Oxfam Ireland Homepage
Rory O'Neill aka Panti
  • 3 min read
  • Published: 3rd July 2023
  • Press Release by Alice Dawson-Lyons

Dress for the world you want – in clothes that don’t cost the earth

Oxfam launches fifth Second Hand September campaign

Rory is echoing our call to "Dress for the world you want" by supporting Second Hand September.

The campaign champions sustainable and pre- loved fashion, with clothes that don’t cost the earth and make a statement about who we are and the world we want- a just and sustainable one.


Dress for the world you want – that is the message of Oxfam Ireland’s fifth annual Second Hand September campaign which champions pre-loved fashion and aims to extend the life of clothes.  

Oxfam sees this as key to creating the world we want, which is a more sustainable and equal one. For example, research shows that if we all wore our clothes for twice as long on average, greenhouse gas emissions would be 44% lower.[i]

Charity shops have a crucial role to play in slowing down fast fashion. Last year, Charity Retail Ireland members – which includes Oxfam Ireland – diverted 17,300 tonnes away from landfill or waste to energy.[ii] This is the equivalent of 1,440 double decker buses of textiles prevented from leeching toxins into our soil, water and air.

“Our values and those of our customers are aligned,” said Elaine White from Oxfam Ireland’s Trading Team. “We want to see a fairer world for those most impacted by the climate crisis, who are sadly least responsible for creating it.

“By taking part in Second Hand September – donating to and shopping with Oxfam Ireland – people are not only diverting from landfill and extending the life of textiles, but they’re also raising vital funds for our work worldwide supporting communities enduring drought, floods and other extreme weather.

“This is what we mean by ‘Dress for the world you want’ – it’s a call to dress intentionally, in stylish pre-loved outfits that don’t cost the earth and make a statement about who you are and the kind of world you want.”

The textile industry poses multiple threats to our planet due to the high levels of waste it produces, the pollution it causes, including microplastics entering the ocean, and its greenhouse gas emissions. This is fuelled by over-production and over-consumption.

According to The UN Alliance for Sustainable Fashion, at the beginning of the century we bought almost half as much and kept clothes for twice as long, with the average consumer now buying 60% more clothing than they did 15 years ago.[iii]  

“We want a more circular economy – one that reduces waste and prioritises reuse – and our customers do too. Second hand is by no means second best for the network of customers and supporters who pass through our doors every day, with more and more young people leading the way in what it means to dress for the world you want,” concludes Elaine White.

There are lots of fun ways to get involved in this year’s Second Hand September campaign, including exciting competitions to win! See oxfamireland.org/shs for more and keep an eye on Oxfam Ireland’s socials throughout the month.



Notes to editor

All statistics are from the following sources:

[i] Ellen MacArthur Foundation, A new textiles economy: Redesigning fashion’s future, https://emf.thirdlight.com/link/2axvc7eob8zx-za4ule/@/preview/1?o  (P73)

[ii] Charity Retail Impact Survey

[iii] The environmental costs of fast fashion (unep.org)