Beaumond House Community Hospice charity shop's sustainable shopping champions urges Newark to choose to re-use
Sustainable shopping is the topic of the moment, as consumers become more conscious of their impact on the environment.
Whole movements are springing up connected to choosing more wisely — with charity shops at the forefront of this new way of thinking.
Two supervisors at one Newark charity shop are practising what they preach, by dressing almost entirely in pre-loved clothes.
Liz Freshney and Julie Day both joined the Beaumond House Community Hospice charity shop on Stodman Street, Newark, last year.
With Liz’s background in corporate retail, and Julie’s career in working for charities, they bring a wealth of experience — and ideas — to their latest roles.
They both love finding a charity shop bargain, which not only saves them money, but saves clothes from going to landfill, and raises much-needed money for worthy causes too — and they would love more people to follow their example.
Liz said: “Charity shops are increasingly the first choice for anyone wanting things that are new to them, but will not contribute further to a throwaway society.
“Like reusable cups and bags, the idea of reusable clothing is becoming an attractive one.
“The public image of charity shops as places full of tatty old jumpers has changed.”
Liz loves creating stylish individual outfits from charity shop finds, and Julie uses her creative skills to turn old textiles into new items.
“I can’t remember the last time I bought any new clothes,” Julie said.
They make the most of the clothes, accessories and shoes given to the shop by keeping an eye on current trends, and creating fresh and seasonal displays.
The shop receives many good quality items, which people can buy at a fraction of their original price.
Customers often go into the shop looking for items they cannot find in mainstream shops when they need them.
“You can’t find a winter coat in shops in February, because they are already selling summer clothes, but you can buy a really good quality one here for £20 or £25,” Liz said.
“Buying something that is new to you and yet still thrifted is often more exciting than having new. The thrill of finding the perfect piece is far more satisfying than being able to walk to a rack of identical items and buy one.”
Customers also have the satisfaction of knowing they are helping Beaumond House by buying from the shop.
Julie said: “They know where the money is going. Every penny is well spent.”
Vintage shopping is predicted to grow massively, and Liz and Julie are delighted, because it means charity shops, customers and the environment will all benefit.
“Shopping has just become a hobby, where people buy new clothes without thinking about it,” Liz said.
“I think we have reached peak consumption level, and it has to change. Most people do not need any more.”
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