Birthday Week

Apart from the fact that it marks me getting another year older, I really love birthdays. I don’t have much time to myself most of the time so on my birthday like to indulge myself. This year I have managed to spread it out over a whole week of doing pretty much exactly what I want. I had some lovely pressies including delicious smelling Lush goodies from my sister, a beautiful mirrored jewellery box and a necklace from my neighbours and a vintage book from my friend but mostly I got money which I  have used to treat myself to a few goodies (clothes of course!).

114 Birthday Week

116 Birthday Week

ramirez dress Birthday Week

On Monday, I spent a very wet day wandering around the shops and researching my Vintage and Second Hand Guide to Bath, I did also manage to squeeze in some shopping and got this beautiful scarf from the Black and White Shop for just £10. I also got this amazing printed dress from Monsoon and a Monsoon cardigan from the Oxfam Boutique. I can’t wait until the weather warms up so I can wear the dress perhaps with the scarf for a really printastic outfit!

086 Birthday Week

My actual birthday was really all about eating cake. I ordered up this beauty from Patisserie Valerie, it was delicious- sponge, cream, fruit and white chocolate.  I did manage to fit in 2 hours of excercise classes which hopefully went some way to offsetting some of those calories.

057 Birthday Week

On Thursday, I had a cup of tea and chat with the lovely Noorin Khamisani of Outsider, a fantastic label that is all about classic, wearable and beautiful clothes (that just happen to be ethical too) . I really love her latest collection which features some very lovely dresses, one of which she happens to be wearing in this photo.

0141 Birthday Week

It was yet another horrible and wet day so I resorted to wearing jeans (organic cotton from M&S) and boots (Dream in Green) with my new Antiform top that I got from Mr Style Eyes and the girls. I did give them a little help in deciding what to get me. Well actually I just bought it ,myself from Think Boutique. Antiform is another label which I really love and well worth checking out if you love unusual pieces. They use reclaimed fabrics and mix fashion forward shapes with heritage crafts.

zakee shariff paisley tee 0ec0361e168b Birthday Week

I also got this People Tree top from the Zakee Shariff Collection.

0741 Birthday Week

And this dress by Frank and Faith (another amazing and very afforable brand) from Ethical Superstore which I wore out to dinner with my friends on Friday with leggings and necklace by People Tree, swapped denim jacket and shoes by Simple.

I have also ordered myself a few more goodies in the Ethical Superstore 20% off sale and some Melissa shoes (to keep my feet dry) which I will share once they arrive.

So that is it birthday week is over, back to reality, sensible, healthy eating and a complete shopping ban until at least the autumn, I definitely don’t need any new clothes now.

I hope you have had a lovely weekend, despite the rain!

With warmest wishes

Ceri x

This post contains some affiliate links

Pin It

A Vintage and Second Hand Guide to Bath


 A Vintage and Second Hand Guide to Bath

I feel very lucky to live near to Bath. It has so many shops and cafes, I could spend hours just wandering around the back streets discovering new places. In particular, it has some amazing places to shop for vintage and second hand clothes. So on one very wet and rainy day (Monday), I decided to take my camera and do a bit of research for the Second Hand and Vintage Guide to Bath that I have been promising for quite some time.

If you don’t live near Bath and fancied visiting for a weekend or short break there are also plenty of other things to do, my favourites being the Bath Costume Museum, the Roman Baths and Thermae Spa where you can enjoy a post shopping spa session.


View Vintage and Second Hand Guide to Bath in a larger map

Oxfam Boutique

034 A Vintage and Second Hand Guide to Bath

036 A Vintage and Second Hand Guide to Bath

This shop really doesn’t look anything like a charity shop. It is well lit and airey with a contemporary feel. The clothing and accessories have been carefully selected for their quality and timeless apeal and are in excellent condition. They are creatively displayed by colours and even have their own Oxfam Boutique tag making it feel like you are buying something brand new. Prices are very slightly higher than you might normally pay in a charity shop but still a fantastic bargain. I managed to get myself a beautiful Monsoon cardigan for £12.

