Rising star fashion designer, Harris Reed creates spectacular catwalk looks from Oxfam clothes

Fashion’s rising star, designer Harris Reed, demonstrated his commitment to second-hand shopping and sustainability in spectacular fashion. All 10 catwalk looks at Found, his London Fashion Week show at the Serpentine Pavilion, were created using clothes donated to Oxfam.

Harris, who is committed to minimising waste by repurposing fabric in his creations, has dressed some of the world’s leading celebrities, including Iman at the recent Met Gala in New York, Rihanna and Harry Styles.

Inspiration for the show’s designs came from a spectrum of sources, including the Oxfam Kingston Riverside wedding boutique and the Oxfam Online Shop, which he said became a go-to destination during lockdown.

Harris said “Being able to shop from the comfort of your own home, the Oxfam Online Shop became my salvation during the pandemic.”

The collaboration with Oxfam comes during the charity’s Second Hand September campaign which fights the harmful environmental effects of fast fashion and celebrates shopping for pre-loved clothes.

Fast fashion damages the planet. UK consumers send 13 million items of clothing to landfill each week, and the textile industry accounts for more than 10 per cent of emissions, which exceeds aviation and shipping combined. And it harms people because typically garment workers are paid a pittance and remain in poverty, no matter how hard they work.

Oxfam’s #SecondHandSeptember is part of the solution. It asks the public to only buy second-hand for the month and donate their pre-loved items to Oxfam. Each year, more than 14,000 tonnes of clothing (47 million items) are diverted from landfill by being donated to, and recycled by, the charity.

To create his ground-breaking catwalk looks, Harris purchased a selection of garments from the Oxfam Kingston Riverside wedding boutique. The haul included pre-loved wedding gowns, morning suits and veils.

The items were then reimagined and given new life by Harris, who produced stunning black and white looks that wowed the show’s audience with their originality and drama.

Jan Harmsworth, the Oxfam boutique’s manager said: “We were so excited to have Harris in our shop. He’s such a forward-thinking, inspirational designer making non-binary fashion without barriers. We have lots of fashion students here in Kingston who buy our clothes, give them new life by deconstructing and then recreating them into something completely individual. Oxfam fashion is for everyone.”

Like all the money raised from Oxfam fashion, the clothes Harris purchased help fight poverty around the world. Approximately £29 million is raised each year from selling clothes in Oxfam shops. The profit raised from this is enough to provide clean water for more than 2 million people during a drought.

Lorna Fallon, Oxfam’s Trading Director said: “Oxfam is thrilled to be working with Harris Reed, who shows it’s possible to transform second-hand wedding attire into haute couture gracing the runway. This month, we are asking people to only shop second-hand as part of our Second Hand September campaign to raise awareness about the harmful effects fast fashion – clothes that are produced in high volume and at relatively low cost to the consumer – has on the planet.

“Upcycling is a brilliant way to breathe new life into clothes and tailor what you find in a charity shop to your tastes. This way we can help protect our planet by giving clothes a longer life, while raising money to help people around the world beat poverty.”

Harris is donating one of the looks from Found to Oxfam, where it will be on display and on sale to the public at the Selfridges x Bay Garnett Oxfam pop up shop on the London store’s third floor.

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