5 Minutes with Louise Croft

Charity Shopping

I have been virtually following Louise for a good ol’ while. From her days as Pauper to Princess, to all the countries she has been, through to her change to be a Digital Nomad. She now constantly provides amazing advice and tips on how to become a Digital Nomad enabling you to travel the world and make money at the same time over on her YouTube.

Her Instagram is full of vibrant colours from her travels as a Digital Nomad. Her feed also features a lot of second-hand finds as she discovers the best of the charity shops around the globe which pretty much helps me determine where me and my second-hand heart wants to go next.

Having been charity shopping with Louise I can confirm she has an eye for an always brilliant, always colourful bargain and I am looking forward until she’s back in London so we can catch up – whilst browsing the best of the charity shops, obviously!

But until there, I thought I would ask Louise a few questions about all things work, travelling and of course, charity shopping!1.

1. Hi Louise. First up, Congratulations on your recent beautiful wedding! Would you tell us a little about yourself.

Thanks! It was such an awesome day.

I’m a 28 year old Brit who’s addicted to glitter, Instagram and of course charity shopping! My husband and I both run online businesses so we just take our laptops around the world with us and travel full time. I’ve always loved travel so to be able to live in so many amazing countries is a total dream! I do weekly videos on my YouTube channel about travel, business, vlogs, and of course thrifting.

2. When did you first become interested in charity shopping?

As a really young kid my Dad would take me to carboot sales and I was always amazed by how many Barbie you could get for £1! I guess negotiating is pretty easy when you’re an adorable blonde 5 year old. Haha! Then I rediscovered second hand when I got hooked buying clothes on eBay in Sixth Form and at University, and of course charity shopping came hand in hand with that. The mailroom at University got pretty sick of my having new outfits delivered literally every day, and I graduated university with a very healthy bank balance compared to all my friends shopping on the high street! I also spend a few months in America and that REALLY cemented my love of thrifting because the gold you can find out there is just beyond amazing. I still go back once a year if I can to get my Goodwill fix. 

Charity Shopping

3. What is your favourite thing about shopping second-hand?

The creativity. You look at everything in a new light and I’m always amazed by how you can match the current trends, or invent your own, all in the same shop. My friends are constantly outraged when a new trend comes in that I was wearing 3 months ago from things that caught my eye in a charity shop. You don’t even have to wait for the fashion week looks to filter down into consumer retail – as soon as you see it in the magazines you can go out a buy it in a charity shop. 

Of course I also love the ethical and zero waste side – it means I can live a fast fashion life where I only wear things for an Instagram photo, all without polluting our world. I am always telling my friends I “gave all my birthday money to charity” – by which I mean I spent it in a charity shop 😉 It just seems like everyone wins – charities, people who need work experience, the environment, and of course the customer.

 

Charity Shopping

4. Do you find there is a difference between second-hand shopping in different countries? And if so, where is your favourite place in the world to shop second-hand?

Absolutely!

Some countries barely have second hand at all (vintage shops at best), and most have a second hand scene which isn’t run by charities. Most of Europe has second hand chains like Humana or maybe Red Cross but they don’t have the unique charm of British charity shops where every charity has a different vibe. I’ve never seen another system quite like the UK and it’s one of the things I’m most proud of about home. America is definitely my favourite for pure volume and uncovering gems. Most things are just flat priced (e.g. all dresses $7) so you can often find amazing deals or expensive British brands (like Karen Millen or Whistles) that they don’t recognise. I also found some great things at the carboot sales in Oslo though. People have such expensive taste there that they’re often selling off beautiful luxury pieces like Acne or Malene Birger.

Charity Shopping

5. What’s your best second-hand purchase and where is it from?

I got the famous Moschino belt (you know the one!) in a thrift shop in America for $5. I assumed it was fake but when I looked into the marking later I discovered it was real! I also found ONE beautiful nude court shoe Jimmy Choo but I couldn’t find the other foot anywhere in the store. Tragic! Apart from labels some of my best finds have just been things I’ve worn an absolute ton. I’ve got a linen fully buttoned red maxi dress that I didn’t realise was going to be such a valuable part of my wardrobe, but it’s something I always pack in my suitcase and has come all around the world with me! Australia, Cuba, Thailand and Germany to name a few! It’s worth remembering that often the label is irrelevant and it’s the clothes that really flatter you and make you feel great which are the best finds.

Oh and of course I can’t forget my WEDDING DRESS! Which I got at a Vintage shop in Bath. It is a 1920s French Couture which I had lovingly restored. I knew my big day had to be second hand and it meant it was something totally unique. I’m always amazed how well vintage stands the test of time – in my opinion it still looks modern and elegant even though it going on 100 years out of date!

6. And finally, what tips do you have for bagging a second-hand bargain both at home & abroad?

Enjoy the adventure. I love thrifting abroad because it takes me to less touristy areas of town – you find yourself rummaging with the locals at a Sunday morning flea market, or finding adorable high streets in residential parts of town. I love the little memories I have from each item… like “Oh this dress is from when I was living in Chile, but the shoes are form Thailand” – it’s like my souvenirs or postcards! Even when I’m back in the UK I love to thrift in other cities, or use it as an excuse for a girly day out with my Mum or friends. You don’t need to spend loads like if you were going on a shopping binge normally, or you can even just spend the day laughing at monstrosities you find! It’s just all round way more fun than going to a mall.

Go out there and support your local charities and high street…. if you don’t they’ll soon disappear, and if you do you’ll be slaying the runway and celebrating your bank balance!

 

Happy Thrifting xoxo

 

Charity Shopping
You can keep up with Louise’s travels here:

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