One of the easiest things you can do to support #Secondhandfirst Week; whether you live in London or Lagos, is to sign our online #Secondhandfirst Pledge. It may be an easy action to carry out, but this is no ‘clicktivism’. By committing to source a percentage of your wardrobe second-hand (whether from charity shops, borrowing, swapping, up-cycling, vintage), you are making an immediate and practical change to adopt a more sustainable way of living.
You could source 10% second-hand, or 90%. How you choose to re-balance your wardrobe to buy less new is completely up to you and should be as realistic as possible. Once you have spent a year sourcing more of your clothes second-hand, you may find you want to increase your pledge. Either way, we guarantee that adding to your wardrobe will be a more rewarding and interesting experience than buying only from identikit rails on the high street. Plus, some of your clothes will probably come from charity shops too which of course brings added social benefits, a fantastic by-product of your purchase.
The pledge also encourages people to simply stop and think about their clothes and where they get them from. Many of us also wear second-hand without even realising – clothes borrowed from our family and friends, or heirlooms passed on through the generations. A decision to wear more second-hand is also the beginning of a re-evaluation of what our clothes really mean to us as we focus more on a garment’s history and provenance, as opposed to just its brand and price. Tonight, author and design activist Professor Kate Fletcher will develop these ideas further in what promises to be a fascinating talk on ‘The Craft of Use’ at TRAID Shepherd’s Bush.
This is more than a week: #Secondhandfirst is a way of living. And we think it’s essential. Over-consumption is having a seriously negative environmental impact on the planet, while exploitative labour and unsafe working conditions are commonplace in our supply chains. For the future of our planet, this insatiable demand on rapidly diminishing resources like land and water simply cannot continue. Making a decision to limit the resources we use, and valuing more of what we have, is a way to do this. At the same time, the benefits of dramatically increasing our use of second-hand goods also includes a social and cultural dimension that has the potential to transform us from individual consumers into collective citizens, that connects us with communities and people rather than material objects, and that loosens the grip of advertising and corporations on shaping our style and identity.
Sounds good? Join us by taking TRAID’s #Secondhandfirst Pledge.