Say yes to pre-loved with Oxfam’s Second Hand September challenge

Say yes to pre-loved with Oxfam’s Second Hand September challenge

  • Globally: 95 percent of textile waste each year could be reused or recycled  

  • Locally: Three in four Irish people donate unwanted items because it reduces textile waste 

More than three in four Irish people (76 percent) donate unwanted items to charity shops because it reduces the amount of clothes being binned, according to research carried out by Oxfam Ireland. With 13 million tonnes of textile waste produced globally each year - 95 percent of which can be reused or recycled – this statistic indicates a positive Irish response to a situation that is increasingly harming our planet.

225,000 tonnes of textiles are dumped in Ireland each year – some of which can take up to 200 years to decompose. Landfills are being fuelled by a global culture of throwaway fashion that is recognised as one of the biggest polluters in the world today, while also using up vast amounts of water in production processes; a vital and lifesaving natural resource denied to so many people.

Oxfam Ireland is proud to be a solution to throwaway fashion through its network of 42 shops across the island of Ireland, which accept and sell pre-loved clothes, shoes, accessories, handbags and more, diverting them from landfill. 

Today, Oxfam is asking people to join them through Second Hand September – a challenge to say yes to shopping second hand for the month of September. The aid agency, which supports communities across the world impacted by the climate crisis, is encouraging people to take on the personal challenge for 30 days and discover the joys of pre-loved shopping. 

Michael McIlwaine, Oxfam Ireland’s Head of Retail, said: “Cheap production and plummeting prices means the clothes we buy often have a short lifespan, with more and more ending up in landfill sooner than they should. Our shops play a part by offering people a way to reduce the amount of items in Irish landfills as well as a way to reuse and extend the lifecycle of clothes and other items. 

“By donating and shopping in-store, the Irish public are not just protecting our environment, but are also supporting some of the most vulnerable communities worldwide, including those adversely affected by the climate crisis. People may not realise how much value and power their pre-loved donations and purchases hold. Every garment or item donated to, or bought in Oxfam raises vital funds to fight inequality and support our global mission to beat poverty.

“Throughout September, we’re calling on people to say yes to second hand for 30 days. Our shop teams are ready to help people start, or indeed continue, their journey to a more sustainable lifestyle, starting with the clothes they buy. People can find out where their nearest Oxfam shop is, as well as lots of second hand shopping tips and inspiration throughout the month by visiting our website –“ 

To learn more about Oxfam’s Second Hand September challenge, visit:



Caroline Reid | | +353 (0) 87 912 3165

Alice Dawson-Lyons | | +353 (0) 83 198 1869 


  • Spokespeople are available for interview and graphics and images are available on request
  • The research 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 42 shops across the island of Ireland. To find the nearest Oxfam shop, visit 
  • 95 percent of global textile waste could be reused or recycled each year. Source:
  • Irish people dump 225,000 tonnes of clothing every year. Source:
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