Before I started volunteering in my local RSPCA Charity Shop as a Marketing Assistant, I was under the impression that charity shops, whilst being good things for raising money for worthy causes, were mostly for older people, filled with average clothing and lots of figurines. Yes, I knew there could sometimes be great finds in a charity shop, but I just didn’t think it was my sort of thing. I realise now, I was being an idiot.
The charity shop I currently work in specialises in Vintage Pre-owned items, and we get some amazing donations. We’ve had everything from designer clothing to beautiful vintage dresses. And sometimes the items are even brand new and unworn. Charity shops are an amazing outlet for unique, interesting outfits. It is a refreshingly hip, young and unique store that wouldn’t look out of place in Shoreditch. But it’s not just the fact that you can find some pretty special clothes in these shops: you are also really helping the environment by re-wearing clothes. And any items that are donated that aren’t fit to be sold – for example, stained or ruined garments – get sent to be turned into rags, earning the charity money and being recycled at the same time!
They are also an excellent source when you are looking for older items – in particular vintage records, which are currently experiencing a revival of sorts. And the amazing thing is, everything is very cheap and all your money is going to help people or animals in need. What could be better?
So yes, check out your local charity shop for some amazing finds, to help the environment and a good cause. And if you’ve got some free time – why not think about volunteering? Volunteers rage in age from college and university students to middle aged parents and older people. Whilst you wont be getting paid, it’s an excellent thing to add to your CV, and also a great way of getting around the ‘need experience for a job but need a job for experience’ problem many young people face in today’s economy. And, of course, you’re helping other people and/or animals and the environment.
So throw away the idea that charity shops won’t contain any items for you, or that they are for the older generation, and take a look inside the next time you walk on by.