all to pledge to only buy second hand clothes for the whole month.

In a statement, Coel said: 'I’m honoured to be the face of Oxfam’s Second Hand September campaign this year. When presented with the data from [the charity] on the impact of fast fashion I felt compelled to add my voice to this cause; I hope it raises awareness and encourages us to reflect on our buying habits and to consider how small changes can have a huge impact on the environment – and in turn the fight against poverty.'

Oxfam second hand september michaela coel
All of the clothes worn by Michaela Coel will be on sale at Oxfam's Selfridges shop

While over 60,000 people took the pledge on social media in 2019, Oxfam is hoping that even more will join in this year. And it looks likely – eBay has just released data reporting that sales of second hand have soared this year, with 12 million people in the UK purchasing a pre-loved item so far this year. And according to a report published by US-based resale site Thredup, the resale market is expected to grow five times over the next five years – with a projected value of $64 billion by 2024 – while traditional retail is projected to shrink. This has only been amplified by the outbreak of Covid-19 – Oxfam itself has seen huge growth in its online shop. When it launched its annual summer sale, this year in the midst of Covid-19, the charity said it had its best sales day ever.

It's easy to join in – you simply pledge using the #SecondHandSeptmber hashtag on social media and then make sure you commit to it. But there are other exciting things happening throughout September which may encourage you. Selfridges, for example, is hosting a pop-up Oxfam shop, which will be positioned among fashion's power players like Balenciaga and Gucci. Part of the brand's Project Earth initiative, which sees a drive towards a more sustainable way of doing business, the shop launches on September 7 and you'll be able to buy all of the clothes worn by Coel in her campaign shots, including the '90s PVC suit by Jean Paul Gaultier. There will also be many other treasures, including Ossie Clark dresses, original flying jackets and much, much more.

So, whether you're already a second hand shopper or only ever buy from Zara, this next month is the perfect opportunity to pause for a minute and think about the way you shop. We're all facing uncertain times but fast fashion's impact on the planet, as well as on the garment workers who make our clothes, is undeniable. Now's the time we all did something about it.

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