It goes without saying that the team at The Charity Shop Gift Card are advocates of buying preloved and think that The Charity Shop Gift Card would make a great Christmas present (but of course we would say that we’re biased!) Bethany Clark did some research to find out the word on the street when it comes to the joys of charity shopping.
I personally am a great lover of charity shopping! It’s hard to get me to walk past one without having a quick browse because you never know where or when you’re going to find that perfect gem! But I don’t want you just to take my word for it! So I headed out to Totnes to ask shoppers their opinions…
What is your favourite thing about shopping at charity shops?
“Good quality clothing at affordable prices” Sue, 39
This is a great reason to shop in charity shops! Usually prices are very affordable, with most pieces under a tenner and loads of charity shops having a £1 sale rail and carrying quality brands. For example, a few years ago I bought a knitted jumper originally from M&S for £4, this jumper is still going strong! Compare this jumper with one from a fast fashion brand for closer to the £10 price mark and the charity shop M&S jumper is lasting longer!
“Finding unique pieces” – Alex, 27
I remember in my younger years feeling a little like a clone, wearing very similar outfits to all the other girls because we’d all be buying the same products or the same trends from the high street brands. It wasn’t until I started exploring charity shops that I really started developing my own personal style. Like Alex, I found unique pieces that matched my personality more and that I felt more comfortable in.
Your favourite charity shop/charity shop find?
“Vintage blazer” (£10) – Emily, 23
“Statement earrings” (£1.50) -Becky, 32
“A vinyl record of Bruce Willis’ single” (£2) – Arthur, 30
Sometimes I think people forget all the options in charity shops! They’re not just clothes, you can also find, accessories, books, homeware and even records in some! I recently found 2 new mugs and 3 new dishes for the kitchen, all of that for less than £4!
Why might people not shop in charity shops? – What can be done about this?
“There’s still some old fashioned stigma about shopping at charity shops, whether that’s because it’s cheap or it’s someone’s old clothes but I think it’s becoming a lot more trendy now. Especially with a more mainstream focus on the environment and the issues surrounding fast fashion or the cost of living and charity shops offering a great way to grab a bargain for some really good quality pieces” .– Sue, 39
I think Sue put it perfectly. There’s always been this strange stigma about shopping in charity shops – which is so bizarre as it’s estimated that 70% of the world’s population mainly wears secondhand clothing (How to break up with fast fashion). It’s hard to combat some of the negative attitudes towards shopping there but again, as Sue said, with a wider focus on our environmental impact and a secondhand fashion movement on social media the stigma is starting to become an outdated attitude. [check out our lovely @amylorenzx if you’re on Instagram and love a little secondhand fashion content].
“I can never find something in my size!” – Emily, 28
This is such an important point Emily makes! I’m personally a size 10-12 so I’m really lucky as there’s usually plenty in charity shops that fit me – except for that perfect shirt or skirt that’s a size 6 or 8 that I feel heartbroken about because it’s so so cute. Clothing in larger sizes can sometimes be limited. I think Charity Shops are starting to carry a wider range of sizes as more sizes are donated but it still is a huge barrier for plenty of people! Ultimately, this is down to the donations the shops are receiving. But something we can all do is try and stick to our own size a little bit more. I used to buy a few shirts here and there in bigger sizes for the oversized look, however, once I learned that this is a limiting an already small choice for plus size women I’ve stopped so I could try and do my bit to ensure people of all shapes and sizes find something in charity shops.
How would you feel about receiving a charity shop gift card from a friend/family?
“I personally would love it! I’m in charity shops all the time and having one card that works in all the different charity shops would be great! I also love the idea of loading it up when I get paid, like I could put £20 per month and just keep it in my purse, I think it would also help me budget.” – Megan, 22
This blog post was kindly written by guest writer, Bethany Clark