Charity shops have become an institution of the British high street over the past sixty years, and have come a long way since their origins within the Salvation Army during the 19th century. Today, charity shops such as Oxfam and Red Cross are starting to shed their cheap image, and become more of an identifiable high street brand. With the current economic climate forcing people to pay more attention to their spending, many consumers are now choosing the charity shop as an alternative to high street stores.
Charity shops have long been the first port of call for people wishing to clear their house of unwanted clothes. These garments are then either sold in the shop, recycled or sometimes provided to people living in poverty or struck by disaster. So while charity shops remove 250,000 tonnes of textiles from the waste stream annually, they also work to make sure that the items end up somewhere that they are needed.
With many consumers now watching what they spend, discount high street clothes shops are more popular than ever. But with their cheap materials and disputable ethical background, charity shops prove to be a far more eco friendly and economical alternative. Charity shop garments are often just as affordable as those bought new from shops such as Primark, yet often of a far higher quality, giving them a longer life as part of your wardrobe.
Choosing to buy second hand, whether from charity shops or elsewhere, means less demand on new resources such as cotton or nylon and lower carbon emissions from the production of new fabrics, particularly in highly polluting countries such as China. This allows such resources to be more responsibly produced and sustained, putting less pressure on the land on which they are grown, reducing emissions as well as transport required for shipping and to complete the cycle, reducing the amounts of fabric thrown away when items of clothing become unwanted.
More and more people are beginning to see the benefits of charity shopping. It can often be a gamble, and the unpredictable nature of of the shop’s stock may leave you unable to find exactly what you’re looking for. But if you are able to put convenience to one side, in favour of supporting sustainable fashion and supporting a good cause, charity shopping is a highly rewarding and economical alternative to buying new from the high street.
tagscharity shopeco fashionpre lovedsecond hand