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Post by LCWO Waste Champion Lorraine

Need new clothes?

Manufacturing and distributing new clothes can be carbon intensive, and clothing is a significant contributor to the ever-growing waste disposal challenge.

How can you change your buying habits to reduce your impact?

Why not check out the second-hand clothes market?

This month is Second Hand September and there are some fantastic options available for buying ‘pre-loved’ goods.

Check out your local second-hand clothes shops or charity shops, download your favourite second-hand clothes app.

Oxford City Centre, Botley and Witney abound with charity shops, with an Oxfam Superstore in Cowley. The Retro Room on Cowley Road provides interesting vintage clothes options.

Preloved, Depop and Vinted apps provide very popular marketplaces for second-hand fashion.

Look out for LCWO Bring & Takes (where there are lots of clothes swapped for free) or organise a clothes swap party with your friends.

Can you repair or redesign your existing clothes?

Why not get creative and make something new from old? Do you have any friends who are dab hands with a sewing machine? Or search for local alterations services such as Stich Tailoring in Saint Ebbe’s or Dress Alterations in Westminster Way.

Check out local repair cafes too – we run them, and our next one has a free darning workshop.  You can also find lots of mending how-to videos on youtube with a quick search – check out Evelyn Wood’s vintage dressmaking skills channel for example  or Refashion & upcycle | Love Your Clothes.

How about hiring if it’s for a one-off event?

If you are off to a wedding or ball, why not hire your outfit for day? Who wants to be seen in the same outfit twice anyway!

For example, Walters of Oxford | Oxford’s Finest Clothier for menswear, or Ballroom Emporium Oxford | Vintage & Formalwear


If you must buy new, can you find a sustainable clothing retailer?

There is a growing movement away from fast fashion. There is a fabulous article from theconversation.com on Four clothing businesses that could lead us away from the horrors of fast fashion.

Try out sustainable retailers, for example PICO for underwear, TOMS for shoes, Rapuni for t-shirts, or Wearth London for a range of casual fashions.


Find out more

Check out  Oxfam’s Second Hand September website, or Love Your Clothes (part of the Sustainable Clothing Action Plan), for a wealth of information and ideas.

Have something waste-based you want to share with our Waste Champion? Contact her here.

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