24 June 2015

Why Shopping in Charity Shops is the Best

When some people think of charity shops they think old, unfashionable, musty clothes. They think of piles of unwanted videos and CDs that no person will ever play again (and in fairness, here, they may be right). They think outdated and last season jewellery. They think mismatched and chipped delph and homeware.

Not so! They say one person's trash is another's treasure and if second-hand clothes were actual treasure I would be as rich as a Lannister. I get all my clothes apart from socks and lingerie at charity shops. People throw away the most amazing things! Perfectly good, high quality, in season, designer fashion. I have found some absolute gems and I honestly don't see myself going back to high street shopping... ever! Here's why charity shopping is the absolute bees knees.

1. It's ethical shopping
Let's face it. Some companies use sweat shops out in poor countries and exploit those less fortunate than ourselves to churn out mass produced designer togs. And then have the nerve to charge crazy high prices for them. This is no bueno. By buying second hand you're not directly supporting any company that carries this out (even if you buy an item originally created by one of these companies), only the charity that the shop supports. Hurray! Well done you for being a considerate consumer. Pat on the back. Here's a cupcake.

2. It's environmentally friendly
Creating clothes leaves a carbon footprint. You're not encouraging this if you buy second hand, you're recycling. Not to mention that some clothes nowadays are made from synthetic materials so their carbon footprint is even higher. Clothes that get tossed often end up in landfills rotting or incinerators further contributing to their negative environmental impact. When you recycle mother nature smiles and hugs you while you're sleeping. Very gently so as not to wake you and creep you out.

3. It's cheap
The average Irish adult purchases 23 items of clothing a year, each priced at an average of €45.56 which comes in at a total of €1,047.88. That to me is absolutely crazy. Think of all the things you could buy with that cold, hard cash: a car, an amazing holiday, a laptop, five trampolines! The average cost of an item in the charity shops I trawl through is €5. That's 209 items of clothing I could buy with the same amount of money. I rest my case.

Have you ever shopped in a charity shop? What's your greatest find?

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Maira Gall