Cheap Chic – Charity Shopping in London

Posted by jan 21 2012

The holidays are over, but the real feast is just about to get started. Gigantic “sale” signs all over the fashion metropolises of the world, and the hungry fashion victims are willing to give up all their manners just to put their hands on anything which has a “%” label on it. But not true London bois and gals, who know well: the end of the season brings fresh new blood in the circulation of the charity shops.

Have a look, darling!

Travelling to London there is nothing more stressful than walking in to a fully packed, crowded shopping temple, and try to see trough the mess the sales-hunters built up in the name of the new year resolution: changing their wardrobes, entirely. Well, okay… the chance of meeting Katie Price in real life is actually more stressful, but let’s not be pessimists. Back to style: who wants to wear the discounted stuff, anyways, knowing that it just a matter of time, when will it appear on a stranger on the street in front of us, or – even worse – on one of the party people, rocking your fav club, wearing the exact same outfit as yours. However, no one can leave the Brit’s capital at this time of the year (and any other time, of course) without stuffing a huge bag full of clothing and accessories… it’s London, baby! In the city, where Johnny Rotten, Twiggy, Debbie Harry and Harry Potter are the local heroes, you don’t need to go “bling-bling” to get attention: forget the high streets and get yourself into the much less posh, but much more interesting style-states: charity shops. In the UK the charity shop phenomenon is larger than life and cheaper than dirt: you can dress up from top to bottom, for 22 Sterlings. Walking around East London, from Hackney Central up to Clapton Pond there are five treasure caves, each and every one of them is supporting a different organisation. Civil rights, animal care, homeless issues, and religious foundations are the inspirations for the dedicated volunteers to collect money in these small shops, presenting a wide range of goods: not to be missed vintage stuff from local old peeps, and brand new goodies from youngsters who just didn’t like their Christmas presents as much as they love to do good. True fashionistas must check out the bookshelves as well: fashion photography and illustration albums are often sold for ridiculous prices.

Check out the listing here, and you’ll understand why Oxford and Regent streets are full of tourists, while the real cool Londoners are hopping on bus 38, heading to Hackney with an organic textile bag and a huge smile on their face… almost covered by a “to-die-for” vintage sunglasses. And where did they get them? The answer is always charity shops, my love!

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