Oxfam Fashion Show during London Fashion Week

On Monday 18th February we hosted our second Fashion Fighting Poverty Catwalk show as part of London Fashion Week. We wanted to showcase how Oxfam is part of the solution to fast fashion by giving clothes a second chance to be sold and preventing them ending up in landfill.

Here at Oxfam we never lose sight of the reason we sell fashion, which is to raise money to help the world’s poorest people. A £10 dress can provide clean water for 10 people in an emergency.

SHOW HIGHLIGHTS

Supermodels and music stars hit the catwalk for Oxfam show during London Fashion Week.

Bella Freud and Nayara Santos De Oliveira in Oxfam’s Fashion Fighting Poverty Show 2019. Image: Chris Yates/Oxfam

Top models Stella Tennant, Daisy Lowe, Lottie Moss and Yasmin Le Bon were joined on the catwalk by super-cool designer Bella Freud and music stars Emeli Sandé and Una Healy.

Yasmin Le Bon and Malaika Firth in Oxfam’s Fashion Fighting Poverty Show 2019. Image: Chris Yates/Oxfam

All the models were styled in Oxfam clothes, selected from the Oxfam Online Shop and Oxfam high street shops by Vogue Contributing Editor Bay Garnett. You can shop the catwalk  here:

Buy our fashion, help fight poverty #FashionFightingPoverty

Six Ways to Wear Vintage Style This Spring

Spring is just around the corner and contrary to popular belief, that doesn’t mean you have to kit yourself out in head to toe florals. I’ve put together a few different outfits from the Oxfam Shop that combine vintage with modern pieces and colour blocking with layering. Scroll down for inspiration on dressing for this transitional season.

Pinstripe Trousers and Brouges

[outfit 1 – #foundinoxfam on Oxfam Online Shop] D&G trousers – £45, I-SHUS shoes – £14.99, Velvet 90s jumper – £9.99, Burberrys beret – £36.99, Cambridge satchel – £80

Pinstripe trousers are probably one of my biggest vices in life…I can’t stop buying them! I love how they have that smart casual vibe going on and look good with both clean trainers and smarter shoes. I went for a red and monochrome colour scheme here so I could involve these incredible patent pointed brogues, which have a relaxed androgynous feel them – and of course, the Burberry beret, which definitely brings some Parisian chic to the outfit.

[outfit 2- #foundinoxfam on Oxfam Online Shop] Vintage 70s suede contrast jacket – £40, vintage 90s Hobbs pink dress – £34.99, Timberland ivory boots – £50, fringe boots – £11.99, pink baker boy cap – £9.99
I always gravitate towards 70s styles and the 60s mod look. This outfit is a combination of the two, with the baker boy hat and laced up knee high Timberland boots. I didn’t know Timberland did this particular style until now, although I’m thinking it could be a vintage pair which explains why they don’t look familiar. I know there’s two types of footwear here but I decided that both looked equally as great and couldn’t choose which to go for! The coat is beyond stunning with its unique cowhide contrast design, and I think the pastel slip dress would also pair
well with a popped collared shirt underneath it.

[outfit 3 – #foundinoxfam on Oxfam Online Shop] vintage 90s Aquascutum coat – £150, vintage turquoise dress (part of set) – £49.99, Radley bag – £95, 925 silver turquoise bangle – £17.99, M&S loafer mules – £12.99

I think this ensemble definitely has super fresh Spring feel to it. I chose a focused but bright colour palette with slip on loafers for a look that could be worn to work or around town. I don’t think I’ve ever owned a lemon yellow coat before, nor have I seen many around, so this is definitely a keeper.  It’s like wearing a little slice of sunshine.

[outfit 4 – #foundinoxfam on Oxfam Online Shop] Gucci hat – £100, vintage M&S kilt skirt – £19.99, Celite Collection bag – £100,  St Michales camisole – £2.99, M&S patent brogues – £16.99, Burberry trench coat – £60

I adore so many pieces in this outfit! The Gucci bucket hat, although pricey, creates a fantastic complimentary clash with the Made In England tartan skirt. I couldn’t pair this combination with anything other than a Burberry trench coat – which has to be one of the most versatile items ever. Although you don’t have to dish out for Burberry, I checked the price on second hand coats and was surprised to find you can get hold of one for about £60, which is actually really affordable. The chunky maroon brogues are a lot like a pair I have at home but I was particularly drawn
to  them because of the tan strip that so perfectly coordinates with the bag, hat and top (which I would tuck into the skirt).

