Oxfam campaign urges us to buy second-hand instead of ‘fast fashion’

Stella Tennant and her youngest daughter Iris, styled by Bay Garnett and photographed by Tom Craig for Oxfam's Second Hand September campaign.
Stella Tennant and her youngest daughter Iris, styled by Bay Garnett and photographed by Tom Craig for Oxfam's Second Hand September campaign.

Scottish supermodel Stella Tennant and her teenage daughter Iris (14) have been modelling Oxfam clothes to protest against the harm fast fashion does to people and the planet.

The mother and daughter are supporting Oxfam’s #SecondHandSeptember campaign which asks the nation to pledge to buy second-hand fashion instead of new for 30 days.

Stella Tennant and her youngest daughter Iris, styled by Bay Garnett and photographed by Tom Craig for Oxfam's Second Hand September campaign.

Stella Tennant and her youngest daughter Iris, styled by Bay Garnett and photographed by Tom Craig for Oxfam's Second Hand September campaign.

All the clothes modelled by Stella and Iris were from the Oxfam Online Shop.

The textile industry produces more greenhouse gas emissions than the shipping and aviation industries combined. To keep prices low, throwaway fashion is made by garment workers often from the world’s poorest communities, and paid below the living wage.

Stella said: “I’ve worked in the fashion industry for 25 years and it’s clear to me that nowadays we all have to think a lot harder about how we consume. The fast fashion industry is unsustainable, but we can slow it down by buying more second-hand clothes.

“I love Oxfam because it does two things at once – it gives clothes a new life and it helps the poorest people in the world.

Stella Tennant and her youngest daughter Iris, styled by Bay Garnett and photographed by Tom Craig for Oxfam's Second Hand September campaign.

Stella Tennant and her youngest daughter Iris, styled by Bay Garnett and photographed by Tom Craig for Oxfam's Second Hand September campaign.

“There is so much potential and fun to be had by shopping in a charity shop. And £10 you spend on a dress in Oxfam could buy clean water for 10 people. It’s a win-win situation all round.”

The climate emergency concerns Iris, who turns 15 this month and has pledged to go shopping with her mum for second-hand birthday presents rather than new.

Iris said: “My birthday is in Second Hand September and I’m going shopping in second-hand clothes shops because you can find some really nice stuff.

“My generation often wants the newest, latest things. But that causes problems for people in other countries and the planet.

“What’s good about shopping in charity shops is you know the clothes are not making climate change worse. I’m also going to go through my drawers and give anything I don’t want to charity.”

Each week, 11 million garments end up in landfill in the UK.

But Oxfam’s unique recycling centre, Wastesaver in West Yorkshire, ensures none of the textiles donated to Oxfam end up in landfill as they are resold or recycled to generate income for Oxfam’s work to end poverty and injustice around the world.

Oxfam’s sustainable fashion expert Fee Gilfeather said: “Oxfam fashion is for every age, and extra special since it raises money to fight poverty around the world.

“The harm throwaway fashion is doing to our planet and people is a worry for us all. But it’s especially alarming for the young generation who will increasingly suffer the effects of the climate crisis, and the world’s poorest communities whose lives are already being devastated by extreme and unpredictable weather.

“We need to rethink the way we consume now. Oxfam fashion is a solution as it slows the relentless consumer cycle by giving garments a second chance to be sold.

“Everyone taking part in Second Hand September is saying they don’t always need new stuff to look and feel good. And they don’t want garment workers to be paid poverty wages to produce fast fashion that often ends up in landfill.”

For anyone still thinking twice about choosing to shop for second-hand, Iris added: “When I’m in a changing room putting on something new, I know plenty of other people have tried it on before me.

“The main difference is that when you walk into a charity shop there is normally something for everyone. It’s not one person’s look and style.”

To find out more about Oxfam’s Second Hand September campaign and pledge to buy second-hand fashion, go to #SecondHandSeptember