It is Sunday! So, to treat yourself today, why not go shopping? Not what you think: We are staying sustainable. With a stroll around the local charity shops.
Charity shops are second-hand shops that take donations and sell them in favour of their parent organisation. And they have become a go-to destination for fashion editors and bargain hunters alike.
Established shops are great to score a trendy piece or a high-street style from last season for a fraction of the initial price tag. Sounds failsafe - But there are a couple of hacks to get the best out of your day:
1. Pay attention to the area
Charity shops depend on donations. So if you want to score a designer bargain, go to a posh area, if you fancy high street pieces, try trendy areas with lots of students.
Think about the clothes you want and then figure out who might give away such a thing.
By paying attention to the area, you can pave the way for a successful shopping trip.
2. The material and quality
High-quality materials often come with a hefty price tag. So when you’re buying second hand, that is the time to look out for cashmere, silk, mohair and mercerised cotton.
The better the quality, the longer your item will last. Score that chunky knit!
3. Don’t be afraid of digging deep
High-end boutiques invest a lot in the display to make you shop. Charity shops not so much: As they focus on their work, the charities cannot afford to invest in indirect lighting and display styling. As a result, the shops can seem a little stuffed and overwhelming. The best tactic is to take your time and go through all the sections - you never know what you might find and often, the best pieces are hidden in the corners.
4. Befriend the staff
Directly relating to the previous point, it is incredibly useful to have a guide who knows their way around the shop: the volunteers who work there day today. By being friendly to staff, not only will you brighten up both your moods but they might reward you with a hint when new and amazing stock has arrived.
5. Expect the unexpected - but don’t be disappointed
Charity shopping is hit and miss. Essentially, you are dependent on what others decide to give away. One day, you find a great sweater in just the right size - on another, you pass ten shops and score nothing. For that reason, it is best to be open for surprises: going in with a list makes you blind for the treasures right in front of you.
6. Trendy pieces are ok - but don’t just buy because its cheap
If buying trend pieces, charity shops are a great way to do so sustainably. Experimenting with new cuts and patterns is great to spice up your wardrobe and can be a lot of fun. Still, buying something just because it’s cheap will eventually lead you to waste money. So keep an eye out for great fit and pieces that you feel good in - or they might end up taking valuable closet space.
7. Try on and check for faults - not returnable
Different from conventional retailers, the garments bought in charity shops might not be returnable. So it is crucial to try on your desired item, check it for faults and be sure before you make the purchase.
8. Rainy Sunday? Go online
Contrary to popular belief, you don’t have to physically walk into the actual shop to make a bargain. Many charities have started to offer stock online, enabling you to filter by size and style. But whilst it is more comfortable, it is also much easier to find the great pieces for everyone. Checking the shops frequently is greatly advised.
Tag us in your best finds from the charity shop - and complete your capsule wardrobe with ethical basics on The Good Apparel. For any advice, drop us a line!