Charity Shopping for Secondhand Clothes



I love charity shopping for secondhand clothes!

Generally I try to buy as little as possible. I have a wardrobe full of clothes but sometimes I just feel the need for a bit of refresh of my clothes and rather than buying clothes from fast fashion brands, I much prefer to shop for secondhand clothes in charity shops. I am always genuinnely surprised by the amazing clothes that people no longer want any more and have donated. Most of the clothes in charity shops are in a pretty good condition. Sometimes they are even brand new with the tags on.

There are so many reasons to love charity shopping. I love that I can try new looks and experiment a little when I shop at charity shops. I come across styles, patterns and colours that I might not usually wear but as charity shopping has a much lower environmental impact than fast fashion, I don’t mind experimenting a little. If I make a mistake and later decide that a look doesn’t work for me, I can easily donate it back to the charity shop happy in the knowledge that I am supporting a worthwhile cause. Charity shopping is great for finding unique,eclectic and unusual pieces, avoiding fast fashion (with its huge environmental impact and unethical supply chains), saving unwanted clothing from landfill and supporting charities that are doing som eamazing work in the UK and abroad. All of this makes me really happy!

When I have time, there is nothing that I love better than looking around the local charity shops in town. However, I often don’t have much time for this so shopping the Oxfam Online shops give me access to a huge choice of second hand clothes. I can quickly find what I want by filtering by size, colour and brand. They even have a returns policy incase I buy something that doesn’t fit.

Here are a few outfits from the last year featuring secondhand clothes that I have picked up from charity shops…

charity shop skirt

Organic Cotton Top – People Tree
Secondhand Skirt – Oxfam
Shoes – Clarks
Ethical Necklace – MADE UK

charity shop jacket

Ethical necklace – Made UK
Organic cotton dress – SkunkFunk
Boots – Toms
Secondhand jacket – local charity shop

charity shop jacket

Secondhand jacket – Oxfam
Organic cotton dress – SkunkFunk
Boots – Timberland
Necklace – a present

charity shop skirt

Skirt – Oxfam
Organic cotton jacket – Nancy Dee
Vintage top – ASOS marketplace

charity shop floral skirt

secondhand skirt – local charity shop
Top & Snood – very old / high street shop
Vintage jacket – Rokit 

Oxfam skirt

Organic cotton top – People Tree
Skirt – Oxfam
Boots – Timberland

charity shop jacket

Hat – BBCo

Jacket – charity shop

Organic cotton jeans – Weekday

Hiking boots – very old

charity shop top

Preloved jacket – local charity shop
Top – Oxfam
Jeans – Marks and Spencers

Boots – Timberlandsecondhand cardigan

secondhand cardigan – Oxfam
Organic cotton leggings – Though clothing
Organic cotton dress – SkunkFunk
Shoes – Po-Zu

Do you ever shop in charity shops? What are your favorite finds?

With warmest wishes

Ethical Fashion and Life in Lock Down

biker style

Denim waistcoat – Oxfam fashion
Organic cotton t shirt – A question of
Organic cotton jeans – Weekday
Necklace – Made UK

Patagonia hat

Cap – Patagonia
Vintage jacket – Married to the Sea (Newquay)
Trousers – Nomads

It has only been a little while since I last posted, but so much has changed since then. The corona virus crisis has being a game changer for so many different people in so many different ways. With so many people now in lockdown, we are having to adapt to a completely different lifestyle.

For me things are not too bad. I have my closest family around me and plenty to keep me occupied. I am making good use of the extra time that I have by trying to so some of the things that I usually don’t have time for.

Here are some of the things that I am doing to stay happy and healthy:

  • Healthy eating – with plenty of time on my hands, I am trying to cook from scratch with plenty of fruit and veg.
  • Exercise – I usually go to 8-10 fitness classes a week which I really miss. Instead I am doing online versions of Les Mills body pump, combat,balance and grit.
  • Fresh air and sunshine – I am very lucky to have a  garden to sit in when the sun is out.
  • Living in the moment – I am trying not to think too far ahead or worry about what the future holds. I am just taking each day as it comes.
  • Getting creative– I don’t usually have time to be creative so I am making the most of the opportunity to do some art and painting.
  • Sticking to routines – I am trying to to bed at my usual time and wake up at near my usual time. This stops me getting tired and sad.
  • Limiting alcohol – I have decided to limit my alcohol intake at the moment as otherwise I could easily fall into bad habits. I definitely don’t need hangzeity at the moment. This doesn’t include a glass or two on Easter weekend and my birthday to celebrate.
  • Ticking off my ‘to do list’ – As a full time working mum, I spend a lot of time thinking about all the things that need doing and I never have time to do. I am making the most of my time on furlough from work to tick off at least one thing a day. This not only gives me a sense of achievement but also means once lockdown is over, I can live life to the full without feeling guilty about chores that need doing.
  • Enjoying time with my family – usually we are all so busy, we are like ships passing in the night. I am really enjoying cooking, watching films and playing games together.
  • Connecting with friends and family on Skype – I miss seeing my friends and family but I am making the most of technology to keep in touch as much as possible.
  • Helping others – I’m not doing as much as some people to help but trying to get shopping and prescriptions for neighbours and family to make sure they don’t need to leave their houses.
  • Making some ‘me time’ – all being in the house together can get exhausting at times and so I am also making quiet time for myself, usually reading my book in bed or the garden.
  • Feeling grateful – after being very ill about 3 weeks ago and now being recovered, I feel very grateful for my health and also to have my immediate family safe and close.
  • Finding time to do some blogging and finally getting time to post these outfits! You can check out my Instagram here for more outfits and food posts.

