I 💚 Second-Hand!

Climate Action Newcastle member Olwyn Hocking realised how well the Second Hand September pledge to give up buying new worked when her belt buckle broke. She nearly went to buy a new one, then considered charity shopping instead.


“I liked my existing belt so I took it round charity shops and immediately found lots of choice of buckles that would fit.” She bought a belt costing £1, and a tailor then fitted it, and also fitted an old buckle to the charity shop belt.

“I did look into buying a new buckle but then thought - why buy new, when there are so many available in charity shops in excellent condition?”


Here’s just a few of the reasons why second-hand shopping has made life better and happier for me:

  • Guilt-free – stop all the terrible waste, reuse lovely wearable clothes.

  • Quicker (prefer to spend time on so many other things) – search online sources (such as Oxfam), quick browse through small shops when passing.

  • SAVE MONEY! – most purchases between £5 and £10.

  • Variety and surprises – with charity shop clothes racks constantly changing, always new options based on OTHER people’s fascinating choices.

  • Generates donations to good causes – this really is win win.

Some quick examples:

  • Woolly wonder coat - I’m not remotely interested in branded clothing but one day I was passing Jesmond’s Oxfam shop and gasped at an artfully-positioned coat. It was cream wool and has turned out to work with everything from jeans to a posh night out. I popped into the shop and they smiled and said it had just come in and would doubtless be rapidly snapped up. It was designed by Betty Barclay – I’d love to know who was good enough to donate it!

  • Blankets for picnics – with our increased preference now for outdoor living/eating/drinking, I was delighted to find recently a smashing blanket with an opening to wear a bit like a poncho when sitting outside (this was at one of the charity shops near Newcastle’s Central station)

  • Work - when we “went to the office” (pre-pandemic) I had a role that needed a smart outfit – black culottes and a black cardy fitted the bill but I liked to have different coloured T shirts just to round it off. So two or three charity shop T shirts pulled it together and cost less than £10 for the lot.

  • Hand-made wellingtons! – what a treat this was. My allotment trips are made even more special by the discovery of some really lovely wellingtons in the St Oswald’s shop in Jesmond. A patchwork design, lace tie-ups and incredibly comfy. Original would have cost loads – thank you to whoever donated them!

  • Belts – never realised there were usually extras, such as belts and bags. These also save lots of money and help extend the life of existing items, by cannibalising them to make repairs.

This second-hand top became one of those go-to items when you feel you should make a bit of an effort but can’t be bothered – always feels good to wear!


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