By Asia Hoile
Yesterday I had the pleasure of attending the sustainable Christmas day at Oxfam Superstore in Oxford. The shop is 12-times the size of a regular high street shop and is packed with second-hand goodies, from homeware to fashion and clothing to children's toys, they've got it all! The aim of the day was to demonstrate the magic of a sustainable Christmas day and second-hand gifting. Our day began with teas, coffees and some delicious apricot plant-based croissants. We were then given a tour of the site and an overview of the workings of the store. My favourite part of the display was the "market stalls" which had been set up to mimic real stalls and were dressed beautifully! Following this we were given 30 minutes to find a Christmas party outfit from donated items in the store. We had great fun trying on different clothes and shoes to find the perfect look! We then had a photoshoot of the outfits we'd put together!
Succeeding this, we treated to an amazing plant-based lunch which included winter vegetable soup, sweet potato and pomegranate salad and vegan brie (I'm neither vegan nor vegetarian but it was very tasty!). During the afternoon session we learnt more about the “Sourced by Oxfam” range which are ethical and sustainable brands which align with the values of Oxfam.
We were given a beautiful handmade Christmas tree decoration which was embroidered by skilled artisans in India. Mine was a fox covered in bronze and white beads! We were also given an Oxfam Christmas card which contains exciting ideas on how to reuse cards before throwing them away and make them a little more sustainable!
Then came the highlight of the day – chocolate tasting! Part of the “Sourced by Oxfam” range includes Fairtrade chocolate such as Tony’s Chocolonely and Divine. All of the flavours were outstanding, and I’d definitely recommend giving them a try (the white chocolate raspberry popping candy bar especially!). Segments of Tony’s Chocolonely bars are divided into a variety of different sizes and shapes (rather than typical squares) and this represents the inequality of the workers who help in the production of a typical chocolate bar.
We finished the day with a browse around the store and I did some Christmas shopping! I had a great day at Oxfam learning about how sustainable fashion and ethical gifting changes the lives of thousands of people around the world experiencing poverty. I hope this post inspires you to shop second-hand more often and make small changes to live more sustainably!