I am hoping that over the next few weeks I will find time to do some updates to my ethical fashion directory, something that I have been meaning to do for ages. So watch this space!

How are you spending your time in lockdown?  What are you doing to stay happy and healthy?

Stay home and stay safe!

With warmest wishes

Goodbye 2019, Hello 2020!

vintage poncho

Vintage poncho – Etsy
Jeans – Cheap Monday
Shoes – Po-Zu

charity shop jacket

Top and Jacket – charity shop
Trousers – M&S
Shoes – Toms

oxfam dress

Dress – Oxfam
Denim jacket – swapped many years ago
Trainers – Veja

Lucy and Yak dungarees

Dungarees – Lucy and Yak (a Christmas present)
Vest top – charity shop

Top – swapped many years ago
Trousers – Nomads clothing
Boots – Timberland (A Christmas present)

2019 had had its ups and downs but overall it has been a good year for me. Here are a few outfit pictures from the later half of 2019 that I haven’t had the chance to post yet.

No New Clothes for a Year

I have completed another no new clothes for a year challenge and whilst I may have caved in and bought something new at least once and have had some dungarees and boots as Chriistnas presents, it has been really useful in reminding me that I really don’t need anything new and I already have plenty in my wardrobe to wear. I can also find lots of lovely items second hand clothes in charity shops and vintage shops and websites. Whilst I am not going to be doing the challenge again this year, I am confident that I have overcome the habit of shopping for the sake of it for now at least and will be continuing to buy as little as possible and look for second hand first in 2020. Of course I will occasionally need to buy something new and for that I will be sticking with ethical and sustainable brands (as always).

Reduction of Single Use Plastics

As far as my no single use plastics pledge is going, I am not so sure ho things are going! I am still buying my fruit and veg plastic free from the market but I have had to abandon the milk bottle delivery due to the expense and have really struggled to make as many positive changes as I had hoped. I couldn’t get on with the conditioner bars for my hair as it became so dry and knotted, unfortunatley and have reverted back to bottles. Generally I do try and buy products with less packaging but I am a very long way from going single use plastic free. I am ready to start again in 2020 but I am going to need a bit of a rethink about the areas where I can make the most difference to our plastic usage. I also hope that supermarkets and companies are goig to start to offer more options to help and encourage consumers to go plastic free.

For 2020, I am not making new years resolutions as such, but want to try and find ways to make more time for doing what I enjoy. I want to surf more and improve lots. I already have some trips and weekends planned and I am sure there will be lots more as the year progresses.

I also got a skateboard/ longboard for Christmas and I love it. I want to take up yoga in additon to the 10 other exercise classes I do each week. This may seem like a lot but it makes sense to do what makes me happy, which is being active.

What are your favourite memories of 2019 and plans for 2020?

With warmest wishes

Shopping My Wardrobe

30 plus wears

Vintage poncho – Etsy
Organic cotton dress – Annie Greenabelle
Organic cotton leggings – Thought clothing

I often post about new pieces of ethical or sustaianble clothing that I have bought but the most important part of my drive to be more sustainable with what I wear is shopping my wardrobe. Ok ‘shopping my wardrobe’ is just another way of saying not buying anything at all or just wearing what I already have in my wardrobe! But I thought it might be a bit more an attention grabbing title for the post and of course a hastag on instagram.

We are facing unprecendented threats to our environment and possibly life as we know it brought about by environmental degradaation which are largely driven by consumerism.Climate change and plastic oceans are just two of the big issues that we need to address as a worldwide and as individuals. Just last week, Lucy Siegle reported in the Guardian on how, if unchecked,the fashion industry could account for 25% of carbon production globally by 2050. UK consumers sent 300,000 tonnes of textiles to be burned or dumped in landfill in 2018.