Black and White

041 A Vintage and Second Hand Guide to Bath

0441 A Vintage and Second Hand Guide to Bath

I really loved this shop which is jam packed with an eclectic selection of second hand and vintage clothing ranging from high street to designer. I can’t believe I never wven knew it was there, it is definitely now on my must visit list when I am in Bath. Allow plenty of time to look around if you are visiting as their is just so much to see and accessories every where, there is even some retro homeware and a staircase with pairs of shoes on each step. I loved all of the beautiful colours and patterns and came away with an amazing brightly coloured pom pom adorned paisley scarf for £10.

Scarlet Vintage

056 A Vintage and Second Hand Guide to Bath 061 A Vintage and Second Hand Guide to Bath

Scarlet Vintage is a gem of a shop hidden away down a back street where you probably wouldn’t think of looking. It has a great selection of colourful vintage and second hand designer clothes. The clothing is really wearable and affordable. They had plenty of maxi dresses and summer dresses. I tried on a really lovely Diane Von Furstenburg dress which cost £30. If you live locally, they also run a Private Vintage Club running events for the chance to get dressed up in your finest vintage wear.

Vintage to Vogue

048 A Vintage and Second Hand Guide to Bath

052 A Vintage and Second Hand Guide to Bath

Down a little alley way and away from the hustle and bustle of Bath, Vintage to Vogue is a place for the serious vintage and designer enthusiast to shop. It has a beautiful and top quality collection of both mens and womens wear from the forties and fifties onwards but also some more modern pieces from iconic labels like Chanel. I spotted a lovely fifties shift dress for £60 that I would have loved to have bought. 

Mint

065 A Vintage and Second Hand Guide to Bath

071 A Vintage and Second Hand Guide to Bath

Just a stone’s throw away from the railway station, Mint feels just like a designer boutique. The only difference being that it is filled with preloved designer clothes. The clothes are all in top condition and are by a wide range of designers from D&G to Chloe, Missoni, Joseph, Alice Temperley and Paul & Joe. Everything in the shop has classic appeal and you certainly wouldn’t guess that it was from a previous season. Prices ranged from about £60 upwards. I spotted a nice pair of what looked like nearly new Etoile Isabel Marant jeans for £95. Definitely the place to visit if you want designer clothing at a fraction of its new price.

The Frock Exchange (now Gracie & Ted)

064 A Vintage and Second Hand Guide to Bath

Another fantastic place to shop for designer wear that looks as good as new. The Frock Exchange is a dress agency selling beautiful designer ball dresses, cocktail dresses, shoes, bags and accessories. If you want something to wear for a special occasion, this is the place for you. You will get the rare opportunity to wear something from recent collections by labels like Yves St Laurent but without bankrupting yourself in the process.

Apart from all of these amazing shops, Bath has a good selection of charity shops and regular vintage fairs and markets including The Bath Vintage and Antiques Market at Green Park Station on the last Sunday of every month and the Bath Flea and Vintage Market which is held up on the race course.

If you live nearby, I hope I have tempted you to take a second hand and vintage shopping trip around Bath and if you live a little further afield to visit Bath for a weekend to check out these fantastic shops. I have had an amazing time researching and visiting these shops (and doing a little shopping on the way), I hope you enjoy them too.

If you do happen to know of anywhere else that I have missed please leave a comment below.

With warmest wishes

Ceri x

Pages: 1
 A Vintage and Second Hand Guide to Bath
£30.00
Rock My Vintage Ltd
 A Vintage and Second Hand Guide to Bath
£13.50
Rock My Vintage Ltd
 A Vintage and Second Hand Guide to Bath
£100.00
Rock My Vintage Ltd
 A Vintage and Second Hand Guide to Bath
£6.00
Rock My Vintage Ltd
 A Vintage and Second Hand Guide to Bath
£22.00
Rock My Vintage Ltd
 A Vintage and Second Hand Guide to Bath
£66.00
Rock My Vintage Ltd
 A Vintage and Second Hand Guide to Bath
£35.00
Rock My Vintage Ltd
 A Vintage and Second Hand Guide to Bath
£38.00
Rock My Vintage Ltd
 A Vintage and Second Hand Guide to Bath
£150.00
Rock My Vintage Ltd
 A Vintage and Second Hand Guide to Bath
£45.00
Rock My Vintage Ltd
Pages: 1
 
