Tuesday, 12 July 2011

Charity Shop Haul

Good Evening! I thought i would share with you a few *ahem* of my recent charity shop finds and share my thoughts on the recent rising prices.

Found this little pretty on the Gloucester road (for my Bristol ladies), they have a really nice home wear Marie Cure which is where i found this Laura Ashley tea cup without the saucer. The Marie Cure is really nicely stocked if having a slight jumble sale feel to it, as well as smaller bits and pieces of home furnishings they also stock larger pieces such as tables and wardrobes at reasonable prices (tables between £20 to £40, wardrobes around £15. As I have far, far , farrr too many cups and mug I may use this as a planter. 50p.

From the same shop, this wooden heart shaped clock, which does perfectly in my kitchen. Our new flat has a separate kitchen (in the old flat it was part of the living room) and i have been looking for little bits to decorate it. £2.50

Found these in Oxfam in Clifton. Although all of Clifton's Charity shop's are fabulously stocked, they are, usually pricey (I found a plain H&M cardi in said Oxfam for £7.99), but always worth a good look around. I was informed by my mum that these are for eating fish with? Being a vegetarian I wasn't aware that there was separate cutlery for eating fish I just really liked the details, they were a steal at 79p

Same shop, this handmade glazed cup. I brought this for my mum, she only likes to have tiny cups of tea and I mostly have the large Cath Kidston mugs. She saw it and liked it but she has even more cups than I do, so I brought her it so she can have it at my house. 59p

I really have love for this little table. A couple of weeks ago I was in Westbury on trym (the other side of Bristol for me) having my hair cut and coloured with a Groupon voucher at Leah Jones ( I really would recommend it!), as I was finishing up my mum called me and offered to pick me up for a wander around the shops and lunch, as it took two buses to get there and over an hour i happily accepted! I had never been to westbury on trym before, and i was impressed, lots of little independent shops and a couple of sweet charity shops. This BEAUTY was in the corner of St Peters Hospice FOR FIVE POUNDS! Really lovely wood, beautiful scalloped edges and did I mention FIVE POUNDS?! This was an extra good find as we have almost no furniture at the moment!

Coming a bit more local now, from Barnardos at the top of my road and my favourite charity shop. It's not the most amazingly stocked or laid out but the prices are extremely reasonable and to find something you need the patience to rummage. This wooden garland was brand new in the box, I really loved the colours and I'm a sucker for flowers so i was sold! Another something for my kitchen! 79p

Again from Barnardos, I think they are super cute! 59p

Another ( I know i have a problem!) find from Barnardos. The fakey Mulberry Alexa bag from Matalan, really lovely colour too! £2

The last thing from Barnardos i promise! Cute carved flower earrings from Urban Outfitters (when i worked there a few years ago they donated a lot of stock to charity shops across the city) 98p

From my local St Peters Hospice. Polka dot embroidered Topshop dress. Very cute, slightly too big and a bit pricey at £6.50 (it's not perfect condition)

Phew I have been busy bargain hunting!

Now I know there has been a lot of discussion recently on several blogs about the rising prices at chairty shops and thought I would weigh in with my thoughts on the matter!

When I was little in the 90's I remember my mum taking me to charity shops. These weren't the lovely shops they have turned in to today. These were dusty, smelly, dark little shops. I remember being embarrassed about going in them, and even more embarssed if my mum found me something in one. As a child I didn't understand money or lack of it, i just didn't want to go in them. But on birthday I didn't mind when i received Sylivian families town houses, or barbie dream cars, because i didn't know where they were from. I now understand money, and my mum use them as a way to give me things that otherwise would of been out of reach. Spent the whole year storing up these finds so that she could give me birthday and Christmas presents that were expensive, with out the expense.

After hitting my teens the embarrassment slightly wore off, not fully, but a bit. I would not reel at going in them but once in there I had no time for cute cups, either something I wanted was there and I would pick it out and pay with in minutes or I would stand around (or more likely slouch around) waiting for my mum to finish.

In my later teens i found myself getting more and more in to "finding a bargain" , I would sift through everything in the charity shop, trying desperately to find something "cool" to wear. As a teen I didn't have the money to shop at Topshop on any regular basis, and most of my clothes came from either eBay or the local charity shop.

During those 19 years I never , ever paid more than £5 for anything. Ever.

Now in my 20's the previous stigma surrounding shopping at the charity shop has died, and the reasons for this are several fold:
  • The Recession: this being the most profound in the shift. The saying goes "Times are 'ard" , and this is true. I don't know a single person that hasn't been effected by the recession, personally I have been made redundant twice, from two different jobs. This has meant that caution is now taken in even the most basic purchase, for example the fabric softener on offer, or the one you really like but it costs £4, 90% of the time people will go for the the one on offer. Its cheaper. So what if the smells a bit off "It will do". This is a phrase that I find myself often using. This has transplanted on to the way people dress. People are much less likely to go and buy that Topshop dress for £50, stick it on their credit card and worry about it later, when later may mean a job loss. Overall the Recession has made people more frugal. And where better to be frugal than in your local charity shop. You've heard your friend tell you all about that River Island skirt she got for 50p and it's in perfect condition and the perfect fit, you pop in and realise that it's not all button-less shirts and 80's cast offs, find something you like, try it on and it fits, its £3 and you get it. That's all it takes for one persons stigma to be transformed.
  • Rising cost of the high street. This due to the rising cost of cotton and the stagnating sales. For example, Primark recently announced that it was struggling to keep it's prices low, and it is noticeable. A middle range Primark dress will now set you back between £12 to £17, which doesn't sound so terrible. Unless you, like me, get bored of clothes quickly. When you are spending £12 a week it adds up. And that is for A dress from Primark, let alone if you need new shoes / tights / necklace. I have found an outfit from the high street can cost any where upwards of £40 if you want more than a single item.
  • The rise of Vintage fashion. Where better to find a vintage gem for a tiny sum of money than where people donate their cast off's from the 70's/80's!
The main complaint among bloggers recently has been the rising prices in charity shops. And to some extent i do agree, prices are getting higher and higher. I do understand that they often have over heads and targets to meet.

But my main complaint is after Mary Portas made that little red cross over, seemingly the whole of the U.K watched as she told the staff they needed to better understand brands, and what they are worth. Since then brands have been price accordingly, and this winds me up to no end. I am perfectly willing to pay for a quality item. The number of times I have pulled out a ragged old jumper and price has been £5.00, because it's from a high street shop. Every one that shops at charity shops has seen a discoloured primark dress that's tatty for more than it cost new. But I know that i have to sift through the George at Asda cast offs for the hidden gems, because that's what they are. Hidden.

But overall it is still cheaper than the high street, and it always seems to be forgotten, it's a shop than runs on donations and the profit goes to charity, not in to the volenteers pockets. Which is why even though the prices are rising, i will continue to shop at them.

Good night ladies and gents!

1 comment:

  1. You're so good at finding stuff in charity shops, I wish I could!


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