Blog

Ethical winter goodies - Oxfam Ireland team up with Save The Duck

Save The Duck 100 percent animal free jackets available in select Oxfam shops

We have all felt the slight chill creep in over the last few weeks.

As we dust off our autumn wear to brace for the changing weather, we are delighted to announce the launch of a new collaboration with Save The Duck, manufacturers of outdoor wear - which will see a colourful range of high-quality 100 percent animal free jackets available in select Oxfam shops from today (Monday, 5th October 2020).

Save The Duck jackets are unique to the Irish market and will be retailing at 60 percent off, yes you heard that right, 60 percent off the recommended retail price! The new range of jackets will be of particular interest to shoppers concerned with environmental and sustainability issues, planet lovers, fashion lovers and outdoorsy adventurers alike.

Save The Duck pride themselves on luxury as ‘a matter of quality of life and connection to the beauty of nature’. The company even set a world record by being the first entirely animal free clothing to ascend Everest in the history of mountaineering. They also became the first fashion brand in Italy to obtain B Corp certification meaning they put social and environmental impact objectives on par with economic-financial ones.

At Save The Duck we take care of the environment and all its inhabitants, promoting a transparent business model that manages natural resources responsibly.

So obviously, we are delighted to bring them to you, our loyal customers, at a fantastic price. Under our 4 Good Sustainable Business model, the collaboration was a natural fit as we both aim to protect our planet and its people, and both believe in transparent business models and the responsible management of natural resources in production processes.

By working with retail businesses like Save The Duck, our network of shops play a part in diverting textiles and other goods from landfill or incineration, and in doing so collaborations like this transform would-be greenhouse gas emissions into vital funds that support communities affected by the climate crisis worldwide.

In addition, by donating end-of-line or excess stock to our retail network, retailers and retail manufacturers extend the life of their products, lower their waste and therefore their carbon footprint by reducing pollutants that end up in our soil, water and air.

The Save The Duck jackets are available from today in select Oxfam shops. To avoid disappointment and bag your unique, ethical winter bargain - that’s ‘Good 4 You, Good 4 the Planet’ – drop in today!

The Save the Duck range will be available in the following Oxfam shops:

Belfast, Northern Ireland: Botanic Avenue; Castle Court; Fountain Street.

Republic of Ireland: Cooks Street, Cork; Dun Laoghaire, Dublin; Galway; Georges Street, Dublin; Malahide, Dublin; Limerick; Rathmines, Dublin; Kilkenny

If you are a retail business or company who wants to learn more about Oxfam Ireland’s 4 Good Sustainable Business initiative or are interested in becoming a Business Leader in Sustainability contact elaine.white@oxfam.org.

Posted In:

Hearts have broken many times over Beirut but never like this

Communities, young and old, started sweeping the streets, and cleaning up the wreckage caused by the explosion in Beirut.

by Mayssam Zaaroura

For as long as I can remember, Beirut has occupied a part of my heart in a way like no other place on earth. On 4 August, that part shattered into a million tiny shards along with the explosion that levelled the port city. Sharp and painful, I bled as if with a million tiny cuts.

Countless Lebanese networks came alive in shock and horror with those of us trying to understand what happened as we searched frantically for family and friends thousands of kilometres away.

During this time, many of us kept sharing a common phrase – our hearts have broken many times over Beirut but never like this.

Explaining my love of Beirut is equal parts tricky and hard. Since leaving the city, I have spent my life thinking of how and when to return. I was born in Lebanon, left like millions of families, and couldn’t wait to return for a stretch of unforgettable and formative years.

My time there was long enough for me to live a full and rich career as a journalist and end it.

Long enough to find my little streets, shops, and cafes in Gemmayzeh that are now destroyed.

Long enough to build countless traditions with family, friends, and memories with my mom, like finding a hidden gem named Mayrig that served Armenian food. It is also now gone.

Long enough to fall in love, have my heart broken, and then healed.

Long enough to forge lifelong friendships.

Long enough to breathe in the Mediterranean Sea air and have it flow through my veins.

Long enough to live through a war, develop post-traumatic stress disorder, risk my life chasing stories while street bombs were being secretly set for Beirut’s activists and prominent voices, get broken down with anger and long enough to realise I had to leave.

And yet, it turns out it wasn’t long enough.

Lebanon is one of the few countries in the world where the number of diaspora Lebanese outnumber those living there. People of Lebanese origin – whether born there, of Lebanese ancestry, or even those with a tenuous link to the country and more specifically to Beirut – experience an inexplicable link to this country that transcends logic.

In a strange way, Beirut is etched into our psyche in a way that is mythical, magical, and almost whimsical. We all dream of returning one day, but it takes a certain kind of stamina and resilience to make it in Beirut. That’s what the city’s bones are made of – steel, stone and resilience.

