It’s no secret that I have penchant for all shops second-hand. Over the years my list of shops to visit on a Saturday has shifted from Topshop and River Island to Oxfam and Barnardo’s. It’s been an unconscious shift but as I plan on visiting my local Oxfam this Saturday, it got me thinking how it has been a fair while since I set out for the dizzy lights of Oxford Street. And I don’t miss it. Here are just a few reasons why I now prefer pondering around those charity shops at any given chance.
1. You can bag a bargain. Or eight. After heading back to college (7 years after leaving the first time) to retain in Costume, I wasn’t able to shop on the high-street due to a serious lack of funds. However, I was able to venture into my local Oxfam and pick up a few bits and pieces that have actually ended up being more loved and reused than my most thought out high-street purchases.
2. It’s all for a brilliant cause. Rather than your hard earned money profiting someone in a suit, high up in a chain, you are donating to Oxfam to enable them to provide aid to those most in need. You are donating to Barnardo’s to help them reach the most vulnerable of children. You are donating to Cancer Research to help fund pioneering research. Knowing that the money will be helping someone, somewhere makes my shopping experience a lot less filled with guilt!
3. And finally, it’s a surprise. You can wonder in not knowing what you’re after or what will be on offer but you can end up leaving with anything from a little vintage designer to that long paisley pink shirt that you never knew you needed but will see you through spring/summer worn as a dress and autumn/winter for that necessary extra layer. Because of this uncertainty of what will be on offer, I find second-hand shopping much more creative and fun. The outfit hasn’t been displayed on a mannequin next to all the garments needed to make up the outfit. This means you can put your own spin on an outfit and leave with something completely unique.
And that’s it. Three reasons why I find charity shopping more rewarding, creative and enjoyable.