Tuesday 18 September 2018

Reigniting my love for charity shopping

In my humble opinion charity shops are somewhat like Marmite in the sense that people tend to either love them or hate them. Having wavered on both sides of the spectrum I can completely understand why people love them (name me a better feeling than unexpectedly finding an absolute dream of a piece that both fits as if it was made for you and costs less than a tenner) and why people hate them (foisty, fusty, cluttered shops where everyone seems to be finding a right old bargain apart from you are never a great time), but thanks to my latest vintage purchase my feet are stuck firmly in the 'love' camp... for now. 

Let's set the scene shall we... a busy Saturday lunchtime in any UK city centre. A twinge of curiosity around Primark's current home range (everyone loves a bit of new bedding right?) is met with immediate regret as you are sucked into swarms of sweaty teenagers and shouting mothers that fail to acknowledge your existence as you try to barge your way past every Gryffindor branded item under the sun. You try not to lose all sense of balance when you scramble out of the shop like some kind of washed up, ship-wrecked castaway and it takes every ounce of your being not to scream WIIIILSSSSOOOOON as you finally manage to push past the last person and make your way OUT of the Primark building alive. Ok yh maybe I'm a bit dramatic but you get the idea, in a world full of this scenario panning out in pretty much every city in the UK what a bloody beautiful breath of fresh air it is to open the door to a lesser known charity shop, hear the little bell ding as you step inside and have the person at the til look up and acknowledge you before you begin looking around. Instead of being surrounded by mass produced items that have been knocked off the shelves, person after person, the shelves are filled with undiscovered gems that each have their own history and stories to tell.

This blazer didn't cost a lot of money and isn't a 'brand' that I recognise. There's a hole in the inner lining of its right-side pocket. It fastens up with beautiful golden-coloured buttons. It's fit with shoulder pads. It has c h a r a c t e r. The brown on brown stripes are almost reminiscent of a school blazer and the fine detail of the blue/red pinstripes are beyond stunning. When I tried the blazer on it fit me almost as if it had belonged to me previously but the best part is that it didn't - it belonged to someone else. How cool is that?

Especially in the environmentally conscious time that we live in right now, how great is it to take an active role in recycling by creating your own wardrobe from pre-loved clothes? And not only that, but you're also benefiting a charity at the same time. Now there's a win-win if I ever saw one. And it's not even just clothes - I'm really getting into reading crime at the minute and I literally picked up two books for 99p each at the weekend - LESS THAN £2, it's just ridiculous! 

So... Shop in Primark. Buy from charity shops. Do whatever makes you happy, but just be aware that there could be a little miracle waiting to happen near you in the form of a shoulder-padded pin-striped retro number. All you have to do is go to your local charity shop and hunt it down! What do you think? Charity shopping - do you love it or hate it? Let me know and tell me your best finds!

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