 

Pin It

My Shopping Strategy For An Ethical and Sustainable Wardrobe

076 My Shopping Strategy For An Ethical and Sustainable Wardrobe

Leather jacket, top, bag and shoes – all a number of years old, bought from conventional fashion retailers (not ethical or sustainable) and hoarded in my wardrobe!
Vintage lace skirt – Swap party at The Good Fashion Show
Necklace and ring – Made

Over the last few years, I have been gradually changing and developing the way that I shop for clothes with the aim of making it more sustainable and ethical. I have spent a considerable amount of time not buying anything new at all and about a year ago I made the commitment to switch to buying only ethical or sustainable clothing.

It’s not easy being green!

I can completely understand the difficulties that people face in making this switch. Not only may they have concerns over cost and lack of choice but also the whole question of exactly what is ‘ethical’ and ‘sustainable’ clothing and which ‘type’ or ‘brand’ of clothing is it best to buy, a topic which I could write about all day.

My work as a writer with a focus on ethical fashion has given me a greater understanding of the issues surrounding ethics and sustainability in the fashion industry and the variety that is available. Whilst I can’t say I have all of the answers, I certainly feel that I can make a reasonably informed decision most of the time and have totally bought into the fact that there is a fantastic selection of high quality ethical clothing out there that offers much better value than fast fashion and could definitely satisfy me in terms of finding what I want to buy.

How much is too much?

The difficulty for me in dressing ethically and sustainably comes into play when I try and work out how much is too much in terms of volumes of clothes. Obviously buying cheap poorly made clothes to wear once and then throw away is not ethical or sustainable. But I have never really done this, even the ‘fast fashion’ clothes that I have bought in the past have usually lasted for years and many that have managed to stand the test of time still remain in my wardrobe now. I treasure my clothes, shoes and accessories and I don’t buy anything that I don’t think I am likely to want to wear 3, 4 or 5 seasons from now. I get some inspiration from current fashions but I certainly wouldn’t consider myself a slave to it and would never discard a piece of clothing because it wasn’t fashionable anymore.

My wardrobe is stacked full of clothes, I am definitely a hoarder/ collector.

Do I really need to buy any more?

I love clothes and I live clothes in both my work and leisure time. For me there is nothing shallow about fashion. What I wear is so important to me on many levels – my self confidence,  identity, comfort, success in work, the way others interact with me and treat me and also my own creativity and self expression (another topic, I could write all day about). I don’t need to but I like to wear lots of different outfits and I am constantly looking for and experimenting with new looks. Partly this can be satisfied by remixing, upcycling and recycling.

But

I also do have a desire to buy new stuff that if I am honest, I don’t really need. Through my blogging I discover so many amazing ethical brands. Not only to I love their clothes and want them but I also want to support these brands to try and help ethical become more mainstream. Supporting ethical brands is great but it isn’t sustainable to keep buying stuff that you don’t need. In order to change the fashion industry and the way it works, I think we all need to move away from the culture of constantly buying new stuff for the sake of it.

My Ethical and Sustainable Shopping Strategy

So here is the strategy that I have come up with, partly in a conscious kind  of way but partly it just felt right. Since making changes to my shopping habits I have been really happy with my clothes and the high quality wardrobe that I am building. I never really struggle to find something lovely to wear and I always feel great in what I wear.

1. I consider second hand or vintage is the most sustainable way to shop so I try and satisfy my whimsical desire to shop and constantly refresh my wardrobe in this way most of the time (it is also kindest to my purse!). Even with second hand and vintage shopping and I tend to end up buying too much so try and have in mind the sorts of clothes I am likely to wear and the colours and styles that will suit me and avoid just buying more of what I already have. I also upcycle, swap and readily accept donations of old clothes from friends. If and when I get bored of these clothes I just donate them back to charity.