[outfit 5 – #foundinoxfam on Oxfam Online Shop] After Six orange maxi dress – £54.99, mosaic earrings – £5.99, Ted Baker shoes – £50, white clutch bag – £5.99.
I wanted to move away from Streetwear styles and pick out some of the more unusual, feminine pieces in the Oxfam shop. These earrings just had to be featured, one way or another, and I happened to find this stunning Spring/Summer maxi dress to compliment them perfectly. I don’t usually wear heels myself, but I felt like this dress wouldn’t look right without some elevated shoes – and these ones couldn’t be any more perfect with their orange contrasting straps.

[outfit 6 – #foundinoxfam on Oxfam Online Shop] Navy cross body bag – £8.99, M&S hat – £9.99, Burberry Prorsum leather loafers – £95, vintage 90s skirt – £60, vintage 90s Joseph Ribcoff t shirt – £34.99)

And finally – out of all 6, this is probably one of the outfits I would find the easiest to wear. The 90s maxi skirt is exactly what I’ve been looking for (although I do think you need the front slit to loosen the look). The tassel t shirt is also very 90s, and these chunky Burberry wedge loafers are pretty much my dream shoes. A big wide rimmed hat is the perfect accessory to add some grandeur (and sun protection) which I would pair with a choker necklace or two.

Written by Rebecca Linnard RSSLinkedIn

Becca Linnard is a fashion columnist, content creator and vintage clothing enthusiast with a deep passion for travel. When she isn’t sifting through vintage treasures, Becca provides press coverage for music festivals, gigs and exhibitions alongside conducting band interviews. 

Becca currently works for Brag Vintage,  an online vintage clothing retailer specialising in branded denim and unique, one off pieces. Follow them here:  Twitter Facebook RSS

 

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Simplicity in Silk – How to Style a Silk Blouse

Recently I found a beautiful pure silk blouse in my local Oxfam store on Bold Street in Liverpool. I instantly knew how I would wear it – my incredibly comfortable cropped straight jeans and loafers. The simplicity of this outfit is perfect for a casual day at home. The first time I wore this I was at home studying…cat by my side and fire warming my feet (thinking about aesthetics here). The pure silk falls beautifully and is so soft. I would say I felt pretty smart – the buttoned-up style and collar with
the elegant material creates the illusion of being dressed up (even when you replace the jeans for flared black trousers and you’re giving off a classic casual ’70s look which is always a yes from me).

Another look you could go for is pairing the blouse and cropped jeans with skinny ankle boots and some tights – I am constantly considering layers with this sharp winter weather. I love layering in winter as it not only looks great but it means it is easier to reuse your favourite pieces throughout the year.

Whilst writing this article I was planning social media for a Clothes Swap event run by Just Love Liverpool, a branch of the NGO Just Love UK. This organisation aims to spread awareness about social injustices such as slavery, sex trafficking and homelessness as well as raising awareness of how to be more ethical and sustainable, including when it comes to thinking about what we wear. I was reflecting on the incredible way in which reusing clothes is not only helping our environment – did you know that ‘UK households binned 300,000 tonnes of clothing in 2016‘?  but it is also causing us the evaluate questions such as how are our clothes being made? Where are they coming from? These questions I have found are being asked more and more as we have seen an increase in the number of social media pages now devoted to ending fast fashion and believing in
alternative ethical and sustainable ways.

If someone asks me where I bought this blouse and I say a charity shop, immediately I’ve got a conversation starter in which to spread awareness of the injustice of slavery. Simply buying a blouse from a charity shop is making a statement that fast fashion is out of hand and there are alternative ways to shop. Charity shopping is fun (how many times have you found the oddest and most random things that probably haven’t seen the light in decades?). But at the same time, we can be activists for so many issues!

