Generic filters
Charity shop window

September is no longer just ‘September’. Drum roll please! Everybody gather round! It is my great pleasure to introduce to you ‘Second Hand September’.

OK, I know, it’s now the middle of September. But let’s face it it’s never too late to save money, donate to charity and do our bit to help climate change by living more sustainably.

Second hand September is an initiative started by Oxfam that encourages people to take a month-long shopping detox and buy no new items of clothing for the 30 days of September – you’ll be saving money and doing your bit to save the planet.

Instagram and TikTok are awash with great ideas on how to embrace circular fashion, which is far more sustainable than the throw-away, fast fashion that we’ve become used to. Find out more about slow fashion (things like reselling or swapping your unwanted clothes or shopping from outlets that offer buy-back schemes) and sustainable fashion on the Oxfam website.

Here are 8 ways to save money and be more sustainable.

Re-use – It’s September not only do the kids need new school uniforms but the colder weather is coming. Some schools ask parents to buy uniform from specialist uniform suppliers and they can be pricey. Plus kids grow at a rate of knots! The uniform you bought for them last term, probably won’t fit them this term. What to do? Visit the HIVE’s wonderful Uniform Share Store. I went to visit them a few weeks ago to see how it all works and boy were they busy! If you need school uniform all you need to do is tell them what school and what size and they will do their best to get it sorted for you. I’ll be sharing some more stories about the Uniform Share Store later this year so watch this space.

Re-wear – Could you wear that coat for another winter? Could you re-style or upcycle it instead? Or consider buying a second hand or pre-loved coat. It can be a lot cheaper than buying new, especially if you find an expensive brand name. It’s better for our pockets and our planet. If you are already thinking about ways to reduce your carbon footprint then shopping in second hand shops is a great way to make a small difference, they all add up right?. You can find good quality clothing at affordable prices at charity shops, and online! I got talking to a very fashionable young person at the bus stop the other day and she told me that she gets most of her clothing from resale apps like Vinted and Shpock. She looked fab! Wearing second hand clothing encourages reuse and recycling, and that in turn saves our planet from some of the harmful by-products of the manufacturing industry and reduces our dependence on raw materials.

Re-cycle – Reducing your waste and reusing or repairing items is a great way to lessen your impact on the environment and your wallet. Visit our recycling pages for simple ideas to get you started. Reduce, reuse and repair – Portsmouth City Council.

Repair – Extend the life of your items instead of buying new. If you can’t repair your item yourself. The Portsmouth Repair Café has a free monthly pop-up event where volunteers will work with you to repair your item.

Southsea Sustainable Textiles is a group of volunteers who run free sessions to give people the skills and confidence to repair, adjust and re-design their curtains, clothes, towels, hats, bags and more. Email the team for more information on the sessions:

Restyle – Revamp clothes you already own instead of buying new. There are some great ideas for giving long worn clothes a new lease of life, just follow hashtag #upcycling or #diyfashion on Instagram or TikTok or watch this short on YouTube about upcycling a skirt.

Join a clothes swap shop. When I was at senior school me and a group of friends used to get together every so often to swap clothes. It was great fun and you’d end up with a new outfit completely free! Why not create your own swap shop.

Upcycle – Decorate an old picture frame or vase, or revive a lack lustre chest of drawers with some decoupage, that’s the art of decorating surfaces by applying cut-outs or whole pieces of paper with glue. You can use spare wallpaper, old wrapping paper, napkins or even magazines. Watch these videos to find out how to get started or for inspiration

Borrow – The library of things is a community library where you can borrow those things that you are not going to use all the time. That way you don’t need to own them: saving you money, space and carbon. Find out how it works.

It’s not just books you can borrow from our libraries. You can choose from e-books, newspapers, magazines and music downloads. Visit the libraries website to discover more.

Donate – Donate what you don’t wear or use. By donating your old clothes and accessories or household items to a charity shop. You will be helping to raise money for worthy causes, reducing waste and helping the planet. Find charities that welcome everything from clothes to furniture, or visit our cost of living hub to read about ways you can help others in the community.