They Were Thrift Stores, Now They're Charity Shops .. Nothing's Changed For Me!

Been a second-hand clothes junkie since I was 13/14 years old back in the States. Now it's just second nature as I love being able to get decent, unusual clothes for next to nothing. There are some people in this town who are really weird about it and think it's disgusting - but who is laughing when they compliment you on your clothes and you tell them you got them at Oxfam or PDSA? hahahaha we are.

I once got a City Lights Books tee for $1 at Goodwill .. and a pair of black 20 eyelet Doc Martens at Cats Protection for £5, brand new, my size. Those were my best finds ever, trans-Atlantic, and I don't have either one anymore :(

But now I treat ebay as a second-hand store and scour for oddities and bargains, and still get off my lazy butt sometimes and go into the charity shops in town. It's not something I ever intend to stop doing, even if I suddenly publish a novel and strike it rich. It recycles clothes that would otherwise be wasted / take up landfill space, if it's a charity-based shop it helps people or animals who need the money, you end up with clothes other people don't have [if you pay attention, some of them are quite old and no one has spotted that they are vintage and worth a lot more than £2!], and it saves our £s in a superficial society like ours where everyone wants our money. Can't be bad!

littledharmabum littledharmabum
26-30, F
20 Responses Mar 29, 2008

I love charity shops - it's really hard for me to just walk past one. Most of my paperback books spent some time on a charity shop shelf. Most recently I've started buying incomplete sets of very fine cut glass tumblers, and now I have 14. Although they don't all match they are of a similar ilk, very compatible and live on the kitchen windowsill where they pick up the light. Friends enjoy squabbling about which one they'll have to drink from, and even my lord and master (who used to disapprove - LOL) concedes that my scavenging skills are worth encouraging

Not sure what the real difference is between thriftshop and charity shop maybe it more of a tax differentiation. here in the US a few of them are for profit Thrift/charity shops and some are non profit. For instance, I do believe that homeless people and anyone struggling or trying to get a new job can walk into any goodwill store and Good will with give them free clothes. I am not sure about the facts or accuracy of this but it seems like a pretty cool deal.<br />
<br />
visit us online<br /><br />
FREE directory for vintage & thrift stores bloggers and sellers

I could be a thrift shop!! I believe, like you, that recycling starts at home. My favorite thing to recycle is yarn, ribbon, clothing, and light bulbs. You can make a lot of things as gifts and cards using these materials. I have four kids so the first set of clothing were going to be automatic hand-me-downs and so I bought good quality that would last through at least four kids if I could stretch it that far and most of the clothes made it at least through three children. One year I bought every kid the same colored socks, mittens and hats. If we lost one, the remainder always had another one that matched. <br />
<br />
Buttons are another thing that can be handy. They are great for games, arts and crafts, as buttons when you lose one, as something to secure the corners on quilts etc. I think it's great that people are doing more of this.<br />
<br />
My plans for the jeans that the kids have outgrown are to make area rugs out of them. I'm going to try braided rugs and see how that goes. I'm also going to make quilts, pillows, and curtains and dish towels. If I get really good at it, I'll try pillow cases.

My pastor at church says, "You know why God blesses you? So you can bless someone else". There are lots of people who can afford to buy nice things, but lots of times people get nice gifts that just never get taken out of the box. That's where the thrift stores come in! And if I find a good deal, I keep in mind that even if I dont need it myself, I know someone who can use it, and after all I didnt pay hardly anything for it! So I shop at thrift stores and yard sales, and I try to keep in mind that someone else is looking for an item that I may have just bought for 25 cents or $1.00. Then there are times that I am tempted to buy something that I dont need, and dont know anyone who would need, and I think, "I need to leave this here for someone who may be looking for it". I used to buy interesting clothing and sometimes cut them up into quilt scraps, but I felt guilty because I worried that someone might need that. Then I talked to the manager at a thrift store and he assured me that they have to bundle and bale up a lot of clothes that nobody buys, so there is plenty for me to buy and cut up into quilt squares if I want to! I felt better after that!

I started going to thrift stores when I was an undergrad at The University of Pennsylvania where there were several funky little shops in the surrounding neighborhood. I thought it was cool at the time to find vintage vests and bell bottom blue jeans. Little did I know that I was establishing what has now become a way of life for me at the age of 63.

In Australia, they are generally known as Opportunity Shops. I think it is a very fitting name, you never know what you will find. I got a pair of Vegan Docs brand new(they are not leather but canvas?) for $3. I have many Billabong and Ripcurl (surf labels) clothes from Op shops! My kids love going looking for a toy. Many items still have their original price tag still attatched!

I think about 90% of what i own is second hand. I love being unique that's why sift through piles of stuff at charity shops. Ive actually been using charity shops/carboots/ clothes swaps 4 years since like i was a kid. I grew in a poor family so was constantly in hand me downs, i didnt really like it then, felt like different to all the other kids but now i cant get enough of second hand stuff. Some of the prices in different charity shops have fluctuated like oxfam used to be really expensive like 5 years ago now you get some really trendy stuff in there for dirt cheap. Funny you said about get pair of doc M's cheap, i picked up a black pair brand new for a tenner and another red pair for 8 quid. I see more cool trendy people and students shop in these places than before which is not surprising really. Its actually quite cool 2 shop in charity shops now. Yeah, id say nearly all my stuff is second hand and i get loads of compliments on what i wear. :-)

I once picked up 2 louis vitton bags for $2 each.<br />
<br />
Kept one and sold the other online$127

That sounds neat lol!

I absolutely agree......saves you to charity.....and protects the environment. <br />
<br />
I wonder with the downturn in the economy, more people will discover this treasure spot.

Yes I think they are great. Reduce, Reuse, Recycle!

Type your comment here...

I go to the salvation army all the time. You can get designer clothes dirt cheap. I also go to garage sales and can get nice things for cheap.

i love going to thrift stores for shopping, i find realy nice good quality brands as Aero, AE, and other ones in a price not even half of what they sale it at the mall..why would i spend more than double to buy the same shirt or hoodie that i can get for $5?

Plus it is the green thing to do!! We can pride ourselves on knowing we are the original recyclers!! One man's trash is truly another man's treasure!

Plus it is the green thing to do!! We can pride ourselves on knowing we are the original recyclers!! One man's trash is truly another man's treasure!

It's also a great place to get gifts- my husband and I get a lot of gifts from the swap meet and second hand stores.<br />
<br />
I got my aunt a beautiful pitcher that looked like a large lemon with the vine as the handle for $10- she LOVES that thing so much.<br />
<br />
Another year I got her some cookbook holds for like $4.<br />
<br />
She always loves my presents best and I don't spend much on them, another plus for me- specially when you don't make a lot of money anyways.

Some of my favorite clothes come from the goodwill, ebay, craigslist, garage sales, and resale shops.what can I say, I'm cheap and love unique/vintage clothes.

Most of my stuff comes for the British Heart Foundation mostly because my boyfriend works there and I volunteer there. I love the clothes and think it's pointless to spend loads of £££ on some jeans or a top when you can get something much cheaper from a charity shop.<br />
<br />

99% of the clothes i own comes from Charity shops- the local Salvation Army being my fave Charity shop along with the Red Cross one'. Charity shops are great and lit's a great way to get cheap/nice clothes while also supporting a good course^^