A devastating issue that I am passionate about is tackling the gender inequality and utter lack of women rights when we look at the unethical practices of factories focused on producing the cheap t-shirts for example we can purchase on the high streets. “A recent report  by the Centre for Research on Multinational Corporations (SOMO), and the India Committee of the Netherlands (ICN) revealed that recruiters in southern India convince parents in impoverished rural areas to send their daughters to spinning mills with promises of a well-paid job, comfortable accommodation, three nutritious meals a day and opportunities for training and schooling, as well as a lump sum payment at the end of three years. Their field research shows that “in reality, they are working under appalling conditions that amount to modern day slavery and the worst forms of child labour“.

Isn’t it unfathomable that we are still living in a world where slavery is still a major issue? Over 40 million people are trapped in slavery right now.

Furthermore, with their 12 partners across the world Oxfam interviewed ‘hundreds of women workers and many farm and factory managers, supply chain agents, retail and brand company staff, unions and government officials’. They discovered that ‘Fewer than half of the women employed in Bangladesh’s textile and garment export sector have a contract, and the vast majority get no maternity or health coverage – but 80 per cent fear dismissal if they complain.’

The clothing industry is clearly intertwined with issues of gender inequality. Women are severely devalued and frankly it would seem dehumanised. By charity/vintage shopping and raising awareness at the same time, we can create a huge impact on the clothing industry.

So, this silk blouse from an Oxfam store on a small corner of the world sure can do a lot of loud talking…

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How to make your own Upcycled Vintage D&G Style Dress

Everybody loves a little black dress! But I’m sure you girls out there have one hanging in your wardrobe that could do with a whole new revamp! In just 3 quick steps!

 

I have started with a plain black tight strapless dress and some old vintage buttons. If you do not own a dress to work with you can pick one up at your local Oxfam or Oxfam Online Shop.  And
I’m sure a relative will have a box of old buttons you can use! If not, these are easily found in many charity or antique shops!

 

 

1. Firstly, I gave my dress a quick press to make sure there wasn’t any creases before I pointed out the central line

 

2. Secondly, I started by marking a straight line down the middle of the dress where my buttons will be sewn with tailors chalk. Which will rub straight off with a wet wipe

 

3. Finally, I finished by sewing all my buttons down my line, to reveal a classic plain black dress turned into a Victorian D&G style dress!

 

 

Easy, right? Give it a go and you will see how everyone will be impressed about your Victorian D&G style dress!

Post written by Leah Topham, volunteer at Oxfam Batley where she helps upcycle the clothes. She’s written this series called Rags to Riches where she lets us in on her DIY secrets, keep your eye out for her next post! You can also check out her last one How
to make your own Upcycled Vintage 20′ Cloche Cap

 

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How to make your own Upcycled Vintage 20′ Cloche Cap

Post written by Leah Topham, volunteer at Oxfam Batley where she helps upcycle the clothes. She’s written this series called Rags to Riches where she lets us in on her DIY secrets, keep your eye out for her next post!

Everybody has old hats that have been through all weathers and are now on the verge of getting binned! Why not up cycle your old hat, or find a plain one in your local Oxfam or from the Oxfam Online Shop, and transform it into one fit for any special occasion!

 

 

I have started with a plain black felt cloche cap, 5cm wide black lace, 2cm wide black ribbon, and some left over spotty fabric.

 

1.) Firstly I started with my spotty fabric I cut it down so it was approx 11cm wide, I then folded from the bottom to create a little more volume.

 

2.) Then Pleat the fabric as you pin it to your hat …You can choose how you want your hat trim to look. I have worked more towards a flower shape so I have pleated my fabric and pinned in half a circle.

 

3.) Then using a needle and thread, gather the edge of the lace to make it into a circular shape. I gathered two strips of lace, you can do as many as you want and any length depending on the look you’re going for.

 

4.) After Gathering the lace, lay it on top of the fabric already pinned to your hat, keeping in mind the design and shape you’re going for.

 

5.) Then using Ribbon twist it into the shape you desire and tack a few stitched to hold the shape together.

6.) Next, Pin your ribbon into the middle of your lace, and start to stitch down all the fabrics to your hat, remembering to remove all pins afterwards.