Image: The author working as a journalist covering the 2006 war with Israel in which the south of Lebanon and the southern suburbs of Beirut were levelled. Photo: Shawn Jackson

Edward Said, a Palestinian writer, once wrote of Beirut:

“These incomprehensibly brave people are too stubborn, too unwilling to start lives over again, too anchored in the city to leave… their mere survival, in ways we can neither trace nor reconstruct, seems miraculous.”

The magnitude of what has happened is hard to fathom. Not just the size and sheer force of the explosion. It’s also the longer-term impact on a country already struggling with the weight of a broken economy, severe inequalities and the COVID-19 pandemic that had already stretched the country’s resources and health systems to non-existent.

And yet, despite the struggles, the love for this city is something passed down from generation to generation. Whether it’s mornings listening with family to Fairouz and Majida el-Roumi waxing lyrical about the city, or the zaatar and labneh that we were fed throughout childhood, or the endless search for that smell of jasmine that just wafts over your shoulder when you least expect it. It’s rooted in you.

If heart tissue were made of memories, the strongest ones you would find holding it together are the ones that shimmer with memories of Beiruti gold.

Not the first time Beirut has been destroyed. The author as she covered the 2006 war with Israel in which the south of Lebanon and the southern suburbs of Beirut were levelled. Photo: Shawn Jackson

It is as he sat in refuge, in this sanctuary city, that the Palestinian poet, Mahmoud Darwish wrote his book Memory for Forgetfulness: August, Beirut 1982. As he desperately sipped his Beiruti coffee, and listened to the sounds of a city under siege, he wrote, “…we have nothing to lose, so long as Beirut is here and we’re here in Beirut.”

The richness of Beirut is seeded in its history. Revolutions have started in Beirut and feminists like May Ziadeh, Layla Baalbaki, and Laure Moghaizel have forged incredible gains for Arab women, lost them, kept pushing for more, and paved the way for women like my formidably feminist mother, and for me to continue the fight.

I spent year after year as a young girl, surrounded by my mother and aunts, listening to the same stories of how they travelled across the country, in the dead of night, during a brutal civil war, to deliver important strategic documents to fighters in the north. Those are the roots of my career fighting for women’s rights. It is where I forged my beliefs that women are not victims without agency, but strong, brave and heroic in times of greatest need.

I have no doubt that the women of Beirut – the nurses, the doctors, the firefighters, the soldiers, the mothers – will yet again rebuild this city and fight for justice for those who have suffered in this tragedy.

But that fight can sometimes be complicated. Despite being born in Lebanon to a Lebanese mother, I am of Palestinian origin, which makes me ineligible for citizenship. This is an injustice that Lebanese activists and organisations have been fighting for decades – the right for mothers to pass on their citizenship to their children. And yet to date, it’s something I am not able to pass on to my son.

Nevertheless, to me, like many, that piece of paper matters little. In my heart, I will always be Lebanese no matter what passports I hold. My son will always be a descendant of strong, proud, Phoenicians. And someday, I imagine, he will hold the same strident love for Beirut that I do.

He will visit his ancestors, listen to Fairouz sing her love for the city, eat zaatar and labneh and continue the endless search for that elusive scent of jasmine. He will walk through streets rebuilt for the hundredth time.

For they will be rebuilt. Make no mistake. Each time with more grandeur, and even more steel and resilience.

Because Lebanon, after all, is home to some of the oldest cities in the world and if there is another thing that the Lebanese are known for – apart from their stubborn spirit – is their endless love for their Beirut.

Mayssam Zaaroura was a former journalist in Lebanon and now is Oxfam Canada’s Women’s Rights Knowledge Specialist for Ending Violence Against Women and Girls (VAWG).

Posted In:

Get your wardrobe winter-ready

Five easy steps to clear the clutter

We can safely say that summer is over for another year. And if you want to get your wardrobe winter-ready, you could start by taking a cold, hard look at all of that clutter.

Our wardrobes are so often packed with clothes that it’s almost impossible to see what’s even in them.

From the jeans you’ll definitely wear as soon as you’ve lost a few pounds, to that ill-fitting dress you panic-bought for a Christmas party, our closets and drawers are full of clothes that will never see the light of day.

So, when your wardrobe has reached breaking point, there’s only one thing to do – declutter!

Top tip: Keep categories of clothing in your wardrobe together so they are easier to see

Five easy steps to clear the clutter

  1. First, take everything – and we mean EVERYTHING – out of your wardrobe and drawers.
  2. Separate the items you need and/or love from everything else. (Top tip: If you haven’t worn an item for a year or more, it might be time to say goodbye. Clothes for special occasions don’t count.)
  3. Put all the items you’re keeping back into the wardrobe, keeping categories of clothes (dresses, tops and trousers, for example) together so that they’re easier to see. (Another top tip: Non-slip hangers will prevent your clothes from falling to the bottom of your decluttered wardrobe.)
  4. Bag all of the items you no longer want.
  5. Drop them off at your local Oxfam shop so that someone else can give them a second life!
Posted In:

The Carbon Inequality Era

In 1990, we entered a new global era.

