Do You Think You Have What It Takes to Be a Compassion Fashion Icon? Think Again… A short introduction into successful charity shopping.
We are blessed: the UK has such a wonderful abundance of charity shops to choose from with endless rows of pre-loved clothes that have been deemed fit to be resold because they’re still in good condition.
Charity shops are not like normal shops. All styles, sizes, eras and fashion crazes can be found in one place, and although shopping in them takes a little patience and getting used to, it is completely worth it. Why? Because charity shopping means shopping with a conscience, helping to reduce clothes waste and supporting a good cause at the same time. This is true compassion fashion shopping!
‘I never find anything in charity shops,’ you might say. Well, some point taken. As everyone knows, you can’t just rock up at a charity shop with something specific in mind and find exactly what you’re looking for (although it happens sometimes to some very lucky people). But, honestly, can you remember the last time you needed an outfit for a special occasion and found the perfect garment in a high-street store? One usually panic-buys something just before the shop doors close just to revert to an old staple back home in the wardrobe on the night. And the party panic-buy ends up in a charity shop with the label still on. It’s an expensive, unsatisfying and wasteful habit and you aren’t very compassionate with yourself either.
The key to successful charity shopping is to find a few favourite ones and visit them frequently, tune into their atmosphere, strike up a pleasant conversation with the staff and just go with the flow. You have to be in a relaxed state of mind, letting your eyes wander with no pressing appointments – rushing doesn’t work. You become really good at scanning the display efficiently and spotting the gems. And the best thing of all is that if you are a frequent customer and the staff get to know you, you can ask them for specific items and most of the time they are happy to go back into the sorting room to check if they have what you seek. Then you know you’ve made it.
Fashions come and go, and charity shops are treasure troves where all of them gather, appreciated and un-judged, and it’s up to you – the conscientious shopper – to give them a new home. The thought of pre-loved clothes being loved again and again is actually endearing, and it happens quite often that styles that are ‘in fashion’ at the moment have already come full circle in a charity shop. If you spot them at the right time, you can buy ‘on trend’ garments at a fraction of high-street prices. And if you throw a few treasured vintage pieces into the mix… that makes you not the fashion victim, but individual and a compassionate fashion icon!