Ethical and Sustainable Fashion in Oxford – Where to Shop?
Rebel Book Club is a non-fiction book club with 1000+ members across 7 cities. For February’s theme ‘Fast Fashion’, we read the eye-opening book Fashionopolis by Dana Thomas. As part of our club’s mission to put our learnings into action, we have created sustainable fashion guides for our Rebel Cities. This is our guide to ethical and sustainable fashion in Oxford.
Where can you buy ethical + sustainable fashion in Oxford?
- Vintage Shops: The Retro Room, Reign Vintage, Unicorn
- Charity Shops: Oxfam superstore in Cowley
- Ethical Shops: Indigo, Y.O.U. Underwear
- Second hand stalls at Gloucester Green Market
- Clothes Swaps: Makespace, Silvies, Tap Social
Vintage shops in Oxford:
We were delighted to welcome Audrey from The Retro Room as our special guest at our February meetup. Audrey has been running vintage stores for many years. First of all in response to the gruelling impact of the recession in Glasgow, and now at her St. Clements Street shop in Oxford. The Retro Room opened in 2017 and stocks second-hand, designer and vintage clothes. These are great for the environment and your bank account.
Charity shops in Oxford:
Our Rebel Book Club pick is the Oxfam Superstore in Cowley. This shop is in an 18,500 ft warehouse in Oxford Business Park. As well as being a haven for unique fashion finds, you can also browse homeware and grab a coffee in their café!
Ethical shops in Oxford:
- Indigo has been around since 2008 and is the obvious choice in this category. In their own words: “Indigo is about all we believe in – beauty, community, re-wilding, nature, creativity, healthy business practice, working together, and a sprinkling of magic”.
- And we all know underwear can be a real conundrum for the sustainable fashion shopper… Y.O.U Underwear started in Oxford and offers vegan friendly, organic Fairtrade cotton underwear with a focus on social action. For every pair of pants you buy, Y.O.U. gift two pairs to communities where a clean pair of pants is not always available.
Second hand stalls at Gloucester Green Market, Oxford:
You can check out the second hand stalls at Gloucester Green Market on Wednesdays (general stalls), Thursdays from 9am to 4pm (Antiques / Vintage / Arts + Crafts), Fridays from 9am to 5pm + Saturdays from 10am to 5pm (Urban Mix + Street Food).
Swishing + Clothes Swaps in Oxford:
Our Rebels shared a few locals tips on where to go to for clothes swaps in Oxford:
- Makespace: Look out for clothes swaps happening at Makespace. Makespace houses social enterprises, charities, creative and coops in Oxford and creates a affordable place for sustainability initiatives
- Silvies: Another place to follow for upcoming family friendly clothes swaps in Oxford is Silvies, who offer clothes swaps in association with the Oxford Sling Library.
- Tap Social: Again run with Oxford Sling library, Tap Social have been known to host clothes swaps in their brewery’s community space.
Here are 6 other ways to ditch fast fashion in Oxford…
To be more environmentally friendly when it comes to their fashion, Rebel Book Club Oxford have committed to the following fast fashion challenges:
- Wash your clothes less
- Don’t buy any new clothes – resist buying new clothes for the whole of 2020
- Learn to repair clothes locally in Oxford
- Cut up clothes which can’t be reused to make dish cloths and cleaning rags
- Swap clothes with friends
- Wear your current wardrobe more often
There are lots of ways you can make the most out of you existing wardrobe. For example, wash your clothes less and spot clean instead, especially jeans. This helps to reduce the number of microfibers ending up in our water supplies. Or you could take on a challenge with friends to stop buying new clothes!
Places to learn good old fashioned ‘make do + mend’ skills in Oxford:
- Join the Druken Knitwits and learn how to knit.
- The Witney Knitting + Sewing community can teach you how to make your own scarf, or darn those tired looking socks.
- Or head to Jericho Design House or Oxford Alterations to fix up any of your favourite garments.
- Take your clothes along to the Library of Things or the Repair shops run by Share Oxford.
- And before throwing away those old socks and tights, check out this blog which shows you how to make an eco-friendly Japanese sponge called a Tawashi Scrubber from your old clothes!
For more top tips, check out our Rebel Book Club x Fast Fashion Podcast, featuring our star author Dana Thomas…
We hope you’ve found this helpful! Thank you to all of our Rebel Book Club Oxford members for putting together these tips.
If our Oxford tribe sound like your kind of people, we have new themes, non-fiction books, cocktails and meetups every month! Simply head to the Rebel Book Club Oxford page and sign up as a Rebel Book Club member. To see a bit more of who we are and what we’re about, follow @RebelBookClub on Instagram.