Why Shop Charity
Second hand shopping has always been my not-so guilty pleasure, thanks to my Nan and her love of car boot sales. We spent every Sunday morning walking around various car parks, looking at each table and assessing each item’s worth. We’d go home with bags of stuff, safe in the knowledge that we’d spent about £10 and got double that what we would have on the high street. As I grew up, this love expanded into the realm of charity shops. There’s nothing better than finding a little charity shop tucked away somewhere, spending a few hours exploring and them coming out with an absolute steal. I’ve worked in them and shopped in them at various points in my life so I thought I’d write a little about why I love them so much and why everybody should give shopping charity a go!
Reason One : Designer Pieces For Bargain Prices
As a girl that devours fashion magazines like they are air, I have come to appreciate and admire the luxury of a designer label. As a post-graduate intern, I have trained myself to be realistic and just look at the pictures, not the prices. However charity shops allow me to live out my dreams of a designer wardrobe on a student budget! Charity shops get hundreds of donations every day and more often than not, there’s a hidden gem buried in those bags. A Ralph Lauren shirt, a Burberry coat or even a Vivienne Westwood dress, these are all things that could be waiting in your local charity shop. Now just in the interest of being honest and realistic, these pieces will have a slightly higher price tag on them than the usual products found in a charity shop, I mean you’re not going to be able to buy a Ralph Lauren shirt for a pound but when compared to their original prices, these designer pieces go for an absolute steal! So why not pop down your local charity shop and see what hidden gems are waiting for you?
Reason Two : Looking Good, Feeling Good!
When you shop at a charity shop, you’re giving in more ways than one. You’re giving yourself the opportunity to treat yourself to something nice at a bargain price but you’re also giving someone else something they desperately need: support and that goes across all charities, whether you shop at Oxfam , British Red Cross or Tŷ Hafan, you’re helping someone and making a difference. It may not feel like you’re helping much but I can assure you that the £5 you spend in a charity shop makes the world of difference. It’s that knowledge that gives you that warm, fuzzy feeling when you leave the shop, carrier bag in hand and no buyer’s guilt in sight!
Reason Three : One Of A Kind!
If there’s one guarantee I can make about shopping in a charity shop, it’s that you’ll always walk out with something unique. Be it a vintage dress or a Topshop coat from a few years back, the chances are that you’ll be the only one you know who has it! That’s not to say you can’t follow trends with second-hand pieces, in fact it’s the complete opposite! Trends often repeat what came before; I mean look at how many times 70’s boho chic comes out in summer so why not cut out the middle man and try to get an original vintage piece from you local charity shop? It’ll let you create some totally unique, on trend outfits and you’ll be the envy of all your friends when you get to tell them that it’s an original, vintage piece!
Reason Four : A Place Where Time Stands Still…
This phrase immediately pops into my mind when I describe shopping in charity shops. When you go into one of these shops, it really does feel like time has stopped in the best possible way. There’s no rush in a charity shop, you’re completely free to spend as much time as you need in there. When shopping in high street shops , I always feel like there’s some sort of urgency surrounding the place. The staff is rushing around, you are a part of a crowd of customers and your main objective is to grab what you need and go. In a charity shop, it’s completely different. They want you to take your time, explore and try on. They don’t mind if you want to spend 20 minutes going through a rail, in fact they encourage it because they know the more time you spend, the more likely you’ll find something. They’ll help you as much as they can, telling you the history behind the piece if possible. There have been times when I’ve come out of a charity shop thinking I spent 20 minutes in there when it’s actually been an hour, which is something I don’t think I could do in a high street shop. These shop are the ultimate treasure trove so why not go get lost in on for a couple of hours!
Reason Five : Blast From The Past!
It’s pretty safe to say that as a society, we’re pretty nostalgic. We like looking back on the past, be it from our own memories or even a time that we never knew (For me, it is a deep nostalgia for drive-ins and other 50’s cliches, I personally blame Grease). We enjoy reminiscing over our childhoods and that is where charity shops really excel; allowing you to get lost in the nostalgia for a time gone by. You wander around the clothing section and you’ll find something that sparks a memory, be it a scarf that reminds you of one your Nan used to wear, an old pair of jelly shoes that trigger memories of childhood summers or an old sparkly top that looks like the one you wore to your first school disco. This nostalgia isn’t just limited to clothing! Go to the toy section and I’ll bet you find something you either used to own or wanted to own. Look in the book and film section and you’ll find at least one of your old favorites (It might even be on VHS which is the height of nostalgia). You go into a charity shop in any given day and you’ll find someone picking up something and saying “It looks like something my Nan wore” and that’s what I think is so great about charity shops. You’re not just buying an item; you’re buying the history and memories that come with it which is something that can’t be found on the high street.