London fashion world joins forces with Oxfam to make a stand against throwaway fashion

Top designers Vivienne Westwood and Henry Holland, fashion icon and singer Paloma Faith, models Lily Cole and Georgia Jagger, and actress Rachel Weisz, are among the FROW fashion pack backing Oxfam’s #SecondHandSeptember campaign as London Fashion Week kicks off today. Vivienne Westwood donated a handbag, and Henry Holland donated some shoes, all of which will raise money for Oxfam’s work fighting poverty.

Oxfam launched #SecondHandSeptember to encourage participants to say no to clothes that harm the planet and the people in it by saying yes to second-hand, as a step towards more sustainable consumption.

Paloma Faith, who also donated items from her personal collection, said: ‘So humbled to be asked to take part in #SecondHandSeptember and hoping it will extend to all manufactured items! I get bored easily and am happy to reuse and recycle everything on a conveyor belt! Peace of mind and a new wardrobe without the environmental damage is the dream!’

Vivienne Westwood added: ‘Buy less, choose well, make it last’.

Former deputy Vogue editor, Emily Sheffield, who has launched media company #ThisMuchIKnow, which helps people take positive action around the big headlines of the day, conceived an Instagram wardrobe challenge to promote #SecondHandSeptember. The initiative encourages people to clear out their wardrobes with their friends and followers on social media, donating items to resale clothing site Vestiaire Collective, with the proceeds going to Oxfam.

She and stylist Bay Garnett have looped in many celebrities, fashion editors and influencers.

Sheffield said: ‘I love fashion but the damage from the industry needs to be further reduced. That’s why we launched a wardrobe challenge, clearing out our clothes for Oxfam’s #SecondHandSeptember, and asked lots of people I know to join me. It’s time to dress more responsibly, to re-use and re-wear what we have and recycle what we no longer really want or need.’

Actress Rachel Weisz, designer Bella Freud and models Daisy Lowe and Stella Tennant, are just some of the stars that have donated items.

DJ and TV presenter Edith Bowman also joined in and donated two dresses, one which is Valentino, as did fashion stylist Grace Woodward. Storm Models, which features some of the biggest names in the business, is also donating clothing.

The carbon footprint of new clothes bought in the UK every minute is greater than driving a car around the world six times according to research by Oxfam.

Danny Sriskandarajah, Chief Executive of Oxfam GB, said: ‘We are facing a climate emergency that is already hitting the world’s poorest communities hardest. We can’t ignore the fashion industry’s enormous impact on the environment so it’s heartening to see that the London fashion world is getting behind Oxfam’s drive to encourage people to buy second-hand. We’re so grateful to former Vogue editor Emily Sheffield and the Vestiaire Collective for backing Oxfam’s campaign.

“Fashion doesn’t need to cost the earth – buying second-hand not only stops clothing from ending up in landfill, but can also be the first step on the path towards more sustainable consumption. Buying second-hand from Oxfam raises vital funds for our work fighting poverty and supporting people hit by climate change.

“There a role for brands and governments too, to end the relentless push for cheap prices, ensure workers are paid a fair wage, and to produce clothes that have less impact on the planet.’

Designer items are on sale on the Oxfam Online Shop today and on sale on the Vestiaire Collective website September 19 with proceeds going to Oxfam.

Click here to sign up to #SecondHandSeptember.

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