Aug 17

Second Hand September: The Whering Way

by Florenne Earle Ledger

Slow fashion gurlies rise, Second Hand September is here! With it being a few years since second hand September became properly established, we’re here to tell you how to get involved, minus the greenwashing.

Second Hand September is more than just buying second hand clothes for a month. It’s an opportunity to properly change your consumption habits, for good.

We’ve made a quick fire list of how to be better and do better this September:

How to be more sustainable this second hand September

Those are some fail safe ways to be more sustainable this September, allow us to explain more. There are some hard facts in this article that some of us don’t want to confront, but there’s no time like the present, hey?

Get to know your wardrobe

Ironically, there’s a lot of emphasis during Second Hand September about accumulating more clothes. The idea that ‘just because something is second hand we don’t need to worry about how much of it we’re consuming’ is damaging.

Sustainable clothing doesn’t have to be second hand, sometimes it can be something we already own (even old fast fashion items). Conveniently, digitising your wardrobe on Whering helps you see and style everything you own, so you can utilise every piece in your wardrobe and get a newness fix from items you love (that you low key forgot you owned), so you don’t have to buy more clothes.

When you digitise your wardrobe and track your outfits on Whering, we provide personalised wardrobe stats to help you along your sustainable fashion journey. See a breakdown of your favourite colours and styles, your most and least worn items and your total % of wear across your wardrobe.

Once you know your style inside and out, buying clothes you love to last a lifetime is easier - that’s the key to truly sustainable shopping.

Before running to Depop...

Before second hand September convinces you to do a huge Depop haul, have a think about other ways you could expand your wardrobe.

If there’s a specific style you want to try or a dress you need for a wedding/party, why not borrow from a friend or rent online. There are plenty of ways to wear something new without having to actually buy it.

Making a snap decision to buy a piece of clothing without thinking if you really need it or if you will actually wear it is never sustainable, whether it’s with second hand or not. Obviously buying from Shein is far worse than buying from a charity shop- but we’re just saying any consumption of clothing for the sake of it is never a good idea.

Refer back to your inspiration

We know it’s not always realistic to love every single item you own, sometimes clothes for work or the gym aren’t the most exciting. But when it comes to what we wear on a day to day basis, we believe thinking purchases through and ensuring you really love it, is one of the most sustainable ways to shop.

That’s why we added a wishlist feature to Whering, so you can store everything you want to buy alongside everything you already own. Whether you see something you like the look of on our marketplace or online, add it to your Whering wishlist and mull it over before purchasing. If you’re feeling strong-willed, why not set yourself a hard timeline- everything has to live in my Wishlist for at least a month before I buy it. And if it happens to sell out in that time, all the more reason to scavenge a secondhand option.

Go the extra mile and add it to your wardrobe to see how you’d actually style it before buying. If after a while you’re still certain it’s a yes, make that purchase with confidence.

It’s not only a wishlist that can be a useful way to store clothes you love. A moodboard is also a great way to accumulate looks and items you love. Create a moodboard on Whering and refer back to it in the canvas when creating outfits. With your inspiration and wardrobe in the same place, you can create an outfit you truly love.

Who said it only has to last 30 days?

It’s giving ‘a dog is for life not just for Christmas’, but the second hand September mindset doesn’t have to only last 30 days. Use this month as a starting point to truly change how you shop. Instead of doom scrolling ASOS, start questioning why you even do it in the first place? Why have we been told that consumption is the key to solving our problems, when our governments haven’t stepped up and solved them for us? (maybe we wouldn’t shop to fill a space of impending doom if something was being done to aid the climate crisis).

Use this month as a time to educate yourself and those around you on why shopping sustainably needs to be a lifelong mindset, not a fleeting thought. There are a few books we suggest reading if you want to know more about how fast fashion impacts our planet and the lives of garment workers:

  • It’s Not That Radical by Mikaela Loach
  • The World is on Fire but We’re Still Buying Shoes by Alex Leach
  • Consumed: The need for collective change; colonialism, climate change & consumerism by Aja Barber
  • There is no Planet B by Mike Berners Lee

Buy them anywhere but Amazon. Happy reading!

That’s how we’re getting involved with second hand September this year, tell us how you will be on our socials @Whering__ on Twitter and Instagram.

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