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How to Save Money and the Environment

Want to be More Eco-Friendly? Shop Smart

When it takes 10,000 litres of water to grow enough cotton to make just one outfit, you know something is wrong. Every year, 225,000 tonnes of clothing end up in landfill in Ireland – a complete waste of water and energy. Throwaway fashion is putting increasing pressure on our planet and its people – it’s simply unsustainable. 
The Global Footprint Network reports that as of 2016, it would take roughly 3.14 Earths to support the world’s population if everyone had the consumption habits of Ireland. Considering that we don’t have 3.14 Earths to exploit, our lifestyles are unsustainable and we need to change our habits – urgently.  
Ireland need to reconsider its priorities, but so too does the fashion industry which stubbornly refuses to pick up the pace in its move to a more circular economy. Inaction only adds to our increasing landfill waste and skyrocketing carbon dioxide emissions. The truth is that we don’t have to live by the fashion industry’s rules. In the words of actress and UN Women Goodwill Ambassador Emma Watson: “As consumers, we have so much power to change the world by just being careful in what we buy.” To shake up the fashion industry and help reduce Ireland’s carbon footprint, we must come together to purchase with purpose and shop responsibly.
sustainable fashion statistics ireland

Hunting for Discounts? So Are We

Not only does second-hand shopping help reduce your carbon footprint, it also helps save your hard-earned cash. Second-hand shops are well-known for offering unbelievable deals on a wide variety of items. Most have bargains for everyone in the family – from children’s toys to men’s suits. If you’re a student on a budget, you can create your autumn style and wardrobe by grabbing the latest, heavily discounted second-hand skirts, tops, and coats. Be sure to take advantage of special deals in the shops as they won’t last long! And Oxfam shops offer an amazing collection of accessories, so any outfit can be completed in style. So, ask yourself, why shop new when you can shop pre-loved?

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5 Stunning Autumn Looks – Without Buying New

Can you really update your wardrobe for autumn using only second-hand clothes? Judging by these brilliant buys that were #FoundInOxfam, it seems the answer is YES.
With a new season on the way, it can be tempting to fill your wardrobe with a rail of brand-new clothes. But if you’d prefer to take the eco-friendlier approach this autumn, you can simply update your look with second-hand style. 
This month, #SecondHandSeptember supporter Valerie Ward (@enhancelifestyles) spiced it up with a photoshoot showing only #FoundInOxfam clothes from Oxfam, on Dublin’s George’s Street, to showcase fabulous second-hand variety and finds.
We’re loving this gorgeous top and skirt paired with the perfect small black bag, all #FoundInOxfam. Looks like model Charlotte Ward Pratt (@chxrlie.elizxbeth) is prepped and ready for a stylish autumn.
Jay O’Donoghue rocks a brown stand collar coat #FoundInOxfam – and it’s definitely put a smile on his face. Oxfam shops also stock loads of fashion-forward clothes for men, so everyone’s a winner!
Don’t be afraid to let your unique colours shine by picking up a bold colour piece, just like model Robyn Ward Pratt’s (@robyn_soneti).
Gisele agrees that you can’t beat a second-hand find like this adorable yellow trench coat that fits perfectly over any outfit. No doubt it was snapped up fast from Oxfam George's St (@oxfamgeorgesst)
An autumn outfit is never complete without on-trend ankle boots, a chunky necklace and a handy yet stylish bag, all #FoundInOxfam.

Bonus Look

Proof that graphic tees don’t need to be boring – this coat and skirt combo is a great way to add a dash of flavour to your wardrobe, while staying warm. Another fab Oxfam George's St (@oxfamgeorgesst) find.

If you’re after pre-loved style inspiration, second-hand shops always deliver – we love the wide variety of cuts, colours and patterns that were all #FoundInOxfam at @oxfamgeorgesst. Ready to explore? Start by popping into your nearest shop. 

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New Shocking Facts About the Impact of Fast Fashion on our Climate


Our planet is in serious trouble and our nation’s addiction to new clothes is doing more harm than you may think.

Half a tonne of clothing every minute is dumped into a landfill in Ireland. That amount produces over 12 tonnes of carbon emissions – the same as driving 65,000 kilometres in a car.

Buying just one white cotton shirt produces the same amount of emissions as driving 56 kilometres in a car. 

Earlier this year, 16-year-old climate activist Greta Thunberg stood up in front of world leaders at Davos to deliver a chilling wake up call. “We are facing a disaster of unspoken sufferings for enormous amounts of people.”

Greta sparked a wake-up call across the globe demanding drastic change to save our planet and in turn, ourselves. We’re all feeling the effects of the climate emergency, but it is not affecting us all equally.
The world’s poorest people have contributed the least to the climate crisis, yet are suffering the full force of its impacts – increased flooding, droughts and storms destroying lives, homes, jobs, livestock and crops.
When Greta said, “our house is on fire” she wasn’t wrong. We are seeing unprecedented wild fires spreading across the Amazon rainforest, the lungs of our planet, producing 20% of the world’s oxygen.
Greenland’s ice sheet is melting so fast it has caused global sea levels to rise 0.5mm in just one month. Our planet is in serious trouble.
But things could be different. As Greta pointed out “The main solution is so simple that even a small child can understand. We have to stop our emissions of greenhouse gases.”
Obvious actions stand out – flying less, driving less, taking more public transport. But how about buying fewer new clothes? With the global textile industry producing more greenhouse gas emissions than international aviation and shipping combined – it could be a more important change than we think.
Help raise awareness of how damaging our shopping habits can be by sharing the graphic below on your social channels.

