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  • Lauren Jobling

Tips and tricks for charity shopping


Charity shopping is not for everyone. Some people don’t like the idea of wearing other people’s clothes, while others just don’t have the energy to trawl through poorly merchandised charity shops. Even though I take all of these factors on board, I still love it.

Let’s look at the positives, which in my opinion outweighs the negatives. Firstly, you are being more sustainable and helping towards keeping the clothing cogs turning; secondly, you save money; thirdly, you may find rare pieces that have been discontinued, and last but not least, you are doing your bit for charity which is never a bad thing.

Here are a few tips and tricks to help make charity shopping a more enjoyable experience:

  1. Research the best ones

If you want a more streamlined charity shopping experience, look to doing your research before you head out. Go on Time Out, or other sites, that’ll give you a list depending on the location. If you are London based, the pieces you find can depend on the area you go to.

  1. Try before you buy

Most, if not all, charity shops have changing rooms. I know this sounds obvious, but make sure you try on your selection, as it will be a waste (even if it’s a £3 top) if it doesn’t fit.

  1. Look carefully

Sometimes items can be in random places within the store, make sure you take your time and keep your eyes open - you never know what you might come across.

  1. Think

….. about how items could fit into your existing wardrobe. Pretend you are shopping normally and see how you can mix charity shop finds with existing pieces in your wardrobe. Remember that charity shops may not hold all sizes, and you may find it hard to find pieces that fit you, if this is the case - check out the accessories or books! Charity shops are known for their vast supply of great, pre-owned books which are usually about.

  1. Some items are brand new

Yes! Some charity shops have a relationship with big retailers, that if/when a retailer over buys stock, they donate! Now, most of the time they have to take out labels, but if you can tell your Topshop from your River Island, you’ll know. These items are a little bit more expensive then other items, however you’ll still be making a saving and donating to charity.

In a nutshell, treat charity shopping like normal shopping and take your time, make decisions (regardless of price), and most importantly, remember proceeds of what you buy go to charity. It’s win win.

Read here to discover some of my favourite charity shops in and around London.

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