Second-hand retail has been on the rise over recent years, as consumers become more aware of the environmental impact of buying new clothes. What’s more, there is no better feeling than hunting down a designer gem in a charity shop, in the knowledge that you are giving new life to a pre-loved item.
The pre-owned trend is growing in part as social media influencers join the bandwagon. Fashion United reports that 92% of people surveyed said they would be more likely to shop in a charity shop if they saw celebrities or friends doing so, compared to 62% who said they would shop there anyway.
Model and activist Emma Breschi is using her voice to encourage more conscious consumerism. With over 37,000 followers on Instagram, Emma commits her platform to ethical and sustainable causes, from body positivity to campaigning for climate action. In a recent post, she can be seen dressed up as an inflatable world, encouraging us to head down to the global climate strikes. She makes a statement saying, ‘hello, I am Mother Earth.'
Emma Breschi on #LoveNotLandfill
Emma is collaborating with Barnardo’s children’s charity at the upcoming #LoveNotLandfill Pop Up event in London. We asked her what it’s all about and why she cares so much about promoting second-hand fashion.
“I’m honoured to be asked”, she told Euronews Living. “I’m still learning a lot. I think people have this misconception that I’m some sort of expert, but I’m not, I’m just very passionate and I want to be part of a movement paving the way to a more sustainable future.”
It's events like next week’s #LoveNotLandfill Pop Up shop that are important in creating a sense of community and opening up a conversation, Emma tells us. With her Barnado’s collection, she explains it was colour that inspired her when collating the pieces, so you can expect a rainbow coloured array of second-hand finds at the event.
“Often people feel like there’s nothing they can do, but that’s wrong - if everyone did one small action, it would have a major impact, and we have to keep that in mind,” she says.
Letting go of perfectionism
While people’s perception of second-hand clothes may be simply “dusty old bits and bobs,” Emma explains, “you can actually get really fun, vibrant, full-of-life pieces of clothing that just need a new lease of life.” With her own style, Emma likes to play with “different characters, colours and moods”, so tell us that charity shops are the perfect place to look for statement pieces.
Her top charity shop picks are usually dungarees or jackets, and she says she always likes to buy leather second-hand or vintage.
When it comes to fast fashion and change in the industry, Emma wants people to let go of the ideal of perfectionism and just do what they can. She says that she went into fashion not only because she loves it, but because she wants to change it in a positive way. She describes how she often gets criticised for working with certain brands but maintains that this is the only way to incite change. For instance, she references the Adidas ‘Infinite Play’ programme that allows customers to trade in their old products to get repaired and passed on as major progress.
“If the fashion industry works with people that are passionate about the environment and who are willing to have conversations, then we will change it from the inside out,” Emma concludes.
If you're interested in going to the #LoveNotLandfill event, it's running from 14th -17th November at Covent Garden’s Seven Dials in London and tickets are free.
There will be special selections of 500 pieces chosen by influencers, including Emma Breschi, Oenone and Elizabeth Whibley. All money raised will go to the partnered charities, including Cancer Research who have curated a collection with She Wears Fashion.