29 August - 4 September, 2021
Oxfam Second Hand September is here for another year!
This movement encourages us to pledge for the month of September (and hopefully longer) to choose to shop second hand and to donate our pre-loved items, giving clothing a longer lease at life. In doing so, we are reducing our waste, stopping clothing from ending up in landfill, while also supporting charities and communities through our reinvestment.
Personalise your #SecondHandSeptember
If you are like me, buying no new clothes for a month, or no clothes at all for that matter, may not be that challenging. So I feel there is no harm in personalising our "pledge", and utilising the month of September for reflection on our consumption habits. In doing so, we may be able to implement simple, feasible adjustments and swaps that are more ethical and sustainable, and that can be carried beyond the month of September.
So what I am 'pledging' this September?
Firstly, I am going to focus on shopping (and outfitting) my own wardrobe. If I do identify any gaps then I will look to my second hand options first. Secondly, I want to use this month to dig a little deeper, and continue educating myself about the second hand clothing market.
If you haven’t checked out last week's Weekly Wrap - 4 then please consider doing so. Not only will the recommended reading and watching links open your eyes to another side of the second hand market, but they may just have you reflecting on your donation habits.
Are you taking the pledge this September? Maybe you too are making some adjustments to make it work for you.
Take a look
This week was the second annual Ethical Clothing Australia Week (28 Aug - 4 Sept). The week serves to recognise and celebrate local, and ethical, textile, clothing and footwear (TCF) manufacturing in Australia.
The organisation behind it, Ethical Clothing Australia (ECA), is an accreditation body working to protect the rights of local Australian garment workers (including homeworkers). ECA audits the entire supply chain from design to dispatch. This process ensures that local workplace laws are adhered to, with workers being paid appropriately, receiving the correct entitlements, while working in safe environment. ECA's accreditation labelling system also allows consumers to identify and subsequently support ethically made Australian products.
With 146 businesses accredited there are plenty of ethical options for Aussie's to choose from.
Whether you live in Australia or not, I recommend taking a look at ECA, as it is organisations like this that are going a long way in creating a more transparent and ethical industry.
Take a read
‘Brands are feeling more patriotic’: is Australian-made fashion back in style? is a really interesting read from Melissa Singer featured in The Age this week. The article details the current state of the Australian fashion industry and a possible resurgence of local manufacturing.
While the majority of Australian clothing (more than 95 per cent in 2018-19) is still manufactured offshore, it seems there may be signs of a shift back in the direction of more locally made. The article describes how significant events within Australia (e.g. the pandemic and the '19-'20 bushfires) have impacted consumer behaviour, reigniting a passion for supporting local businesses and Australian made clothes. It also highlights a number of economic, political, ethical, and consumer-driven reasons that may be fuelling this resurgence of Australian manufacturing.
But will it last?
Remember: I think it is important to keep in mind that local doesn't necessarily indicate ethical. Sadly, countries like Australia are not exempt from things like exploitation or unfair wages, which is why it is important to look out for accreditations like ECA.
Extinction Rebellion have certainly been active over the past couple of weeks as they engage in a wave of protests across the city of London to raise awareness of the importance of the fight against climate change.
The environmental activism group are also very active in sharing their viewpoint on the fashion industry's social and ecological impact. Their recent article What is wrong with the fashion industry and how can we fix it? provides a glimpse of the human, psychological, and environmental cost of fast fashion, and its contribution to climate change, biodiversity loss, and impact on communities. They also offer some great tips on how us as consumers, and citizens, can create change and live out out values.
Please GET IN TOUCH or leave me a comment. I would love to know what you have been reading, listening or watching this week.