 

 

 

And there it is! As easy as that. If you try to do it at home please, remember to share the pictures with us: @OxfamFashion #foundinoxfam

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Planning My Outfit for the Liverpool Bloggers Event

A few weeks ago I went to a Liverpool Bloggers event. In my head I was totally organised and had already decided my outfit, however, the day before I decided to pop into Oxfam on Bold Street in Liverpool for a little browse (the back of my mind knowing this would never happen). I found two gorgeous shirts one of which was an off-white, stripy one and couldn’t resist changing my pre-planned outfit!

My Outfit From Liverpool Bloggers Event

The classic shirt has been called into question this spring/summer. Designers and high-street brands have been experimenting with it, creating all sorts of different styles whether it be strips of cotton coming off the sides, an off-the-shoulder look, or a cotton belt attached to the shirt to tie around your waist. I have wanted to splurge on one of these gorgeous shirts for a while but when I popped into Oxfam I found it – an incredible one too! It isn’t of the experimental kinds but it’s great because it’s simple, classic and only cost £8. The colour is off-white with faint grey stripes and it’s also mid-length. The cotton is rougher and not the soft cotton we usually find with high-street brand shirts. But I love it! I find this material is better quality and warmer for the winter.

But the best thing…it is one of a kind! Just can’t beat the feeling of owning a piece that is unique to you and that is also funding work to tackle issues such as poverty and education.

Shop With Oxfam Online

Animal Homewares: Using Charity Shops to Find Bargain Unique Pieces

In my previous blog post  I talked about my love for all things wicker. Wicker, pottery, brass and copper…there are some things that I will always look for, but then there are those items that you end up taking home that you never dreamed you’d find (quite literally because they are so bonkers that you couldn’t have dreamed them up). Recently, I have re-homed quite a few of said items, and there seems to be an
accidental animal theme I have going on…

I shop alone. Charity shopping means one-off treasures, and I cannot risk a friend beating me to the punch! However, recently I agreed to go charity shopping with my best friend. As we approached the bric-a-brac section our eyes landed on the same item. Two elderly women were chatting in front of the shelving and had to part like the Red Sea so that we could get closer. There it was, a whale teapot. Yes, you read that right.

Fortunately for me, my friend is ‘frugal’ to say the least, and didn’t like the £12 price tag. I on the other hand, thought it was too amazing to leave behind. I knew that if this piece was on the high-street it would cost a lot more, and also it wouldn’t seem as special knowing other people would have it (all I need now is a set of dolphin-shaped tea cups, so if you see any…).

whale teapot and fish print from oxfam

My whale teapot photographed with a ‘fish’ print also found in a local Oxfam for £2.99

 

My next charity shop find was a large white elephant-shaped vase for £3.50. This one is a bit of a strange one – the neck of the vase is really narrow, but I think this could look great with either brightly coloured flowers or maybe a cactus. Admittedly, it’s a little on the unusual side, but there’s something about it being a clean white ceramic piece that makes it seem classic. I can see this working in both a brightly coloured home in-front of a richly coloured bold-print wallpaper, or equally in a more subdued environment, and really for that price it’s worth taking
home and trying out.

elephant vase and floral oil painting

My elephant vase pictured with an oil painting also found in local charity shop for £4.00

 

This week I hit the jackpot and finally found a pair of china mantelpiece dogs! I have wanted some for as long as I can remember, but the only ones I’ve seen have been in antiques shops for a much heftier price tag and these were just £5.99 each. I really love a twist on the traditional. We’ve recently seen china dogs get a couture make-over; emblazoned on sweaters and blazers by Gucci (Alessandro Michele can do no wrong). Pieces like this are always a talking point – people remember them in their childhood home, or
tell you that they have inherited a pair. I love seeing how pieces like this work just as well in a modern home.

All of these pieces I have found are certainly Marmite objects – you’ll either love them or hate them, but at these kind of prices what’s the harm in taking them home and seeing how they fit?

mantle piece dogs and glass vases with feathers

One of my china dogs arranged with glass bottles found in a ditch (!) and feathers found on walks

 

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Espadrille: Mixing and Matching New and Old for My Own Twist On The Trend

I think I’ve always had a bit of an eye for spying the latest trend, be it the neon new rave fad of 2007 (cue that klaxon noise), or the bell bottom trend last Summer – Or more recently, the cropped denim jean/culotte look du jour.