2. Occasionally for a special treat I like to buy myself a piece of clothing from an ethical/ sustainable brand. This is often when I have some birthday or Christmas money. I always look at these purchases as an investment. I try and buy something that will be a high quality, stylish and flattering staple of my wardrobe for many years to come (if not forever) and will really add to and build on what I already have.

3. I only ever buy a piece of clothing that I really really love and tend to look for unusual and unique pieces. Where possible I try to buy from companies and brands that have made a company wide commitment to ethical fashion and sustainability and practice these principles throughout everything they do as I want to support then and help to push these practices into the mainstream.

4. Before I shop, I try and think carefully about what I need, what I am likely to wear and what colours and styles suit me. In the past I have made lots of mistakes. As I don’t buy as many new clothes as I used to and spend a little more on sustainable/ ethical clothing, I want to be sure that I get it right every single time . I have an ongoing wishlist where each item that I see and want is added, considered for some time and sometimes removed. I only buy something when I am absolutely sure that it will work for me in every way from making me feel good, to going with the other clothes I  have to being practical and eco friendly to wash and care for.

5. I do most of my shopping online as it gives me greater access to a huge variety of ethical and sustainable brands and makes it easier to compare, consider, research and read up on ethics if needed. It also cuts down on impulse buys.

So there you have it, that is how I shop. Do you have a shopping strategy? how do you decide what is too much?

With warmest wishes

Ceri x

Crazy Yellow Print Dress

yellow dress Crazy Yellow Print Dress
076 Crazy Yellow Print Dress103 Crazy Yellow Print Dress082 Crazy Yellow Print Dress134 Crazy Yellow Print Dress087 2 Crazy Yellow Print Dress

Dress – Oxfam Online
Necklace – People Tree
Jacket – Swapped on Posh-swaps.com
Belt – Swapped at Swap in the City
Boots – Dream in Green

The slightest whiff of spring weather and  get the urge to wear the brightest and craziest prints I can find!

Today I decided to venture outside to take my photos and try some different settings on my camera. I got varying results but overall you can clearly see that the outside photos with natural light have turned out better. I was trying to achieve the kind of unfocused background but it didn’t quite work as well as I hoped perhaps partly because I was limited in how far I could get from the camera because I don’t have a tripod so was limited to where I could rest the camera and didn’t want to get my feet muddy by going on the grass. Will have to try again on a drier day!

In case you are interested, I recently wrote a post on Oxfam Fashion, My Top Ten Charity Shopping Tips, probably pretty obvious stuff for any seasoned charity shoppers, but maybe useful for those who don’t buy from charity shops and would like to give it a go. I promise you, it is great fun and you can find some amazing stuff!

I have also launched a new ethical fashion blog shop featuring some of my favourite brands. I would love to know what you think.

I hope you are having a lovely weekend and enjoying the sunshine.

With warmest wishes

Ceri X

 

Happy Valentines Day – A Floral Bouquet Skirt

 

floral outfit 2 Happy Valentines Day   A Floral Bouquet Skirt

Top – (very old) Debenhams
Skirt – Oxfam online sale
Boots – Dream in Green
Bag – local charity shop

Happy Valentine’s day however you are choosing to celebrate or not to celebrate.

As I mentioned in a previous post, Mr Style Eyes and I are not doing anything this year. Any way, for todays post, I decided to feature the outfit that I wore to the Oxfam Fashion Bloggers meet at the weekend as I kind of look like a bunch of flowers or as Mr Style Eyes describes my outfit, like something from the Darling Buds of May. I am taking that as a compliment!

I bought the skirt in the sale after Christmas at the Oxfam online shop for a bargainous £3, that floral print was just too much for me to resist. In hind sight perhaps, the skirt could do with shortening a little. It did keep getting caught up as I was walking. Another one to add to the spring to do list!

Hope you have a lovely day

With warmest wishes

Ceri x

Pin It

Oxfam Fashion Blogger’s Meet Up

Yesterday was the Oxfam Fashion blogger’s meet, a fantastic opportunity for me to the other the others who blog for Oxfam Fashion, find out some more about Oxfam Fashion and talking ethical fashion, blogging and social media.

