'Pre-loved is not something to be ashamed of' Oxfam launches 'Second Hand September' campaign

  • WATCH: ITV Meridian's report by Charlotte Wilkins

A woman from Hove who's worn second hand clothes throughout her life is now urging other people to do the same.

Lesley Wright who works as a volunteer at her local Oxfam charity shop has had a lifelong love affair with second-hand clothes.

The charity has now launched its Second Hand September campaign, and wants people to not only buy secondhand but donate items too, during the whole month.

Lesley said: "I first fell in love with second-hand through necessity, when my mum was a single mum and I had to wear second-hand clothes.

"Then came the 80's with the onset of punk. Second-hand clothes were fab, you could remake them, remodel them and I’ve just loved them ever since.

"I remember when I was little there was stigma attached to wearing ‘hand-me-downs’ and not having the right trainers, or the latest designer clothes. Although I was never teased or felt embarrassed myself, I know many other children who were. 

Lesley also volunteers at Oxfam's stalls held at festivals.

"Now though, I am delighted to see the tide has turned and shopping pre-loved is not something to be ashamed of, quite the opposite - it comes with a badge of honour.

"At some point over the past few decades ‘second-hand’ has undergone a re-brand and now shopping ‘vintage’ and ‘pre-loved’ has become cool, and about time too I say."

Now, 99% of the outfits Lesley buys are pre-loved and she’s encouraging others to do the same as part of Oxfam’s Second Hand September campaign.

She added: "Since 2019 we’ve been trying to do Second-Hand September to encourage people not only to buy second-hand but to donate unwanted goods, so they can be reused again and just be loved more than ever."

Charity shops began as early as the 19th century as a way of helping low-income families to buy clothes, but nowadays people from all walks of life shop second-hand for a variety of reasons.

Lesley added: "I think the appeal for everyone now, quite rightly is the climate - climate emergency.

"The fashion industry is responsible for around 10% of carbon emissions."

Lesley now volunteers at her local Oxfam shop where she’s always discovering new treasures.

Oxfam’s campaign runs til throughout September

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