 

When I noticed (how could you not?) the espadrille trend growing ever more apparent on my Instagram feed and usual online haunts, I immediately started to seek out the best pair I could. The ever-so-trendy espadrille, worn by the likes of a la mode French fashion bloggers, Jeanne Damas, Adenorah and Camille Charriere, of course I had to have a pair. I went for a navy pair in a low wedge and teamed it with a vintage black and white 4 buttoned shirt I got in Oxfam a few years ago and vintage Levi jeans.

The epitome of french cool, not only are they some of the comfiest shoes I’ve ever owned, they are perfect for the inevitable transition from relaxed day time attire of cropped denim jeans and t shirt, to partying the night away in, without the risk of blisters!

Oxfam Polka Dot Blouse

Mix and Match - Preloved and brand new

Trends from Charity Shops

Elizabeth Miles and Oxfam Fashion

Shoes

I’m wearing: Blue espadrilles in Navy – Shirt: Oxfam – Jeans: Vintage Levi’s.

All photo’s by Alex Amoros

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My Favourite Wedding Dresses from Oxfam Online: Money Saving Tips for Your Wedding Look

This week Money Saving Expert released a video of bride-to-be Sally hunting for her wedding dress naming Oxfam as the place to go for bargain new and preloved wedding dresses, scroll down to watch the video. 

Money Saving Expert claim that by shopping with Oxfam you can save hundreds of pounds without having to compromise on style. I decided to put this theory to the test and challenged myself to find 7 different styles all from within the Oxfam Online Shop’s bridal department (Yes that is the reason, no I am not using this as an excuse to look at pretty dresses all day … ahem!). The dresses I picked range from £50 to £600, a definite bargain considering that, as Sally points out in the
video, a wedding dress can start from £1000!

Wedding Gowns #foundinoxfam

Get the Looks:

Bargain: Size S, £50| Statement: Size 14, £350| Vintage: Size M, £289.99|  Bling: Size 12, £600| Minimalist: Size 12, £175| Body-hugger: Size 12, £100| Princess: Size 14, £225

The average Oxfam wedding dress sells for £250 and Oxfam aims to price at a mere 30% of the high street cost – even though the majority of the dresses they sell being brand new. Oxfam’s bridal range started in 1985 when volunteer Barbara Walmsley began hiring out dresses from home. Oxfam weddings has now grown to generate £150,000 each year, enough to provide clean, safe, drink water to 150,000 people. Buying an Oxfam wedding dress is a lovely way to give back on your big day whilst saving you a huge amount of money.   

 

Money Saving Expert on why you should consider a charity shop wedding dress:


Barbara Walmsley founder of Oxfam Bridal:

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3 Easy Ways to Style a Vintage Scarf to Reinvent Your Look

The great thing about a scarf as an accessory is the fact that it can be versatile. Personally I love scarves and think they can totally make an outfit. I’ve styled my favourite vintage scarf in three ways to show you how it can be worn.

Way One: The Bow Bag

Reinvent your bag with a fabric bow


Tying a scarf around your bag handle can not only add to your outfit but also give your favourite bag a new lease of life. I tied mine here in a simple bow around this top handle bag. This can work for pretty much any bag with handles; I particularly like a scarf tied around a plain black shopper to add a little colour.

Way Two: The Classic Neck Scarf

Tie your scarf into a neckerchief


With a square shaped scarf you need to fold it in half diagonally and keep folding over and over to create a skinnier version, which can be placed around your neck before tying in a bow. I tend to prefer a side bow when wearing it like this, but you could always just knot it twice if you’re not a fan of a bow.

Way Three: The Open Neck

Style a skirt and jeans with a loose vintage scarf


This is the lazy girls guide to wearing a vintage scarf; by draping the scarf around your neck and open over your coat or jacket you’ve already added a focal point to your outfit.


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Go to the Oxfam Online Shop