So we’ve all done it I’m sure.
Ever walked down a high street and had a cheeky look into a shop window? There’s a dress on a mannequin, a bag on a shelf (sitting slightly squint I might add, but neatness isn’t everything) and a sign saying “volunteers needed”.
Yes, you’ve just looked into a charity shop.
Now, your facial expression may have just changed, your posture altered or you you’re about to close this window. Don’t, lets talk about this. Lets discuss the stigma so often associated with charity shops. I’ll try to make it semi interesting…deal?
Imagine this if you will. I’m sitting at my desk wearing an oversized Pringle Golf jumper. It’s warm, cosy and outrageously unfashionable. I love it. I wear it when my hair is scraped off my face and I’m wearing odd socks, whose going to see me other than my flatmates? In reality though, I do wish for people to see it: I wish for people to admire it’s hideousness with me. But really, I long for people to celebrate this bargin with me. It cost all of £2.95. “Thanks so much for bringing this into my life, Cancer Research UK”.
Why is it though, that we stick up our noses at charity shops? I’ll admit it myself, I am a snob with certain/a lot of things, but I love to think that the occasional piece of clothing had a ‘life’ before it came to hang in my wardrobe. Plus, I believe in karma, what goes around comes around, right?
There are a few things I have to point out though…
Charity shops smell. Actually lets make that a bit more socially correct. Charity shops could smell better. As soon as you step into one, you’re hit with a wave of nausea brought on by musty, damp and probably B.O. ridden clothes. Nasty. Yet thank goodness for washing machines and fabreeze.
You do have to go in with an open mind. Everyone has heard the story that their ‘mum’s-best friend’s-cousin’s-dog walker’ casually picked up a vintage Pucci scarf/Louis Vitton bag/Jimmy Choo shoe and now pops into their local charity shop every other Wednesday ‘just in case’. Lucky her. (It does happen, honest...occasionally)
We need to remember that a charity shop has a purpose. It’s for a good cause. By spending that £2.95 on a Pringle jumper (that needs a good wash, twice), you’re helping to win the fight against poverty, find a cure for cancer or giving a homeless person a meal and a bed for a night. That’s got to make you feel good about yourself, no? Let us not forget either the environmental impact charity shops have: we’re saving our planet from another bag of out of season garments that get chucked into a landfill. By donating, we’re able to re-use and recycle clothes, giving us the upper hand of having that something a bit different to wear with our high street purchases.
Sorry for the rant, I just felt as though I should show my appreciation of this jumper. It’s been wonderful.