From 1990 until 2015, as much carbon entered our atmosphere as had been emitted in all previous years in our history.

Our new report, Confronting Carbon Inequality, shows that responsibility for this rapid emissions rise is shockingly unequal. In this period, the richest 10 percent emitted the same amount of carbon as the rest of the world combined.

And the very richest one percent of people – the global elite – emitted double the amount of carbon as the poorest 50 percent of humanity.

This is the era of extreme carbon inequality.

Who are the richest 10 percent?

If your net income is over €32,500 annually, the chances are you’re one of the richest 10 percent of people in the world.

That 10 percent – around 630 million people at the time of the study – live in every continent, and there are wealthy communities in every country. A sizeable proportion of the population in North America and Europe sit comfortably in this demographic. By contrast, in most parts of Africa, Asia, and Latin America, the number of people on the global 10 percent rich list is tiny.

The emissions of the richest largely come from flying more, buying more polluting cars such as SUVs, and driving them further. These are often known as ‘lifestyle’ emissions.

Additionally, many of the emissions we all produce are ‘embedded’ – this means that they are happening because we live in a world that still relies on fossil fuels. In cooler climates, people need to heat their homes, for example, and gas is still the most accessible option. Many of us can make climate-conscious choices when it comes to the food we eat, the clothes and tech we buy – but all come with some carbon cost in this system.

So as well as individual action, we need radical, far-reaching change to the system if we are to truly confront carbon inequality.

Why now?

Time is short. There is a limit to the total amount of carbon that can be pumped into the atmosphere. Breaching this limit, the so-called ‘carbon budget’, will trigger runaway global warming, that we can no longer control or remedy. Think of it like filling a bath – there is still some space left before we reach the top, but if we don’t turn off the taps now, it’s going to overflow.

Over the last decades, this remaining ‘space’ in the atmosphere could have been used to lift all of humanity out of poverty, towards a decent standard of living. Adding some carbon emissions by connecting people to the electricity grid while we’re still transitioning to renewables, for example.

Instead, the carbon budget has been spent by the already-rich on luxury emissions. If we continue as we are, we will blow the carbon budget in the next 10 years. Carbon inequality is driving us towards climate catastrophe.

So, what do we do now?

Back to the bath analogy – just as every drop of water increases the risk of an overflow, every tonne of carbon moves us towards the climate brink.

But there is hope if we all play a role individually and collectively. COVID-19 showed us that huge changes are possible when necessary. Flights were grounded, new bike lanes appeared in cities, and working from home cut traffic congestion. Governments and businesses showed they can be radical when there is no other choice.

As we turn towards recovery from the pandemic, governments must act to cut the emissions of the richest and increase support to the poorest. The four ways to do this are:

  1. Tax the richest more, to help curb spiralling inequality.
  2. Introduce an added cost to luxury emissions such as private jets, SUVs or super yachts. Use the extra cash to fund universal social protection and healthcare.
  3. Invest more in low-carbon projects like public transport and energy efficiency, and guarantee decent jobs.
  4. Ban advertising in public spaces, especially for high-carbon luxury products.

Looking at the big picture, we must profoundly change the way we measure economic success. Let’s learn from the past decades and prioritise care, the sustainability of life, health and wellbeing, instead of pursuing endless economic growth.

2020 must mark the end of the carbon inequality era. How we shape the next decades, the post-COVID era, is up to us.

Posted In:

Brand New Winter Coats and Jackets in Oxfam Shops

Oxfam Ireland’s Fantastic Selection of Brand-New Winter Coats and Jackets 2020

Choosing a new winter coat has always been difficult, especially with our quest for comfort, style and durability, not to mention the changing Irish weather. This year your local Oxfam Ireland shop has you covered this Autumn. From September 21st all Oxfam shops will be retailing brand new quality winter coats and jackets.

There is an AMAZING range of styles, sizes, and colours, so you are sure to find a fantastic winter warmer to suit you and all the family. 

It is our best selection of great quality coats and jackets EVER and even better prices - adults range starting at €20/£15. This range is exclusive to Oxfam Ireland shops, so you will not be able to get them anywhere else. *Stock of each coat varies from shop to shop. Even better, you are helping to support Oxfam’s work. Helping people lift themselves out of poverty and thrive. These coats really are a winter warmer.

We are so excited about the launch of our NEW winter range, visit your local Oxfam today to pick up one!

Posted In:

Pages