This month, Second-hand September, we connected with fashion activist Amanda Butterworth from our New Zealand Fashion Revolution team. Fashion Revolution is a global movement that campaigns for a clean, safe, fair, transparent, and accountable fashion industry through research, education, collaboration, mobilisation and advocacy. Amanda is the Country Co-Ordinator for Fashion Revolution, and is a passionate sustainable fashion advocate. With a background in law, a successful career in Procurement, Amanda’s heart has always been drawn to fashion. Inspired while living in London, to support a more sustainable and ethical future for fashion, Amanda is determined to challenge the way people think about, and buy clothing.
Q. Tell us about your love for second-hand fashion and what does shopping second-hand mean to you?
My love for second-hand fashion started when I was a teenager. I used to spend hours at Savemart in the weekends hunting through the racks. I loved the compliments I would get for the unique pieces I was wearing, and I definitely loved a bargain! In recent years I have got really into my nana’s closet. She has some fabulous pieces, all fantastic quality including gorgeous dresses and wool suits she brought out from Ireland over 40 years ago! Quite often someone will say they love what I’m wearing, and I get to say “thanks, it’s my nana’s.” She always gives me a smile and a wink when she sees me wearing her clothes and it feels special to be able to give the clothes that she felt great in, a new life. I love the thrill of finding a really great item. My favourite piece to date is a hand painted ‘Oscar de la Renta’ silk scarf.
Q. Fashion Revolution New Zealand is part of a global movement calling for a fairer fashion industry with a focus on people, planet, and profit in equal measures. It is well known that one way to avoid supporting ‘fast fashion’ is by choosing to buy second-hand and to love your clothing longer #lovedclotheslast. What is the Fashion Revolution team currently doing to raise awareness for the value second-hand clothing provides over fast fashion? How could second-hand fashion companies, for example, Dove Hospice, become involved?
At Fashion Revolution NZ, we love to hear the stories behind people’s clothing. We encourage everyone to share their #clothinglovestory as part of our #lovedclotheslast campaign. We were delighted with the number of people involved with us during ‘Fashion Revolution Week’ in April. Second-hand September is another opportunity to share stories and it doesn’t have to be limited to campaigns – we love to share stories all year round! We organised a clothing swap, another great way to share clothes within the community, and we plan to hold more of these in the future together with a second-hand clothing market. We’d love to see Dove Hospice at one of these events in the future. We encourage everyone to shop second-hand, care for their clothing and wear, wear, wear, again and again!
Q. As the climate crisis escalates at an alarming speed, brands are now looking to go beyond being ‘sustainable’ and are embracing regenerative fashion. We consider the act of buying second-hand clothing from Dove Hospice as regenerative. When choosing to shop at Dove Hospice, this supports those in need through holistic therapy and supports those suffering from a life-threatening illness. In essence, a process of regenerating health.
Would you agree with this parallel and what are Fashion Revolution’s views on regenerative fashion?
A lot of fashion brands have been getting by with just doing “less harm”, but consumers are starting to demand more (and so they should). It’s not enough to just do less harm, we need fashion brands to actively do good – to have a positive impact. Dove Hospice is a great example of that. By keeping clothing in rotation, Dove Hospice is helping fashion to do less harm, but it’s also actively doing good by keeping clothing in rotation and out of landfill. And the great support that Dove Hospice offers to local communities is a truly great impact. Fashion doesn’t have to be destructive – it can be beautiful and regenerative.
Q. How do we find Fashion Revolution, and what would ‘getting involved’ look like?
Getting involved can look like many things – simply by choosing to shop second-hand and wearing your clothes repeatedly you’re part of the Fashion Revolution! Come along and attend one of our events or even organise your own Fashion Revolution event in your city (get in touch to ask us how). You can also find us on Instagram, Facebook or visit https://www.fashionrevolution.org/oceania/new-zealand/ to check out the team and our events page.
As Christmas approaches, why not plan to focus on quality over quantity in your festivities to help reduce waste, lower stress levels, allow more time with your loved ones, and increase support for local businesses?
A wonderful article on this topic published last year is Sustainable Christmas Gift Ideas for New Zealanders by Ethically Kate.
An idea that Kate suggests which helps to reduce stress and avoid unwanted waste was doing a secret Santa rather than buying individual gifts for everyone in your extended group. Kate suggests using DrawNames, a free secret Santa generator. This generator emails each participant keeping the results anonymous, you can access it via a web browser or their app. The generator includes the ability to set the budget, make pairing exclusions, and wish lists. You could add a ‘secondhand gift’ caveat to the Secret Santa too and help support a local charity, like Dove 🙂
The top categories for gifting in Kate’s family at Christmas time include Experiences, Services, Consumables, Subscriptions, Physical Items, and Giving back. Does this differ from your families gifting categories?
Some other ways to change your Christmas habits could be to:
A gift suggestion, if you are buying for someone who you think may be interested in learning more ways of incorporating ethical and more sustainable ways of living, is Ethically Kate’s brand-new book “Better, Bolder, Different”. A book that encourages embracing sustainability in all facets of life and to help live life a little kinder.
However, if you think the person, you are gifting might like to indulge in some preloved product, Dove offers gift vouchers. Visit any of our Dove Hospice Shops and ask a member of staff for more details.
Merry Christmas and Happy Holiday Season from the Dove Team