A greener way to shop

Beatrice von Tresckow designer silk coatFor our ‘Change the World‘ Wednesday challenge this week, Reduce Footprints wants us to go shopping!

That doesn’t sound too green does it? The idea is to reduce consumerism.

This is a special type of shopping though, a shopping that can save us money and help reduce waste by encouraging us all to reuse items instead of landfilling them.

Yes, Reduce Footprints wants us to go to a charity / thrift shop!

Although supporting charity shops is great for the environment and for people / animals less fortunate than ourselves, it’s not as green as no shopping at all. As I don’t *need* anything new I won’t be partaking. However I would like to share some of my best charity shop finds as I am a bit of a thrift store chick!

One of my most exciting finds earlier this year was a designer coat. Usually in the region of £600, I managed to bag a Beatrice Von Tresckow silk coat for £18. The following week I found a pair of Armani jeans for £8, still with the labels attached!

In our lounge, next to the sofa is a table that was picked up for £5. My Green had to do a couple of minor repair jobs on it and it’s been as good as new ever since.

Last year, several of Little Miss Green’s Yule presents came from thrift stores. Books and toys that would have cost a small fortune new were bought for a few pence and she was just as happy with them as she would have been had they been brand new. Her favourite item was a set of baby clothes for her favourite doll, closely followed by a ceramic horse that came with special paints and adornments.

I would say that over 50% of our clothing comes from charity shops. I’m able to buy brands that I would not normally afford and it’s great for kids who either go off things quickly or grow overnight! It’s amazing how many compliments I get about an item of clothing I picked up in a charity shop.

Here are my 7 tips for making the most of a browse around charity shops when looking for clothes.

  • Allow yourself plenty of time. Not all charity shops are set out logically, so you need to be prepared to look through individual items.
  • It’s unusual to be shopping for something specific and actually find it, so go on a day when you can have an open mind about what you might find.
  • Wear clothes that are easy to get out of! There’s nothing worse than a tiny changing room when you need to try things on.
  • Not all clothes are in the best condition and you might need to spend money on dry cleaning or repairs, so check them over in the shop.
  • You might find the perfect item without the perfect fit. It can be worth spending £25 on getting an item of clothing made to measure.
  • Go to charity shops on a weekly or fortnightly basis if possible as stock rotates rapidly and you’ll catch the newest items.
  • Pay it forward by taking some items to donate whenever you go shopping – this means you prevent clutter in your own home too.