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Home » Blog » The reasons I’ve had a love-hate relationship with charity shops over the years

The reasons I’ve had a love-hate relationship with charity shops over the years

When I was a teenager, I hated my mum visiting charity shops and cheap supermarkets, for fear we would get teased at school. Now I look back and think it’s silly kid stuff. But at the time it feels like the worst thing in the world. 

How ironic that I now love a charity shop haul. I buy most of our clothes and household items second-hand. I also shop frugally when making meal plans and purchasing our weekly food shop. If you’d told the 13-year-old me this, I would have said no way.

Back in the day, it was an insult for teenagers to pick on people they thought were poor, or maybe it was an insecurity of our own. I suppose when you’re 13 years old, you care about what everyone else thinks. Now I couldn’t care less. However, to get to this stage, I’ve lived through many life lessons. 

I like the excitement of finding an item nobody else has. Someone could have had an item stored in a wardrobe for years, and then decided to give it to a charity shop.

charity shops

How I used to deal with the fear of being teased

At the worst points, I would stand outside the charity shop when my mum and grandma went in and refuse to go in. In hindsight, I probably made myself more noticeable to everyone by causing a stir. I hope I don’t have a moody teenager to contend with in the future as my poor mum did. 

I think now is a great time to explain why I now LOVE charity shops 

Giving something back

In the past, I’ve participated in several charity events, including two 10k races. I love raising money for charity. The sad fact is, charities do amazing work in this country. Often because there is a gap in government funding, but still a need to help people.

Cheaper items 

When my little one was a baby, I would visit five charity shops and get a huge bag for life full of clothes for me and her. It would cost me around £30.00. Compared this with a High Street shop, where you might get two items for the same cost, if you’re lucky. 

In true pregnancy style, I threw out most of my clothes and listed them on eBay when I started to grow the bump. I rationalised they wouldn’t fit me after the baby was born, because my body was bound to be different. Fast forward, and I lost a stone during pregnancy due to sickness. Those clothes would have fit me, but at the time it felt good to recycle the old ones. Ready for new beginnings. 

I bought most of my pregnancy clothes and our baby items second-hand on eBay. I would do the same again with a second child.

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    Sustainable

    Little ones go through clothes so quickly. They get stained with orange baby food and all the other wonderful paint and sick stains. We did get a few new items, but I would never buy brand new for a baby or toddler. These days her clothes come back from nursery every day covered in paint and mud. Half of the items can’t be stain removed and get thrown out. It’s the reason I’m adamant she is only getting charity shop items or eBay seconds.

    Even her new and going out clothes are second-hand. For a real treat, she gets supermarket clothing sets. I would rather spend the money on something she will play with or creative supplies. She still looks amazing when we go out and I am hopefully moving towards a more sustainable way of buying clothes. Recycling and using the items. 

    Finding items nobody has 

    I like the excitement of finding an item nobody else has. Someone could have had an item stored in a wardrobe for years, and then decided to give it to a charity shop. You won’t walk down the street and have the same top on as three other people, because it was in a High Street shop sale. Trust me, it happened to me during an organised trip during our holiday in Mexico. Same sale dress as another girl. I wasn’t happy. But that was in my younger party days. These days, I live in yoga pants and t-shirts, with a mum bun. Hehe! And frankly, I don’t care what anyone else thinks.

    Until next time

    I hope you enjoyed reading this post.

    Do you love charity shops? Let me know some of the best items you’ve bagged in the comments below.

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