Plea to use charity shops

Proud to wear second hand: Brendan O'Hara MP. Photo by Rahil Ahmas of @stolenoranges

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People are being urged to use charity shops and local independent retailers as coronavirus restrictions ease and customers flock back to the High Street.

The appeal comes from Argyll and Bute MP Brendan O’Hara who says it is more important than ever to ‘shop sustainably’ as well as supporting local independent retailers.

His call coincides with the opening up of the economy and ahead of the UN Climate Change Conference (COP26) in Glasgow in November.

Mr O’Hara, who likes snapping up stylish second-hand tweed jackets in local charity shops,  was among the supporters of Oxfam’s ‘Second Hand September’ campaign last autumn which encouraged people to use charity shops for 30 days or more.

Oxfam said ‘throwaway fashion’ is putting increasing pressure on the planet with 13 million items of clothing ending up in UK landfill every week.

It also revealed it would take 13 years for one person to drink the water required to make a single cotton t-shirt or a pair of jeans.

Mr O’Hara said: ‘It’s more important than ever that we support our local shops, especially independent retailers, and shop on our own high streets, buying from charity shops where we can.

‘It’s often the smaller changes we make to our lives that make all the difference.

‘I have always been a fan of second-hand clothes and thanks to charity shops across Argyll and Bute, most of the clothes I wear are second hand.

‘It was great to be involved in Oxfam’s Second Hand September launch event and to see pre-owned clothing losing the stigma it once had, instead becoming a statement of sustainability.

‘That’s why I’m pleased to be asked to back the #BuyBetter campaign which has just launched.

‘This has evolved from Second Hand September and aims to raise awareness of the impact of throwaway or ‘fast’ fashion.

‘People are also growing increasingly aware of the negative effects of unsustainable consumption more generally, including food and plastic waste.

‘Just as Governments need to commit to leading the way in tackling climate change, it’s important we all do what we can as well.’

Mr O’Hara is a member of the SNP’s COP26 leadership team and described the event as a great chance to showcase some of the ‘world leading efforts’ Scotland is making to combat climate change.

He said: ‘One thing we all have in common is that we must take action and every country around the globe must work together to do this.’

Scotland’s ‘Big Dreams, Little Footprints’ has launched a social media campaign called #PollutionIsPants which runs until April 25.

It celebrates the use of second-hand, vintage, swapped and even ‘rented clothes’ and the need to keep them out of landfill.

Mr O’Hara said: ‘This is a great fun initiative that raises awareness of the range and quality of second-hand clothes and other items available.’

For more info visit https://www.bigdreamslittlefootprints.org/pollution-is-pants