5 Simple Hacks to Make Clothes Last Longer

Find out how to extend the life of your clothes – and reduce your eco impact – with a few simple changes to your laundry routine


An easy way to make clothes more sustainable is to wear and keep them for longer. But how can you make sure they stay in tip top condition – and last? We scoured the internet and found some super-simple ways to prolong the life of your favourite clothes just by tweaking the way you wash, dry and store them. Here are a few of our favourites.

1. Before you wash, zip

Ever unloaded your wash only to find your delicates snagged, ripped or tangled? Zips, buttons and chunky embellishments could well be to blame. Before you load the machine take a few minutes to zip up zips, button up buttons, fasten any velcro and turn your clothes inside out. That way, any hard parts are less likely to catch on other pieces of clothing or the machine drum. For added protection, wash delicates in a laundry bag – or a good, old-fashioned pillow case!

2. Don’t tumble, air dry

Tumble drying is energy-intensive, expensive and can wear out your clothes over time. Air drying, meanwhile, uses zero energy, is completely free and can even help tackle stains. Yes, some people swear that hanging whites in direct sunshine can work wonders on biological stains – dirty nappies in particular.

3. Full load it

The more you wash clothes, the more you’ll wear them out, so try and wait until they really need it. Wait until you’ve got a full load too. Just make sure you don’t cram too much in, or you risk damaging your clothes and machine, plus the load may not wash or rinse properly. Unsure what a full load looks like? According to Bosch, we’re talking about roughly ¾ of the drum.

4. Banish light, damp… and moths

Extending the life of your clothes isn’t just about how you wash and dry them – it’s about savvy storage too. As well as keeping out any light, which can fade colours faster, ensure clothes are completely dry before putting them away. Clothes-eating moths are another issue. With some evidence that numbers are rising in Ireland, it’s worth doing some prevention work. Try adding a bit of lavender before you close the wardrobe door to put off the moths.

5. Know when to fold

Currently stick everything on a hanger? If you want your clothes to last, you may want to reorganise. Those in the know say that jumpers should always be folded to keep them in good nick. If you’re pushed for space, check out the KonMari folding method. And for clothes you do hang, invest in decent hangers to avoid them becoming misshapen or snagged.
Fancy a few more last-longer tips? Our friends at Love Your Clothes have lots more advice to help keep your clothes looking great! find out more here.

Say no to new clothes, with Oxfam’s Second Hand September

  • 63% of people in Ireland agree that charity shops play a key role in sustainable fashion.
  • Charity calls on sustainable shoppers to take the 30-day Second hand September pledge

More than six in 10 Irish people (63%) see their local charity shop as playing a key role in sustainable fashion, according to new research from Oxfam Ireland.

The survey also revealed that an overwhelming amount of people (76%) donate unwanted items to charity shops because it reduces the amount of clothes being thrown away, while 62% buy pre-loved clothes and accessories because it gives items a second chance to be worn and enjoyed.

The research comes as the charity rolls out Second Hand September – a new initiative offering a solution to throwaway fashion and the devastating impact it is having on people and the planet. Throughout the month of September, Oxfam is calling on people across the island of Ireland to pledge to say no to buying new clothes for 30 days and yes to shopping second-hand. People can sign up at oxfamireland.org/shs and start their 30-day challenge at any time.

Michael McIlwaine, Oxfam Ireland’s Head of Retail, said: “Cheap production and plummeting prices when it comes to clothes means the items we buy often have a shorter lifespan, with more and more ending up in landfill before they should. In Ireland, 225 tonnes of textile are dumped every year. In the UK, 11 million items of clothing are thrown away every week. Throwaway fashion is putting increasing pressure on our planet and its people – and it’s not sustainable.

“Our shops are part of the solution by offering people a way to reduce the amount of items they’re sending to landfill through donating as well as a way to reuse by shopping second-hand and giving clothes, accessories and more a new lease of life. By donating and shopping in-store, you’re also helping to raise vital funds for people living in poverty worldwide, including those affected by climate change.

“We are asking people to join us on a journey to a more sustainable lifesyle, starting with the clothes we wear. Throughout September, we’re calling on people to pledge to say no to buying news clothes for 30 days. They can sign-up and start at any time through oxfamireland.org/shs and we’ll be with them every step of the way, sending top tips, inspiration and more to make the pledge a breeze.“

To take the pledge, visit: www.oxfamireland.org/shs


For interviews, images or more information, please get in touch:

ROI:     Alice Dawson-Lyons on 00 353 (0) 83 198 1869 / alice.dawsonlyons@oxfam.org

NI:        Phillip Graham on 0044 (0) 7841 102535 / phillip.graham@oxfamireland.org


  • The survey was commissioned by Oxfam and conducted by Empathy Research in 2019. The full methodology and research data is available on request.
  • Oxfam works across many areas of fashion: collaborating with big brands to recycle and reuse stock; joining forces with fashion houses to improve conditions in their supply chains; fighting to improve garment workers’ rights; and campaigning on climate change.
  • Across its programmes, Oxfam is tackling the impact of the climate crisis. They work with communities to prepare for unpredictable weather and disasters as a result of climate change and are there to help when the worst does happen, from drought to floods and earthquakes.
  • Oxfam has 47 shops across the island of Ireland, selling high-quality pre-loved clothes, accessories, handbags, shoes and more. To find the nearest Oxfam shop, visit www.oxfamireland.org/shops
  • Irish people dump 225,000 tonnes of clothing every year. Source: http://re-dress.ie/when-fashion-is-finished-garment-end-of-life-solutions/