Charity Vs Vintage Shops - Charity Shop Haul
I live in East London, an area which in recent years has seen an influx of pretentious over-priced vintage shops and hipster types who spend their cash there. After having a conversation with two pretty girls at my local Sunday market one week, they suggested they'd turn their nose up to shopping in a charity shop but had no qualms in buying 2nd hand from trendy vintage stores.
I found this quite bizarre. Firstly the offerings in both shops are preloved, so why not let a charity benefit? Secondly, the lines in many charity shops are cleaned & pressed before making their way onto the shop floor for purchase. After frequenting some of my local vintage boutiques & the musty smell which meets your nose on entry - I'm not sure the same can't be said for the ones I know of!
I was told by the two lovely fashionistas that it is because the vintage shops have buyers who handpick desirables such as leather and varsity jackets, 80s slogan tees, Levi denims and kitsch deer ornaments which seem to be all the rage at the moment.
BUT where do these buyers shop? Thats right; eBay, car boots, jumbles and of course Charity Shops.
These sort after picks then get a ridiculous price tag that shoppers are willing to pay ...so who can blame the owners? Are they genuinely interested in recycling and keeping old but wearable clothes from a landfill, or are they just clever business people making money from those happy to pay a 200% mark up because it's been found for them? Besides, where's the fun in having everything in front of you!? Imagine the buzz in finding that gem for yourself hidden amongst toot or a mountain of well-worn Primark donations.
I admit it, I used to be a bit snobby about Charity shops. My Mum would often donate our old clothes and my unwanted toys to our local shops. Whilst I never minded donating my old things I used to hate going in there incase I was spotted by teasing friends. That was until I picked up a bag full of nearly new games for my Gameboy. The rest - as they say - was history!
I've found some great bargains over the years, particularly for my bedroom. I thought maybe a Charity shop haul tag would be a great permanent blog feature to share any bargains I find. Below are a few bits and bobs I've picked up recently:
Black leather fringe shoulder bag £5 - Handy for the upcoming festival season! Marie Curie Shop
Glassware Dish which currently houses my cotton buds £1 Barnardos
Glassware lidded pot which I use to store my kirby grips £2 Barnardos
Shabby Chic/Rococo dressing table storage box which is now housing my beauty product samples £4 St Francis Hospice
Shabby Chic/Rococo photoframe ...which needs some pictures! £5 Spitalfields Crypt Trust
Unused TIGI Maxxed-Out hairspray and Superstar massive hair blow dry lotion £1 each Cancer Research UK
Blind Lemon is also a great free app on the iPhone & Android which tells you what charity (& vintage) shops are in proximity to you using GPS - which is handy for discovering new shops if you are in an unfamiliar area.
How do you feel about charity shopping? Have you ever found any bargains? ...or would you rather buy brand new?