secondhand September challenge

Have you heard about the ‘Second Hand September’ movement?

The ‘Second hand September‘ challenge encourages you to rethink buying new and try to find what you need pre-loved when possible. This resource you need may already exist and is awaiting someone like you to help keep it in use.

Participate in the circular economy and do your part to help transform waste into a resource!

Make the pledge to be a secondhand seeker this month and join the Second Hand September 2023 movement. 

Started by Oxfam in the UK, Second Hand September is a 30-day campaign to halt fast fashion, stop buying new clothes and pass along donations of unwanted items.

An article in the New York Times defined fast fashion as “inexpensive, cheaply made clothing rapidly produced by mass-market retailers in response to the latest and most popular trends. Fast fashion is literally designed to fall apart and is a large contributor to throwaway culture and overconsumption.”


The apparel industry’s global emissions output is predicted to increase by 49% by 2030 if nothing changes.

Why is this scary?

This fashion industry is the second highest user of water worldwide, producing 20% of total global water waste.

The fashion and apparel industry is responsible for approximately one third of all microplastics found in the ocean.

Clothing production produces more emissions than international plane travel and shipping combined.

Choosing Second hand First

Intersectional Note: It is important to consider some of the limitations of relying only on visiting a secondhand store. Visiting a thrift store requires time, does not ensure item availability or sizing for all, and there may be physical barriers to thrift shopping in person. 

We MUST take a stand against senseless waste and we encourage you to take it even further with the suggestions below!

secondhand September

depop: Community-Powered Circular Fashion

Depop is a peer-to-peer online marketplace platform. More than that, it is a community for largely secondhand, repurposed and reinvented fashion. 

Depop are leaders in actively promoting a fashion ecosystem that is kinder to both people and the planet we call home. There are over 30+ million people part of this community helping to extend the life of items that already exist by selling them to another user. 

You can read more about their Impact Goals for 2023 and beyond here


How to take the Second Hand September challenge even further

Random Acts of Green challenges you to widen the scope.

Take the Second Hand September challenge even further and look for other ways you can make the most out of materials that already exist. 

Here are some examples:

  • Renting – borrow the items you need from a library, service or peer-to-peer network. 
  • Upcycle – transform a material you already have into the item you are looking for.
  • Swap – host or attend a clothing swap to help redistribute items locally.
  • Recycled Materials –  take a closer look at the materials used in manufacture of items you need and support makers that create using second hand materials. Not all items themselves can be bought second hand but perhaps those products can be consciously created using repurposed materials. 
  • Borrow – for items that you need for a limited time, ask people in your networks if they can lend you what you need.
  • Repair – try to mend what you have or have it altered or fixed by someone who can.
  • Consume less – simply buy only what you need and nothing more. 

Second Hand September Ideas

Engage your team with our Secondhand September Employee Engagement Guide.  Educate your team on this global issue and learn actions you can take together to combat it. Get our guide now for free!

Secondhand September Challenge Engagement Guide

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Second hand meaning


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