And yet, governement minsters have recently decided to reject propsals by a cross party environmental audit committee which included a1p levy on fast fashion and mandatory environmental targets for fashion retailers with a turnover of 36m.

We can still take hope from countries such as Denmark, which has recently cancelled Stockholm fashion week to investigate more sustainable options. And as individuals we can continue to do everything in our power (no matter how small) to limit our consumption.

Our greatest weapon against fast fashion is to shop your wardobe which is summed up so perfectly with Vivienne Westwoods phrase:

  • Buy less
  • Choose well
  • Make it last

Whilst I do very occasionally make a mistake and buy the wrong thing that doesn’t get worn very much, almost all of my clothes have been in my wardrobe for a number of years and have been worn multiple times. I have found the ‘no new clothes’ challenge that I am taking part in again this year is a great way of focussing my mind on not buying new clothes and enjoying what I already have.

The dress and leggings picture above for example have been worn at least 30 times, probably much more. I don’t feel this should be a big deal and something that needs talking about. It should just be the way it is. But whilst there is still a culture of fast fashion and clothes just bought for a few wears before being discarded, we need to keep talking about it.

In other news I am taking part in Plastic free July. I won’t lie it is not going to well so far. I am trying to find more plastic free alternatives to my usual products but there often just isn’t the choice. I am also tweet my ideas and suggestions to brands and supermarkets. Not so sure that they will take notice but its got to be worth a try. Where there are other options like the local fruit and veg stall in the market, I am taking my custom there.

How is your July going? are you taking any steps to reduce your plastic use or buy less clothes?

With warmest wishes

Goodbye 2018, Hello 2019

nye charity shop outfit

New Years Eve Oufit

Dress – Oxfam
Necklace – Sourced by Oxfam
Shoes – Veja
Bag – Reclaim

It has been lovely to have a whole 10 days off work over the Christmas break allowing time to recharge the batteries, reflect on 2018 and make plans for 2019. We spent Christmas in Cornwall walking, surfing, eating and drinking way too much and spending time with family. For New Years Eve this year, we are opting for a quiet night with a few drinks in town.

Looking back at 2018

2018 has been another super busy year. I am slowly learning that, that is the way I like it and that list of stuff that just never gets done because I don’t have time, probably just isn’t that important. I think I am perfecting the skill of juggling and prioritising the important stuff so who cares about the rest.

2018 was the year that I learned to surf and swapped foreign holidays for Cornwall, that I took the plunge and left a job that I loved to try something else with full time job, instead of waiting it out for the almost certain prospect of redundancy (so glad that I did!)

Plastic free

2018 was also very much about the environment for me. David Attenborough has helped to bring the issue of plastic pollution into the mainstream and at the beginning of 2018 with publicity around his Blue Planet 2 series I started to work towards becoming single use plastic free. I am not sure I realised how difficult it would be. Looking back over the year, I have made some really positive changes to our life (you can read my latest update here) but we still have a long way to go. Looking at the large amount of waste created over Christmas (albeit much less than previous years) has renewed my motivation to keep making small changes which all add up to a big difference. I will be sharing more of these soon.

No new clothes for a year

Another big environmental issue that has also been highlighted in 2018 was fast fashion with Stacey Dooley’s documentary Fashion’s Dirty Secrets presneting the issue in a fresh and compelling way. Whilst I have not bought fast fashion for many years now, in 2018 I took part in the ‘no new clothes for a year’ challenge to further reduce my consumption and help to show that it is possible to live quite happily without buying new clothes. In complete honesty, I didn’t quite manage the challenge this time. I did invest in a few new clothes by ethical and sustainable brands including shoes and fitness clothing that whilst not completely essential will be worn continually. Despite this I think the challenge has really helped me to carefully consider and reduce my consumption of clothes this year. For 2019, I have decided to keep a clothes log of any new clothes bought including the reasons and ethical credentials. I hope that this will help me to be more mindful of my purchases.

Plans for 2019

My big focuses for 2019 will be quality time with family and friends, living in the moment, improving my surfing, continuing to reduce the impact of my clothing on the environment and reduce our single use plastic consumption, whilst hopefully inspiring others to the same with this blog and social media.

Happy new year! What are your highlights of 2018 and plans for 2019?

With warmest wishes

Green Friday and Sustainable, Ethical Christmas Shopping

green friday Oxfam dress

Workwear outfit
Dress – Oxfam Online
Boots – Toms
Bag – What Daisy did (upcycled leather)

This year as in previous years I ignored Black Friday in favour of Green Friday which is basically no different to any other Friday.

