Charity Shops – Out with the old, in with the new!

During London Fashion Week we see high-end luxury brands offering fresh and contemporary ideas. Now don’t get me wrong, I can appreciate the beauty of new and refreshing ideas, I’m doing a degree in it! But I thought we could rewind back and discuss how old pieces can be rejuvenated to give them a new feel.

Charity shopping is underrated, particularly with young adults. Programmes such as “Mary Queen of Charity Shops” were introduced by successful women like Mary Portas to help increase appeal for us to shop. In addition, the collaboration between Oxfam and Selfridges was successful, as they created “The Oxfam Curiosity Shop”, Britain’s biggest pop up shop within the well-known department store.

As a student, the bank balance has never exactly been more than 3 digits, and I am left panicking with the common question that lingers in most women’s minds, “what am I going to wear on Saturday night?” Now don’t panic! Most of us may run to the laptop and hastily browse through the generic Topshop, River Island and Forever 21 websites, frantically trying to order that ‘perfect’ dress just to make sure that it gets delivered in time.

“Old-Fashioned” and “Lifeless” are a couple of words that come to our minds with charity shops, but, here I am, to prove to you this does not have to be the case!

The primary objective of charity shops is the voluntary donation of any clothes and accessories that are not necessarily useful to you, but can be useful to others. Who knows which wonderful gems you can come across! I am a self-confessed charity shopper and my experience has resulted in coming across gems such as a gorgeous Topshop jumper which had originally retailed at £45, and I bagged it for a tenner! My point being, the clothes and brands you love do not have to be expensive. It’s good to have patience and an open mind whilst browsing as you are almost certain to come across something that you will just fall in love with.

Location, Location, Location! Where a charity shop is situated can help influence the garments that are going to be displayed. “Oxfam” on Goodge Street is filled with hidden designer pieces for a fraction of its original retail price. Location fits personality, for example, “Traid” situated in Dalston is full of fashion forward clothing for the confident. Similarly, the “Oxfam” on Camden High Street, targets the corset, lace and leather lovers of the area.

Ultimately, in my opinion, there is one reason alone that makes Charity Shops better than any high street store or luxury label. Let us rewind back to the original reason as to why charity shops are here. They are not around to help us students save money, that’s just a bonus! It is all about the wonderful feeling of giving to charity, whether you buy a vintage Chanel jacket, or a pair of Forever 21 shoes that you have always wanted but were just too expensive, remember that the money you spend is going to those who really need it. There really is no better feeling than giving to those less fortunate than ourselves. So girls, next time you have the slight panic of “I HAVE NOTHING TO WEAR!” pop down to your favourite charity shop, dig deep, and give a little back, enjoy!

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