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Oxfam opening a secondhand pop-up in Selfridges

By Danielle Wightman-Stone


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Oxfam is to open a Secondhand September pop-up in Selfridges London designer galleries for four weeks from September 7 as it looks to fight throwaway fashion.

The pop-up is part of its month-long #SecondHandSeptember campaign celebrating secondhand fashion, where it is asking consumers to only buy secondhand clothes for the month of September.

To highlight the campaign, Oxfam has partnered with Bafta award-winning actress, screenwriter and director, Michaela Coel, who stars in the charities promotional material. Coel will feature in the windows of more than 500 Oxfam shops nationwide, showcasing clothing from the Oxfam Online Shop, and in addition, she will be sporting the clothes that will be available to buy from Oxfam’s pop-up shop in Selfridges.

The Selfridges pop-up shop was conceived and curated by Oxfam’s independent fashion advisor and ‘Queen of thrift’ Bay Garnett as part of Project Earth, Selfridges sustainability initiative, launched last month, which aims to change the way Selfridges does business and the way customers shop in the next five years.

Items that will be on sale at the Oxfam pop-up will include a 90s Gaultier PVC red suit, as worn by Coel, Ossie Clarke dresses, original leather flying jackets, and 90s sportswear. There will also be a collection to buy on Selfridges.com.

Commenting on the concept behind the pop-up, Bay Garnett said in a statement: “My idea behind the pop-up shop is about shifting perceptions and context around luxury and secondhand clothes – specifically charity shops. So much money is spent by brands in investing in their marketing, advertising and stores; with the aim of charging high prices for their products.

“This project is a fun way to change the perception of charity shop secondhand clothes – shifting them into the luxury context and space of the big guns! With all those bells and whistles – but, crucially keeping the prices the same as they would be in any Oxfam shop.”

Sebastian Manes, executive buying and merchandising director from Selfridges added: “With Selfridges Project Earth, we have challenged ourselves to bring fresh, inspiring models and ideas into our stores and to our customers. The charity shop is an under-appreciated established model, founded in circularity and social enterprise, with Oxfam charity shops serving local communities for over 70 years. I’m excited to see this mindset-changing charity shop concept – challenging perceptions of both luxury and second-hand product – at the heart of our Oxford Street store as part of Project Earth.”

Oxfam partners with Selfridges, eBay and Vestiaire Collective to promote #SecondHandSeptember

Oxfam created #SecondHandSeptember last year, amid growing demand from shoppers wanting more sustainable and ethical clothing. According to the Co-op, the total ethical consumer market, which includes food, drinks, clothing, energy and eco-travel, has increased to over 41 billion pounds.

Prior to the coronavirus pandemic, charity shop sales had increased four-fold from 133 million pounds to 732 million pounds in 20 years as many people are buying vintage and secondhand clothing.

In addition to the pop-up, Oxfam is also holding a joint auction of curated vintage and Oxfam pieces with eBay. The auction sale will launch on September 10. While Vestiaire Collective will be running the Oxfam pledge to shop secondhand by hosting a charity sale of celebrity donated designer pieces on September 16.

All proceeds from the collaborations will go to support Oxfam’s work to end poverty.

Danny Sriskandarajah, chief executive of Oxfam GB, added: “The pandemic poses huge challenges, but it also creates an opportunity to reimagine our economies and how we live, to make lasting changes that set us on track to a fairer, healthier world.

“Choosing second hand is one way that we can all play a part in shifting to more sustainable consumption and helping to build back better from the virus. By joining Oxfam’s Second Hand September movement, collectively we can send a message to retailers asking them to change their business models to better protect the people who make our clothes and the planet we all share.”

Images: courtesy of Oxfam

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