A denim oversized jacket

A brown pilot leather jacket

4 pairs of jeans- acid wash

An orange wooly jumper

A new bag


£27.93


Yes it is possible to shop till you drop without putting your bank account in a state of shock. Sorry if you are still in a state of shock after reading that incredible total for the shopping list above, but at the same time… I am not sorry.

I am going to pose a very unpopular opinion… one of taboo and embarrassment because… quite frankly, I do not give a damn about embarrassment or being laughed at. Especially when the purchases I make contribute to somehow helping a good cause.

The taboo? CHARITY SHOPS. THRIFT STORES.

I am the last person who would be caught spending a fortune on clothes. What is the point? I get that it may make you look and feel amazing, and that’s okay. Me? I would rather spend my money on something that mattered more to me… like food.

I frequently find myself jumping into a charity shop to see what treasures may be held that day, and very rarely see myself leaving without shopping bags full of clothing.

Why don’t you just marry thrift stores if you love them that much?

Trust me, I would. But there are laws that govern against that… damn bureaucrats.

I enjoy the moment when you first walk into a charity shop. I imagine that my reaction is not dissimilar to Rebecca Bloomwood’s when she walks into a department store and is greeted lovingly by the mannequins

– Ah what a beautiful world that movie provides (I am totally going to watch this movie tonight now). My face must be covered with curiosity and eagerness to find the hidden gems!

Nothing is ever the same. The more you go into Charity shops the more you will realise how quickly most things are sold and replaced. Of course, the chances of an item of clothing in a charity shop being officially a one of a kind are very slim, but the fact is that you have to do the hunting and find that piece of clothing that you would not buy anywhere else.

Price is no object in charity shops usually so why not get that style of dress that you were unsure about at the high street store because you didn’t want to spend all that money on something you might never wear- if there is something similar at the charity shop, buy it! Try it! If you hate it, donate it! (patenting by the way)

If you are only going to be spending £20 or £30, you can be as free with choice as you want! Don’t let the fear of affording it keep you from being adventurous with your style. If anything, charity shops have helped me become bolder in my outfit choices. I have been thinking that I am more naturally inclined to wear “blend in” clothes as I can feel very vulnerable in an outfit that might be a bit more daring than usual. After a long list of epiphanies over the year I noticed that I need to no longer give a damn about what anybody else thinks.

The thing you have to remember is that at the end of your life, you will not remember the decision that you made to make others happy. The risk of realising that your whole life you just wanted to go with the flow and not stand out absolutely terrifies me so I am trying to get out of my comfort zone more and I must say it is working!

Stop shaming Charity Shopping

I will never forget the time when a girl in my year at school was found shopping at Oxfam with her Mother. The girl had only just moved to our school so was already a bit of an immediate outsider and when a few people in her class spotted her shopping there they made fun and it was painful to watch.

Charity shoppers appreciate a golden bargain and they also help to provide funds for said charity.

At least all the money they spend is not going straight into the back pocket of an enormous multimillion pound clothing store owner.

Us charity shoppers will feel the benefit of wearing our well loved, (but also well cleaned (you can’t be too careful)) flowy charity shop blouses and dresses while those who mock will be stuck with their lack of savings… BUT they do have that nice new jacket to keep them warm for when they can no longer afford rent (just kidding but you know what I mean).

Why not go  charity shopping?

Some people may be put off by the fact that the clothes in charity shops come from people of whom we do not know.

Some people may be put off by the fact that the clothes are so cheap and they don’t want others to know.

Others may feel that the clothes for sale are dirty.

Why you should go charity shopping!

The clothes (in the charity shops I visit anyway) are steam pressed usually. I also make an effort to run a charity shop clothes wash load when I return home. It really does not take very much effort on my part to make sure that the clothes are absolutely clean before I wear them. REALLY not that difficult. One way that you can actually make your charity clothes clean AND to also help protect the environment is to use an eco-friendly laundry egg! I use mine and while it does not leave your clothes with a scent, you have the cleanest clothes and you have taken a step to prevent further damage to the oceans. I found mine on Amazon, you can see it here.
There is something very odd about human beings. We all love a bargain, but some of us are not willing to bring it up or talk about it. People may struggle to talk about buying clothes from charity shops because it may make them look like they have financial issues. Do you know what I say to those people? Get over yourselves.

Why do we think that anybody else in the world cares about the financial happenings in our own lives? Trust me when I say that if you want to do you, do you boo! Don’t worry about what anyone else has to say- they have their own lives to worry about. So if you are worried about what people might think of you because of charity shopping, you need to reevaluate that because I am 160% sure nobody really cares.

The idea that half the clothes I own come from people who I have never met before really interests me! I feel like each item of clothing has its own story.

Maybe a woman saved up for months for a bag that she had her eyes on in a vintage shop down the road. Perhaps when she finally bought the bag, it possessed her and drove her to do some crazy things whenever the bag was on her shoulder. Eventually she confronted the bag and had to give it up so the woman donated it to the charity shop so it did not go to waste. I mean, chances are in this story, the possessive bag would possess any owner following on from this woman, but the fact is, this could be the story of a bag that you buy for £7 in a charity shop down the road. How cool is that?

I once was asked where I got my cardigan from by a colleague and I decided to admit that it was a charity shop- I watched her reaction warily and then she unexpectedly exploded into a smile and said “YOU SHOP AT THEM TOO???” It was a moment where our friendship blossomed officially. She left me with a quote about charity shops and why she loves them and it has stayed with me ever since.

“A charity shop is like one of your good friends who’s style you love and who lets you borrow their clothes and you never have to give them back.”

Hayley, if you are reading this then thank you for enlightening me with this quote of a lifetime. I have passed it on many a time.

You get the chance to make memories in these clothes and pass them on if you so desire- there is nothing nicer than a bit of harmless history.

I think you should give charity shopping a go, even once! If you realise its not for you then at least you tried and have contributed to a charity!

Until next time bumble bees.

Merrymaid x

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