Four years on a student budget quickly trained me to spot a bargain. Topshop prices didn’t comply with my spending pattern, instead baked beans and post lecture gin and tonics took full priority. Any clothes lover naturally wants new outfits for every occasion. To keep my wardrobe looking inspiring my shopping habits had to be away from the high street. Living in Leeds meant there was no shortage of charity shops on my doorstep. The day before a big old party I would wander into Headingley, search out a gold playsuit in Oxfam for £2.50, and spend my evening dancing in brand new sparkles. This became my shopping routine. Finding totally unique outfits for the same price as a cup of tea and a sarnie.



#1 You're Donating to GREAT CAUSES

Every charity shop item you purchase is a donation to support a great cause. This year alone I must have donated to upwards of twenty splendid organisations. There are over 10,000 charity shops located all over the UK so there is no shortage of garments out there to be salvaged. 

#2 It’s Sustainable Shopping

Shopping for preloved clothing is a step towards improving the UK's major clothing waste issues. You only have to Google to read the extreme amounts of clothing waste that our country produces every year. Checkout for more information on the cost of clothing waste and the new methods aimed to tackle clothing waste. WRAP UK identifies second hand shopping as a vital method to reduce clothing waste, encourage sustainable living and improve the state of the environment. 

#3 To Find Bargain Prices

Not just Primark cheap but two dresses for a fiver cheap. Charity shopping doesn’t mean you need to compromise on the quality of your garments. The quality of charity shop stock tends to reflect the residents in that area. For example a charity shop in an affluent location is likely to sell clothing produced by luxury brands and high-end designers. 

#4 You'll Build Individual Style

I guarantee you will never rock up to that night dressed the same as the girl standing next to you at the bar. There’s nothing worse than spending £40 on an outfit only to see it everywhere! Charity shopping is an opportunity to experiment with your own style. Search out what you think looks great instead of buying the outfit on the mannequin.

The ongoing success of vintage shops and influx of online boutiques such as Asos Marketplace, Depop, Carousel, Etsy and Poshmark, second hand clothes have become a part of the mainstream fashion market. Preloved shopping is a growing trend and the diversity of garments available in charity shops lends itself to finding style to suit all genres of fashion from 90s grunge to sophisticated chic. 

#5 For The Excitement

For me, stumbling upon a great item of clothing is like finding money in the pocket of your jeans.  Just last week I found some amazing Nikes, still with the tags, never been worn. I got so excited I flung my arms up and tripped over a bucket of sunglasses. Actually later that day I knocked over a cardboard cutout of Ben Affleck in HMV so perhaps I need to work on my spatial awareness a little before my next shopping escapade … 

Supreme vintage markets and charity shop sales are often best kept secrets so in my upcoming blog posts I'll be sharing some of my favourite places to help you grab exceptional thrift store style.


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