015 Oxfam Fashion Bloggers Meet Up

022 Oxfam Fashion Bloggers Meet Up

 020 Oxfam Fashion Bloggers Meet Up016 Oxfam Fashion Bloggers Meet Up

We met at the showrooms of Foundation PR which was crammed with rails of amazing ethical fashion, definitely a feast for the eyes. My lovely fellow bloggers and the team at Oxfam included Kathryn of Kat Got the Cream, Jen of Little BirdEmma Waight, Sadie of Sadies Wardrobe, Rupy Kaur, Emily of Erose and Hattie of Inside the Mind of a Disco Ball Thea, Caroline and Belle. It was great to meet everyone and have a chat over lunch. I was truly inspired by how passionate everyone was about ethical fashion, recycling and Oxfam. We had some realy interesting conversations about why people buy do and don’t buy ethical and charity shop fashion, some food for thought and perhaps a few ideas for blog posts there. I would definitely recommend checking out their blogs and posts.

I wanted to share with you a little that I learnt about Oxfam Fashion as even though I work for them as a volunteer, I never even realised all of this!

 Oxfam will be at London Fashion Week

oxfamfashion lookbook Oxfam Fashion Bloggers Meet Up

Image from Oxfam Fashion SS12 look book. Photographer: Chris Mosey

Well sort of! Oxfam Fashion will be at The Good Fashion Show on Saturday, the biggest off schedule event during LFW. They will be hosting a pop-up boutique selling a range of winter (the cold is not over yet) and spring clothing, including accessories and handbags. They will also be featuring 5 of the outfits from their recent lookbook in the catwalk show.

Oxfam have some great resources for Upcyclers

023 Oxfam Fashion Bloggers Meet Up

Oxfam actively promote reuse of clothing and one way that we can do that is by upcycling or customising a charity shop piece to make it individual and unique. Last June Oxfam launched their first DIY Boutique in Camden, which is a bespoke fashion destination which inspires individuality and clothing customisation . They also have a DIY collection, designed by stylist Mrs Jones and have some great DIY tutorials on their website as well as some cards which I believe will be in the shops. They have some great craft supplies including pieces which can be used to embellish clothing, buttons and craft kits which are availble online and from the shops. Check out the Oxfam Fashion DIY pages for more information.

Virtually Nothing Gets Wasted at Oxfam

 At Oxfam, even the clothing that doesn’t get sold at the shops does not go to landfill. Everything that is not sold goes to Wastesaver, Oxfam’s own clothing recycling plant which also maximises the revenue from clothing that has been donate. The clothes are sorted by specialist who pick out the different types of clothes which are then sent to different high street shops (sometimes more specialist or boutiques), sold through the online shop or Oxfam Festival Shop or go to designers who work with recycled garments. Anything that cannot be used in the UK will go abroad to markets in  Europe, Africa or Asia or Oxfam’s social enterprise projects. Finally the lowest grades will be used for industrial use like car sound proofing or matress stuffing.

A big thanks to the team at Oxfam Fashion for a lovely day! You can check out Oxfam Fashion blog and online shop here.

I hope you are having a lovely weekend.

With warmest wishes

Ceri X

Pin It

Paisley Love

 

002 21 Paisley Love

scarf Paisley Love

Scarf – Oxfam
Top – second hand from a friend
Skirt – Gringo
Necklace – Swarvoski Crystallized

I love most patterns and prints but paisley is one that I have had a long standing love for. It was definitely a favourite during my teenage years. I was pleased to see that paisley is on trend for SS12 (not that I wouldn’t wear it either way) but current trends often inspire me to wear something that I already have in my wardrobe. I loved the paisley prints at Jil Sander, Emilio Pucci, Stella McCartney, Matthew Williamson and Paul & Joe but they are all way out of my price range (and I only buy ethical!)

The great thing about paisley though is that it has been around for years making it prime for hunting out in charity shops. Paisley is the term used to describe the twisted teardrop pattern that is Iranian and Indian in origin. The patterned fabric also has associations with the summer of Love in 1967 when it became associated with the psychedelic style of the hippie movement and there was an increased interest in Indian spirituality in the West.

