Oxfam tackles fast-fashion in new campaign

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A new study commissioned by Oxfam revealed that more than two tonnes of clothing is bought per minute in the UK. Oxfam's Second Hand September campaign urges consumers to refrain from buying new clothes for the month as study results r
Oxfam's Second Hand September campaign aims to raise awareness on the danger of fast fashion.
// Oxfam study results reveal the environmental impact of fast-fashion on the planet
// Oxfam’s Second Hand September campaign aims to reduce the amount of clothing bought

Oxfam has launched a new campaign after a study it commissioned revealed that more than two tonnes of clothing is bought per minute in the UK.

The charity group’s Second Hand September campaign urges consumers to refrain from buying new clothes for the month as the study results reveal the negative impact of the UK’s fast fashion sector on the environment.

Coinciding with London Fashion week starting September 13, Oxfam also urges consumers to only buy from charity shops.

The results of its study showed that the UK’s fast fashion sector is not only creating a waste problem, but also contributing to climate change with its large carbon footprint.

This is because of the distances clothing travels, from the cotton field in the US to warehouses in Bangladesh before being shipped to store in Europe.

“These staggering facts about fashion’s impact on the planet and the world’s poorest people should make us all think twice before buying something new to wear,” Oxfam chief executive Danny Sriskandarajah said.

Despite the figures, almost half of consumers remain unaware of fast fashion’s global impact according to a study of 1000 British adults.

“We are in a climate emergency – we can no longer turn a blind eye to the emissions produced by new clothes or turn our backs on garment workers paid a pittance who are unable to earn their way out of poverty no matter how many hours they work,” Sriskandarajah said.

According to Oxfam, if everyone in the UK took part in Second Hand September the country would save the same amount of emissions as flying a plane around the world 900 times.

“As consumers, it’s in our power to make a real difference,” Sriskandarajah said.

“Buying second-hand clothes helps to slow the ferocious fast fashion cycle, giving garments a second lease of life.

“By taking part in Oxfam’s Second Hand September, we are also sending a clear message to the clothing industry that we don’t want to buy clothes that harm our planet and the people in it.”

Previous research estimated that in the UK over a million tonnes of clothing was purchased in 2016 – a rise from 200,000 tonnes in 2012.

The survey also found that although 30 per cent of shoppers are shocked about the damage levels of fast fashion they are unlikely to make any change.

Additionally, 10 per cent admitted they were “not bothered” about the environmental impact their shopping has.