Second hand not second best

Oxfam’s Second Hand September campaign prompted me to catch up with Cath Goodwin who told me earlier this year that she was only buying second hand clothes in 2019. Seriously ahead of the curve on that one, Cath!


As someone who loves to shop my response was something like – you’re joking Cath, how’s that going to work!? Her reply ..

I’m involved in a fabulous organisation called Food for thought in Darlington. They intercept supermarket waste food that was on its way to landfill and create delicious hot food, served on a pay as you can basis via pop up cafes and regular deliveries to those in need. It got me thinking about how we can reduce waste generally and I’d been hearing a lot about the fashion industry. The current trend, particularly amongst youngsters, of only wearing outfits once because they can’t be seen twice in the same outfit on social media is so wasteful.  And then last Christmas I was tipped over the edge by Christmas PJs marketed to families when I realised they would probably only be worn a few times. It felt anything but festive to me.  So in the spirit of actions speak louder than words and all that I decided not to buy any new item of clothing for at least a year.

So how’s it going?

I buy from eBay and charity shops and happily accept pre loved clothes from friends – including you Style Stuff! There have been a few issues around “fit” with some eBay purchases but apart from that it’s been great. I’ve found dresses for work and play in charity shops and on eBay for just a few pounds!


When we met up in September Cath was about to go to a family wedding in Copenhagen. It sounded fabulous – it was on a boat! But knowing how the right outfit adds to such an occasion I was fascinated to know what she was planning to wear. It turned out she was choosing between a gorgeous chiffon dress a friend had given her and a charity shop find.

Great colour on Cath

But as the wedding day dawned the £7.50 navy and white number from a charity shop in Northallerton won out! Love this picture of Cath with her sister-in-law Cath Ellington who hadn’t heard of Second Hand September and wore this season’s All Saints.


In the interests of full disclosure Cath admitted to a reluctant new buy. A £12.00 pair of pumps from Next when her blinged up Converse from eBay turned out to be the wrong shade of white!

And beyond this year Cath – what’s next?

My shopping habits have never been excessive but even so I don’t see myself returning to them. I’ve had fun with this and it’s heightened my awareness of what is/isn’t sustainable. I’m keen to spread the word – this blog is a good start – and I’d love to hear from people who are doing the same or even thinking about it.

And the wedding?

It was beautiful in every way …





  1. Sammie
    October 22, 2019 / 2:17 pm

    I spend most of my money in charity shops, makes me feel better about spending money on myself. Nice one ☝️ xxx

  2. Cathal daughter but totally unbiased
    October 22, 2019 / 12:29 am

    UNREAL. 10/10. Give the lady a talk show. 😅

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