We can all agree that 2020 has been a year like no other. An extremely painful and seemingly endless year. A cocktail of feelings, which include ingredients like anger, sadness, uncertainty and more. These are all together and have been shaken and stirred. It’s been days when getting out of bed was a real struggle. However, I’m sure we are all grateful for certain things, events or people.

In my case, I am grateful for Michaela Coel.

Although Coel has been an active actor, director, producer and screenwriter for years, I have only come to discover her this year, and I am deeply thankful for that. Since 2020 started, I have devoured Chewing Gum, Black Earth Rising and I May Destroy You, where she plays the lead roles. From the hilarious character she stars in Chewing Gum – she won a BAFTA for Best Female Comedy Performance – to the incredibly deep and moving role she plays in I May Destroy You, Michaela Coel has become one of my favourite interpreters and I truly believe her name will echo for a long time.

Not only is she the greatest actor of the year – at least for me – but she’s the new face of Oxfam’s latest campaign: #SecondHandSeptember.

As the campaign’s face, Coel will be spotted in the windows of over 500 Oxfam stores around the UK wearing garments from the Oxfam Online Shop, which will be available to buy in a ground-breaking Selfridges pop-up store. The innovative store, which has been conceived and curated by Oxfam’s fashion advisor and 'Queen of Thrift' Bay Garnett, will be located in Selfridges London Designer Galleries for four weeks from September 7.

“I’m honoured to be the face of Oxfam’s Second Hand September campaign this year. When presented with the data from Oxfam on the impact of fast fashion I felt compelled to add my voice to this cause; I hope it raises awareness and encourages us to reflect on our buying habits and to consider how small changes can have a huge impact on the environment – and in turn the fight against poverty” , said the talented British actor.

Some of the items that can be found in the pop-up shop will be an iconic 90s Gaultier PV Cred suit, original leather flying jackets, and 90s sportswear. Furthermore, a collection to buy will be available on Selfridges.com.

Nothing like the word of mouth for a message to be widespread

Oxfam is asking consumers to buy second hand instead of brand new. Therefore, and for the message to be widespread, Oxfam wants customers to share the message online using #SecondHandSeptember and tagging @OxfamGB.

Second hand fashion outlets such as Vestiaire Collective and eBay, that also encourage people to buy second hand and resale the items they don’t any longer use, joined the campaign to support Oxfam by hosting a charity sale and organising an auction respectively – to later donate all the proceeds to Oxfam’s commitment to end poverty.

#SecondHandSeptember was created in 2019, amid growing demand from buyers wanting more sustainable and ethical clothing. According to the Coop, the total ethical consumer market has increased to over £41bn. Prior to the coronavirus pandemic, charity shop sales had increased four-fold from £133m to £732m in 20 years as many people are buying vintage and second hand clothing

Sep 8, 2020

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