The skirt I am wearing isn’t actually paisley but reminds me of it. The scarf is. Here are some more great Paisley pieces that I found on Oxfam.

oscar b jacket Paisley Love

Oscar B Paisley Jacket

tom wolfe paisley top Paisley Love

Paisley Pattern Silk Top

paisley top Paisley Love

Paisley Viscose Next Top

blue paisley dress Paisley Love

Handmade Blue Paisley Dress

boden dress Paisley Love

Boden Paisley Dress

There are loads more amazing paisley pieces on Oxfam   here. Will you be wearing Paisley this spring?

I hope you have a lovely weekend. I have just got on PInterest so will be spending the weekend pinning  away like a crazy women. If you are on PInterest, please let me know so that I can follow you.

With warmest wishes

Ceri X

Pin It

Charity Shop Outfit and a Night Out in Cardiff

009 Charity Shop Outfit and a Night Out in Cardiff

Top, cardigan and handbag – charity shops
Organic cotton jeans – M&S
Ring – a high street retailer
Shoes – Dream in Green

On the weekend, I went to Cardiff for a night out with my sister.I took the opportunity to get dressed up and wore an outfit that I have been wanting to wear out for ages, a pencil skirt and bustier top from a second hand shop and jumble sale. I also did my hair in rollers for a kind of fifties style. I did of course take photographs, but annoyingly they seem to have disappeared somewhere between the camera and laptop! Perhaps I will have to do a rerun of the whole night again, which involved a show bar , several jugs of cocktails and plenty of dancing to the likes of Diana Ross, just so I can get some outfit photos.

So instead today I am posting an outfit that I wore last week featuring some of my charity shop finds. Nothing special but plenty of bright colours to cheer up a cold dull day.  I have been dying to make an outfit with my new bright yellow handbag! 

I am currently reading the book, To Die For by Lucy Siegle. I have only got a chapter or two in but I am already finding it hugely thought provoking and eye opening, even though I spend most of my time working time reading and writing about ethics and sustainability in the fashion industry. Franca at Oranges and Apples has written a great review of the book. Have you read it yet, what do you think of it? or are you planning on reading it? I a considering offering it as a giveaway on the blog once I have finished reading it.

I hope that you are having a fantastic week.

With warmest wishes

Ceri x

Ethical Outfit Challenge – Winter Warmers

ethical outfit ww1 Ethical Outfit Challenge   Winter Warmers

Jumper – given to me by a friend who was having a clear out
Vintage dress – Marthas Closet
Faux fur jacket – local Oxfam shop
Shoes – Dream in Green
Vintage Necklace/ locket – a present
Handmade bangle – a christmas present from my mum

This months ethical outfit challenge on Ethical Fashion Bloggers is on the theme of winter warmers. I will have to admit, I have been struggling a little lately in the cold weather with what to wear.

I work from home and tend to get really cold sat at the computer all day so to avoid having to turn up the heating extra high, I tend to wear really thick cardigans. Being really short I tend to get swamped by big knitwear and look a bit silly apart from when I wear leggings. I also struggle with motivating myself to wear something nice as when I go outside, I only throw a big coat over the top anyway. I am afraid I have definitely fallen into the trap of comfort dressing over the last few weeks so this challenge was the perfect opportunity to kick myself into action and make a bit of an effort.

Layering seems to be the perfect option as it allows me to wear one of my favourite vintage floral dresses (I have been suffering from severe floral withdrawal symptoms) but still keep cosy and warm by layering up with a jumper, tights and faux fur jacket. And, I am pleased to say that the whole outfit is ethical/sustainable except the tights. I have in the past struggled with finding ethical tights in the past, but there are more options becoming available so next time I need to replace them perhaps I will be able to find something suitable. Actually I have been thinking about running a series on where to buy affordable ethical fashion staples like tights and leggings. Do you think this is something that might be of interest to you?

If you are interested in joining us at Ethical Fashion Bloggers and having a go at one of our ethical outfit challenges, you can find out more here.

