Shopping Until I Drop

Recently, Jeff Trexler and I have been discussing the merits of used clothing quite a bit. So I guess it's not that surprising, with shopping on the brain, that I wandered into an Oxfam shop today and wound up with a pair of trousers, two blouses, a pair of jeans, and a book. All for 40 pounds. Not bad, eh?

As I paid for my purchases, I reflected how shopping from Oxfam ticks all the boxes for ethical consumers. You're buying sustainably, plus there is the added bonus of knowing that your purchases help Oxfam fight poverty in the South. Plus, you get some new-to-you things at a fairly inexpensive price. (The jeans I bought were DKNY, in good condition, and 8 pounds.) What could be better?

The other thing I noticed is that charity shops have become much better at selling their wares. Once upon a time, you'd go to a charity shop and clothes would be hung higgelty-piggelty. Often they would be wrinkled and look a little dirty. The shop itself would be sort of dark and musty and the books would look like they were all decades old.

But times have changed. Oh, there are still charity shops like that, but many Oxfams are really nice, well lit, and clean. The shops have learnt a lot about presentation, and the clothes I bought today were all hung nicely on wooden hangers. I have to say, as a consumer, these things make a difference. Shopping sustainably is so much nicer when you don't have to pick your way through a table filled with old grungy clothing.

So if you haven't been to a charity shop recently, or have been holding back because you think charity shops are dark, disorganized places, why not check one out? You may be pleasantly surprised with what you find.