I have started to think about Christmas shopping but I already know what I want to get so have no interest in tempting myself to buy any more with discounts.

I am trying to scale back Christmas this year buying a lot less. With the presents that I do buy, I am trying to buy ethical, sustainable, minimal packaging and from local small businesses. I want Christmas to be about the experiences more than the presents so I am hoping we can have lots of fun times with family and friends instead of accumalating more stuff that we don’t really need. That said, I couldn’t not buy a little something for my family.

Here are some of the places that I have shopped online for Christmas presents.

  • Seasalt Cornwall – some lovely accessories including scarves and socks
  • Rapanui – organic cotton t shirts and hoodies as well as lots of other surf inspired clothing
  • Ethical Superstore – a fantastic range of home wear, clothing, accessories, food, you name it!
  • Luva Huva – beautiful lingerie and night wear
  • Etsy – so many beautifully handmade items!

I am also venturing out to the Christmas market in Bath in the hope of finding some nice handmade and unique gifts and locally made foods if I can cope with the hoards of people. I will let you know how I get on!

The picture above is my work outfit on Friday. I used to think dressing ethically and sustainably for work was difficult but I have now completely changed my mind. Oxfam online shop is my first port of call for amazing shift dresses. Which means I have been able to top up my work dresses even though I am on the non new clothes for a year challenge.

Have you started your Christmas shopping yet? where will you be shopping?


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Sourced by Oxfam

Sourced by Oxfam
Tropical Leaf Necklace – Oxfam online
Dress – People Tree

I was recently sent this lovely necklace by Oxfam. I am a big fan of the Oxfam online shop for buying second hand clothing as you will have probbaly guessed from my previous #foundinOxfam posts but didn’t realise what a great selection of ethically made accessories they also sell in their ‘Sourced by Oxfam‘ section. I really liked the design of this necklace which is a collaboration with jewellery brand Lima Lima. Each piece of jewellery in the collection is handmade in Bristol, using real brass and a sterling silver plated chain.

The founder of Lima Lima is Rhi, a strong supporter of the slow fashion movement. She applies this ethos to her work carefully hand crafting each piece by hand using locally sourced and recycled materials wherever possible, and designs her pieces with longevity in mind. The ‘Sourced by Oxfam’ Collection also features tropical leaf bracelets and earrings aswell as a range of other beautifully handcrafted pieces of jewellery and accessories.

To celebrate world Friendship Day yesterday, Oxfam also have a lovely discount code which is valid until 3pm tommorrow! Details are below

20% OFF for you and your bestie
Share the love with code: FRIENDS20

30th July – 3pm 1st August 2018.
This offer is only valid for orders placed online.
Only valid for items priced £2.99-£200.
This offer excludes Bridal and Unwrapped items.
Oxfam reserves the right to end this promotion at any time.
Offer available subject to availability.

With warmest wishes


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#FoundinOxfam

foundinoxfam

Floral dress/ tunic – Oxfam (originally M&S)
Shoes – Clarks
Organic cotton leggings – Thought

Armed with some money that I have been given for my birthday and an excuse of needing newwork clothes to wear for my new job, I was just about to fail on my no new new clothes for a year challenge!

But…. I managed to pull myself back from the brink of disaster just in time with a quick visit to the Oxfam online shop where I found exactly what I needed for my new job and some more.The problem with clothes shopping is that you can always find a reason to buy something new if that is what you want.I had convinced myself that only new would do if I wanted to look professional in my new job, but who was I kidding! Oxfam has some fantastic second hand clothes, many are almost as good as new. They also have a great search function on the website, making it super quick and easy to find the style, brand and size that I want.

If you think that charity shopping only offers limited styles and you probably won’t find what you want, I challenge you to check out the Oxfam online shop, they have a massive amount of stock.

Oxf

Floral dress- originally from M&S

I am not sure I will wear this to work. It will probably work better for me for a going out dress! The stitching had come undone a little at the back, but nothing that couldn’t be fixed in about 5 mins with the sewing machine, making it good as new to wear.

Oxfam dress

This dress is definitely for work. Again it was originally from Marks and Spencers. I am a big M&S fan as the clothes just seem to fit me well and they are also good quality and last for ages.

vest top

vest top

Finally I invested in 2 new vest tops which are just great for wearing with jeans and a statement necklace or scrarf. The necklaces are from Ethical Super Store and Made UK.

It is only a few weeks to go now until I get back to the coast in Newquay for some surfing followed by starting my new job. Lots to look forward to this summer! What are you looking forward to for summer?