With warmest wishes

Ceri X

What do you think about charity shop pricing?

charity shop 4 What do you think about charity shop pricing?

Laura Ashley cord shift dress bought in local charity shop for £6.50

charity shop 1 What do you think about charity shop pricing?

Retro handbag bought in local charity shop for £3.99

charity shop 3 What do you think about charity shop pricing?

Faux fur coat bought in local charity shop for about £15

charity shop 2 What do you think about charity shop pricing?

Charity shop haul including French Connection and linea dress and Coast cardigan for £21

I would definitely class myself as something of a charity shop addict. I find it very difficult to pass one by without popping in to see if I can find myself a bargain. Lately I have also discovered online charity shopping which has put even more temptation in my way, now I can even charity shop from my desk when I am supposed to be working!

I have noticed quite a few fashion bloggers who also love charity shopping, actually there are loads of us. It is a fantastic way to constantly refresh your wardrobe and find unique and individual pieces to style whilst helping a good cause and without having much of an impact on the environment or spending too much money, what’s not to love?

But there has been a bit of an ongoing debate as to the pricing of charity shops and whether they are getting too expensive. Following the Mary Queen of Charity Shops series a few years back, Gemma at Retro Chic wrote an interesting post summing up some  of the changes that were going on back then. Since then I think things have moved on significantly, prices are definitely on the up and I am struggling to get much change from a tenner when buying something from my local charity shops recently. You can check out one of the  previous debates on the subject at Vintage Brighton.

I thought it was about time I added my two peneth to the subject of pricing in charity shops and would also love to know what you think too.

In some ways I am glad that the prices in charity shops has gone up and can definitely see justification for why even though it is costing me more money. This is why…

 Although a charity shops are run with very little financial cost (compared to conventional retailers) because they sell donated items and rely on the goodwill of volunteers, these things are not without value. They are given to people wanting to help the charity not give shoppers something for nothing. I regularly donate clothing to charity shops but would not feel happy about donating good stuff if I knew they were going to sell it at ridiculously low prices.

The increased prices of charity shops has caused me pause and think slightly more about what I buy in instead of filling my arms with loads of stuff that I will never end up wearing. As I said before charity shop clothing has a value and should be priced accordingly to encourage recycling and avoid it being wasted. There is also often a perception that because something costs more, it is more desirable. Can charity shops be blamed for hiking their prices to make their products more sought after, luxury brands have being doing for years ?

Charity shops must be governed to a certain extent by supply and demand. It seems like there is quite a lot of demand for quality second hand clothing at the moment, particularly with the current economic climate. With so much poor quality fast fashion around the supply of good quality charity shop pieces must be getting more difficult. Charities seem to be investing in more innovative ways of getting donations including bag collections and schemes with retailers. This is all great news as it keeps the shops stocked with goodies for us to buy but also must increase costs which will need to be passed on.

On the other hand I can see that for those that have very little money and have relied on charity shops as a low cost option, this price increases make life more difficult. Not sure I really know the answer to this but many charity shops have some lower cost alternatives and some shops clearly have higher prices than others so if you want a bargain, it is worth shopping around.

There are also  plenty of times when I have seen charity shop pieces that have been ridiculously overpriced. £30 for a Next dress which would probably not have cost much more than £40 or £50 when new, seems a bit much! But we have to bear in mind that those that price items are volunteers and not neccesarily experts so might not always get it right and some times when they get it wrong it could work in our favour.

My personal opinion is that on the whole most charity shops are asking a fair price for most of the items that they are selling. Some of the cheaper fast fashion pieces are disproportionately priced considering how much they cost new but as I rarely look to buy this sort of clothing from charity shops, it doesn’t really bother me. But I do think that if prices continue rise to much above what they are now, I would have to consider very carefully whether to shop in charity shops anymore. Whilst I want to support charities, if I can buy second hand much cheaper on Ebay or elsewhere then I may have to do so.

So over to you, what do you think, are the charity shops pricing themselves out of the market or asking a fair price?

With warmest wishes

Ceri X