Secondhand First

I got an exciting e-mail the other week, from the fabulous team at TRAID.
TRAID is a charity working to stop clothes being thrown away-they focus on reducing the negative impacts of textiles and the fashion industry on the environment and people’s lives. Which all sounds pretty good to me 🙂
They have clothes collection banks all around the UK (you can search for your nearest here), and if you live the South-East, they even have a collection service that can come to your door!
The donated clothes are transformed into high quality stock that is sold in their shops in London and surrounds.
They also have a TRAIDremade label, where all kinds of awesome upcycling and general mending wizadry goes on to make unique one off items.

Anyway, back to the e-mail!
For a while now TRAID have had a #Secondhandfirst pledge thing going on social media. You can basically pledge to source a percentage of your wardrobe secondhand. You take the pledge and share it on social media, and it helps to raise awareness of the awesomeness of secondhand clothes-hurrah!
And now, #Secondhandfirst is getting BIGGER, and is getting it’s very week!

#SECONDHANDFIRST Week, 17 - 23 November 2014

#Secondhandfirst Week is a week of events, workshops and initiatives between 17th – 23rd November, to celebrate all things secondhand while committing to using more of our existing resources, rather than buying new.

There are lots of ways to get involved:

  • Wear secondhand for the week!
    Either commit to wearing at least one secondhand item a day for the whole week, OR if you are feeling brave, commit to wearing ALL secondhand clothes for the week (I am not sure what the ‘rules’ are on pants..)
    You can then take a pic and tweet it or share it on FB on the TRAID page, with the hashtag #secondhandfirst, or e-mail it to and she can share it for you!
  • Have a #secondhandfirst clothes swap!
    Totally coincidentally, I am organising a Swish for this Friday (14th), so I reckon that’s close enough to the week to be counted!
    But if you can’t quite muster up a formal Swish in the next 2 weeks, how about an evening with some friends, the contents of their wardrobes, and maybe even a cheeky bottle of wine? If you pick a few friends who are a similar size, you could each bag some lovely ‘new’ clothes!
  • Hold a #SewGood workshop-the TRAID shops in London regularly hold mending sessions, but if you’re not close by, then you can organise a mending session yourself.
    If you can sew, then you could get together with a friend to teach them the basics. If you can’t sew, you might be able to find someone keen to pass on their skills (ask your friends and neighbours, or sign up to Streetbank, and put out a request)
    If you’re feeling brave, you could have a look on You tube, and teach yourself a new skill!
  • Visit your local charity shop-donate some clothes and have a browse to see if there is anything there that takes your fancy!
    I used to hate shopping for clothes pre-My Make Do and Mend Year-I would find it really stressful, and worry about how expensive everything was, and how much hassle it would be to take it back if I changed my mind. Now that I just buy secondhand, it’s much easier, and I have much more ‘adventurous’ (see this post from the blog archives to prove it!)
  • If you are/around London and able to get to a TRAID shop, they have a whole host of fab events lined up for the week, including Styling Sessions, and a darning masterclass with the Darning King Tom of Holland


I’ll be blogging throughout the week about all things secondhand clothes!
Anyone else up for a bit of #secondhandfirst next week?



10 thoughts on “Secondhand First

  1. At lease half my wardroble is second hand – mix of tops, dresses, coats, jumpers and cardies from charity or vintage shops & fairs. Other clothes I try to buy quality that will last and would be worth repairing. Secondhand fits in well with my efforts to be more mindful about making sustainable.choices. Thanks for the blog. Love the concept of #secondhandfirst – Will try to join in next week!

  2. Rarely do I have a day without a ‘not new’ item on!! So I’m in!
    Like you I started paying more attention to buying pre-loved clothes on my ‘buy nothing new’ year in 2013, and still prefer the joy of finding items in the charity shop! Today I found a gorgeous top and (fingers crossed they fit!) new jeans for less than a ÂŁ10 note 🙂

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