Tuesday, 10 April 2012

Flowers, Ice cream, & Kate Moss = Oxfam?

In need of a spring/summer wardrobe update on a budget? Well look no further than Oxfam’s online range.

Trends that are making waves right now include bold floral prints, Gatsby glamour, getting sporty, and, my personal style favourite: ice cream coloured pretty pastels that just ooze summer. Here’s a little bit of inspiration compiling a few of my favourite things to get you into the spirit:

I do seem to find myself talking about Oxfam a lot these days, but it’s only testament to the fact that charity shops are, in my opinion, extremely underrated and still seem to be struggling to shake that feeling of being a retail ‘bin’ where everybody’s cast offs end up; mostly frequented by elderly women with not a lot else to fill their time with.  

Ok, so rummaging for pieces in a charity shop requires a little more effort than popping to your local Topshop does, where trends are conveniently laid out for you in appropriate sections and co-ordinated with matching accessories and footwear, making the purchasing of a new outfit all too easy (and making all of you obedient slaves to fashion in the process). BUT – wouldn’t you rather be rocking an outfit that can’t be copied by another thousand girls up and down the country? And isn’t it so much more satisfying and interesting trawling through rails and shelves of clothes, not knowing what you’ll stumble upon next, and finally setting eyes upon a diamond amongst the rough + contributing your hard earned pennies to a great cause? Hell to the Yeah, it IS

But don’t just take my word for it – trend setter Kate Moss was seen popping into the Highgate Oxfam branch recently; which I must say endears her to me greatly. I haven’t ever really been her biggest fan to be honest, but this? Where’s the ‘Like’ button.  Hopefully many of the girls who dote on her every move might give charity shops another chance after seeing this…

Thoroughly re-invented, charity shops simple aren’t what they once were. Many now boast retro rails, treasure troves of rare items, high-end boutique specialists, complete with brand spanking new visual make overs (without losing that lovely inherent charm that sets them apart from the big names) meaning they now look like… well, actual shops. Imagine that.

In other breaking news, it turns out that while many high street names are struggling to entice you guys to hand over your dough, charity shops are contrastingly doing pretty well and continuing to up their profits. Wendy Mitchell of the Charity Retail Association points out the trend in ethical and environmentally aware shopping could be a factor in this success. "As well as contributing more than £200m to UK charities every year, they are environmentally friendly and provide around 17,000 jobs and 180,000 volunteering opportunities nationwide. So people are finding they can support a good cause and find a bargain at the same time."

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