With warmest wishes


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Charity Shop Dress – Oxfam

Oxfam dress and jacket

Dress – Oxfam
Denim jacket – a clothes swap
Shoes – Swedish Hasbeens
Necklace (Fair Trade) – Ethical Superstore

Oxfam dress

With spring finally here and some lovely warm weather, I felt the need to brighten up my wardrobe a little bit. Winter feels like it has been pretty dull nad dark and I was getting a definite craving for some colour. As I am trying to complete a no new clothes challenge during 2018, Oxfam was the perfect solution allowing me to refresh my wardrobe whilst avoiding something new and also recycling something old and providing a charitable donation.

I have probably raved about Oxfam before in the past but never mind I am going to do so again. Shopping online with Oxfam is perfect for someone like myself that wants to reduce their environmental footprint but doesn’t have time to trawl the charity shops. I find the Oxfam website really quick and easy to search and find what I want with lots of different filters to choose from including colour, size and brand. Oxfam also have a returns policy which is great if you are worried about whether an item will fit.

I have also treated myself to a few other items from Oxfam recently incluisng a spotty dress for work and some vest tops to wear with jeans.Generally the challenge is going well and I have managed to stick to it completely up until now. I have however relaxed it a little bit wih regard to birthday presents, it would be a bit awkward and rude not to accept them!

The jacket that I am wearing is one of my favourites and came from a clothes swap through a clothes swap website that I used to run quite a few years ago. The shoes and necklaces were bought a few years ago and I am pleased to say have had lots of wear.

In other news, I have been pretty busy since I last posted. I have taken up a new hobby, surfing and also competed a refresher course for an old hobby, diving. I have been spending quite a bit of time in Cornwall and am loving being outdoors walking, surfing and diving.

I will be posting another update on my single use plastics soon. I have been finding this particularly challenging but have made some really postive steps forward which I can’t wait to share.

I hope you are enjoying the warmer weather. Do you feel the need to wear brighter clothes as we move into spring and summer?

With warmest wishes


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Sunday Brunch Outfit

Sunday Brunch Outfit

Dress – Nancy Dee
Boots – TOMS

Last Sunday, me and Mr S had a rare opportunity for some time together so we popped into town for some Sunday brunch accompanies by a bottle of prosecco. I wore the new dress that I got for Christmas and my last new piece of clothing before starting on the no new clothes for a year challenge. Nancy Dee is one of my favourite ethical retailers, ticking all of the boxes of comfortable, flattering, timeless styles, ethically made in the UK, minimal waste and made from sustainable fabrics including organic cotton and modal. Although a bit higher price than some of the high street retailers, I look at Nancy Dee pieces as a great investment. I already have quite a few dresses and organic cotton jersey jackets that I wear all the time.

The No New Clothes for a Year Challenge Update

This time around (I did the challenge a few years back), I am hoping the challenge is going to be fairly straight forward. I think my clothes buying habits have really changed over the last 5 – 10 years. When I do buy new clothes I spend a bit more and go for items that will last in terms of quality and style. I think this has paid off as I now don’t often need to buy new clothes, my wardrobe is packedwith clothes that I never want to throw away. If I do need something, I usually find it is quite easy to find work wear or perhaps a new party dress as a treat from Oxfam online. I also treat myself to the ocassional vintage piece when I am looking for something a bit different.

Oxfam online  has become a real go to for me. As much as I love trawling the charity shops, these days, I am at work all week and just don’t have the time to get into town on the weekends. It offers a massive selection of clothes and you can quickly zone in on exactly what you are looking for using filters which include size, colour and brand. My daughter even managed to find a tweed jacket to create her Doctor Who, World Book Day outfit instead of opting for the fast fashion fancy dress alternative. Didn’t know Doctor who was a book? no me neither!

No Single Use Plastics Update

I will be honest I have had good weeks and bad weeks so far with this challenge. It has taken quite a bit of time researching to try and find usable alternatives to plastic covered products. I ams till very much focussing on food at the moment as I still have so much more to do with this. I am finding some of the changes that I am making e.g. making soup, cakes and visiting different shops really time consuming and sometimes I just haven’t had the time and have had to resort to a piece of plastic packed brocolli or ready made cakes and biscuits for the children.

I have however made one fantastic discovery, the local market on a Saturday morning. There is a fruit and vegtable stall which sells bowls of fruit and veg for a pound each. This works out pretty cheap compare to what I pay in the supermarket and the friendly chap that runs the satll is more than happy tipping the bowls straight into my reusable bag making it a lot quicking than buying individual fruit items in a supermarket. There is also a stall selling fresh bread which they will put in a paper bag for me.

How is 2018 going for you so far? have you taken on any challenges?

With warmest wishes


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