If you didn’t know it already I am a huge fan of Charity Shops, which is quite handy seeing as I’m an Assistant Manager of one. But rewind about 5 years and I think I’d stepped foot in a charity shop once. This was around the time I was 15-16 and I wanted to be Kate Nash and thought ‘thrifting’ was mega cool. But it wasn’t until I started volunteering in a charity shop in my second year of university that I really started to fall in love with them.
Fast forward to the present day and I reckon about 90% of my wardrobe is now secondhand. This is generally a mixture of things purchased on Depop and eBay, but most of my clothing has been purchased in charity shops. This is something I do want to talk about more often on here as its a big hobby of mine, and I plan on featuring a lot more of my ‘thrifted’ items – which is basically most of my wardrobe at the moment. But today I thought I’d share with you why exactly I love Charity shops so much.
You’re helping a good cause whilst you shop
I’d say the first thing I love most about charity shopping is the fact you’re helping a good cause whilst you buy. Now I’m not somebody who has lots of spare cash to be able to donate regularly to different charities, so shopping in them is my way of doing my bit. Sometimes it’s nice to know that you spending £15-£20 in a charity shop and know it’s going to help others in need rather than going into the pockets of an already rich CEO.
You never know what you are going to find
Its so easy to go shopping on the high street already with an idea in your head of what you’re going to buy, especially when everything is online for you to browse before you go. For me, one of the things I enjoy most about charity shopping is that you have no idea what you’re going to find. I admit sometimes I’ll go hunting and find nothing but the fact you don’t know what you’re going to find is half the fun. When I do find something I love in a charity shop I feel like I’ve really earned it. I’ve hunted through the rails myself, without the clever curation of a visual merchandiser to push me in a certain direction. I’ve found that an item and imagined it in my own wardrobe and pictured myself how I can make it work with other items in my wardrobe.
You find old and out of seasons ranges
You know when there’s an amazing collaboration with a celebrity, or that certain Topshop item that sold out super quickly that you missed out on? Well, sometimes you find those in charity shops! I always get really excited when I see an item that I remember being sold on the high street, especially when it’s my size. A few months ago I managed to pick up a gorgeous Topshop heart print dress in a charity shop for a bargain and I was over the moon as I’d been after it for years. Sadly it was too skinny in the arms for me and I had to pop it on Depop where it was bought by Erica who looks amazing in it! I admit I was a little sad to part with it, but the joy I felt when I spotted it on the rail made it worth it. Still hoping I can find this dress one day that will fit me.
Its cheaper than the High Street
I’ve worked as an Assistant Manager in a charity shop for almost two years and was a volunteer in one a year and a half before that. During that time I’ve found it impossible to shop on the High Street, in the same way, I did previously. I can just about manage a trip to Primark, New Look and maybe H&M or ASOS if I’m feeling “spendy”, but 99% of the time I can’t bring myself to spend the money. Why would I go to Topshop or River Island and spend £20-£25 on a nice top when I can pick up a French Connection dress or a nice Hobbs top for under a tenner? Yes, I admit its harder to pick up ‘on trend’ items in charity shops- not impossible, but not as easy as just popping to your local high street. But that’s why I still tend to go to Primark and New Look as I can grab a couple of ‘on trend’ items that I’m probably only going to wear for a season or two without spending a fortune.
Charity shop fashion is something I’m going to start incorporating more often onto this blog, especially seeing as most of my wardrobe has been bought secondhand now. So watch out for my new fashion series coming in the next few weeks dedicated entirely to secondhand style.