Oh, that’s a lovely dress!
I’d say this at least 4 times a week to my housemate at University, only to discover it was yet another bargain find from the local charity shop. The idea of buying second-hand had never appealed to me. Where had the clothes come from? What sordid life did they lead before they became mine? And like a magpie, I was always drawn to shiny new garments with their factory scent and fold lines. Until… I crossed the threshold.
It’s like Aladdin’s cave of wonders, with hidden gems at heart-warming prices. The detrimental effects of fast fashion are well documented, but shopping in charity shops needn’t be about easing our ecological guilt, it is simply GREAT SHOPPING.
Here are some of my favourite reasons to shop at a charity shop…
- The bright side to decades of mass consumerism is that our charity shops are overflowing with time-capsule pieces that can recreate looks from every era.
- If you’re savvy and choose your location wisely, you can cash in on the outcasts of the rich and famous. Ever wanted to be someone with an inordinate amount of cashmere in their wardrobe? Shop at Fulham BHF Shop.
- You’ll get the same new clothing buzz you get when you walk into a high street store, but instead of walking out matching fifty other twenty-somethings, you’ll have a look that is all your own.
- Dodge the trends! My next point is indicative of how ‘unfashionable’ I am, but I can guarantee that if the crop tee trend reappears this summer, I will not be shopping mainstream. Find your timeless items in charity shops.
- ‘Urgh, Mum, I’m just buying clothes and spending money for the good of the planet’ becomes a viable statement. Not only do you feel wonderful because you’ve found a perfect statement piece for your best friend’s birthday, you are donating to charity and keeping clothing out of the landfill. The British Heart Foundation are very special to me as they are pioneering research into heart disease that has devastated our family. If me getting a new pair of shoes further strengthens our battle against heart-related illness, well, I should probably buy a couple more for good measure!
- It’s not just clothing! Every Christmas, we do several Secret Santas and pick up all of our gifts from charity shops to avoid the relentless cycle of stocking fillers ending up in the bin. That £5 spend that anywhere else would limit you to a pair of socks and a chocolate bar, instead, in a charity shop, your fiver could grab you a new clock-radio, a stack of brilliant books, board games, vinyls or a beautiful teapot (to name but a few of my previous successes).
- With that in mind, it’s cheap. For the same price as a top in your favourite high street shop you could bag yourself an entire outfit. This is particularly useful as you venture towards the dregs of your pay cheque and Toral, from work, has decided to stretch her 30th out for 5 days straight and you are weighing up whether to wear that dress for the third night on the bounce or stick to tap water for the evening festivities.
Thank you to the beautiful team at BHF for always having the best selection of pre-loved clothing! #BoughtAtBHF