Cross-party MPs and Peers took part in Oxfam’s Second-Hand September campaign calling for people to buy second hand clothes for the month of September and raise awareness about the ‘harmful effects fast fashion’ – clothes that are produced in high volume and at relatively low cost to the consumer – have on the planet.
The campaign comes ahead of the UN climate summit COP26, which will be held in Glasgow in November, and is a vital opportunity for global leaders to take decisive action to tackle the climate emergency.
Oxfam is also calling for people to donate their second-hand clothes to Oxfam. Buying and donating second hand clothes with Oxfam gives them a longer life and helps to slow down fast fashion, the charity says.
More than 14,000 tonnes of clothing are diverted from landfill each year through being donated to Oxfam.
As we emerge from the pandemic and return to our high streets, this is a timely reminder that by buying from charity shops or donating our garments, we can all make our clothes last longer
Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Minister Rebecca Pow MP said: “I’m delighted to support Second Hand September – a wonderful campaign which helps us to understand how we can each do our bit to tackle fast fashion.
“As we emerge from the pandemic and return to our high streets, this is a timely reminder that by buying from charity shops or donating our garments, we can all make our clothes last longer.
“We want to see a more sustainable fashion industry, which is why we support the sector’s bold commitment to halve its carbon footprint within 10 years. But there is more to do, and through powers in our world-leading Environment Bill, we will take strong action by incentivising recycling and encouraging innovation in new design.”
Minister Victoria Prentis MP commented: “It’s brilliant to see such support for Second Hand September this year, a campaign I have enjoyed supporting for the past few years. I hope that this inspires people to shop second hand not only in September but throughout the year.
“Demand for the textile industry accounts for approximately 10% of global greenhouse gas emissions and as hosts of the upcoming COP26 conference, I am thrilled that UK Parliamentarians are leading in promoting sustainable fashion”.
Consumers send 13 million items of clothing a week to landfill, and the textile industry accounts for up to 10 percent of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions – more than international aviation and shipping combined.
Danny Sriskandarajah, Chief Executive of Oxfam GB, said: “The climate crisis is already wreaking havoc on people’s lives with extreme weather events that are destroying homes and harvests.”
“Choosing second-hand is one way we can leave a lighter footprint on the planet while sending a message to retailers that we want them to slow down fashion. By shopping at Oxfam, you’re also raising money to help some of the world’s poorest people cope with the impacts of climate change.
“Scientists warn we have just nine years to prevent catastrophic global temperature rises so all of us – governments, companies and individuals – have a role to play in rapidly reducing carbon emissions.”
Approximately £29m is raised each year from selling clothing in Oxfam shops. The profit raised from this is enough to provide clean water for more than two million people during a drought.