So, this post is going to be a little different from what I normally post as you may have guessed from the title.
I mentioned in a previous post that I am currently doing some volunteer work in my local charity shop now that I am back home. At the minute I’m in a sort of “limbo” until I move back to Chester for my final year of university so volunteering is a good way for me to get back into the swing of things whilst doing something I enjoy. I don’t think I saw one charity shop whilst I was in Lyon (there might have been some but I never stumbled across any) and myself and an other student would always say how much we missed having a good rummage through the rails of a charity shop.
However, as I was working in the shop one quiet Monday afternoon I thought to myself how we never see that many young people coming into the shop. At twenty-one I am the youngest volunteer in the shop and enjoy chatting with customers whatever their age. As a child I was often taken into charity shops with my mother or my grandparents and it became a norm for me. Now as an adult I enjoy having a mooch in charity shops and looking for hidden gems or books that are on my current to read list. I don’t mind buying second hand whether it be at a charity shop, thrift store, vintage store, or car boot sale as it is a way of saving money and finding unique items that others won’t have.
I understand that buying second hand is a personal choice but there are so many different routes to go down; reusing, upcycling or refashioning etc.
Yet I feel that people are put off buying second hand, in this case from charity shops, as they think the shops smell or are dirty. This may have been true for some charity shops in the past, but now many charity shops are working hard to keep shops looking smart and modern and putting out quality items that have all been thoroughly checked before going out on the shop floor.
Nevertheless, I feel that many people (particularly young people) are put off buying from charity shops as they think that the clothes aren’t “trendy” or “fashionable” although most charity shops get a large variety of items ranging from new with tags to retro/vintage. There’s stuff to suit everybody’s style and taste.
So, as I was pondering these points I came up with an idea. But, I would need willing participants. Luckily for me I am fortunate enough to have two close friends who also appreciate second hand fashion and buying second hand in general and were willing to participate in my little project.
With a large pile of clothes, records, a camera along with my willing photographer and model we were set to go. I hoped that by taking some fun photos wearing clothes we had bought from charity shops, car boots and vintage stores it would help rid of this almost stigma surrounding second hand buying and show that you can find items that suit you, your style and your personality.
Below are some of the photos we took during the shoot.
(Models- myself and Connie Ward Allen, photographer- Jade Davies. All of Connie’s clothes featured in the photos were purchased from charity shops whereas I have mixed in some shoes and a play suit I bought on the high street and even a hand-me-down from my auntie. All items featured in the flat spread were purchased at charity shops).
We had a lot of fun doing this shoot and hope it helps encourage others to rethink second hand fashion. I may not be the most fashion conscious person, and I understand that fashion is a very personal choice as I mentioned earlier but albeit I hope this little contribution helps! I know others have done similar things online before too if any readers out there wanted to look further into the idea.
So, next time you pass your local charity shop, why not pop in and say hi and have a browse? You don’t know what you might find.