Action 208: Visit the charity shops

charity shopDate: 27 July
Action: 208
Cost of taking action: £/$/€ SAVES MONEY


Written by our guest writer Lynsey Clayton from Monsoon of Random in the UK

Visit the charity shops

Textile waste is currently one of the main contributors to pollution and high levels of CO2. This is partly due to toxic chemicals and dangerous dyes seeping into water supplies, as well as the fact that mass fast fashion manufacturers are using huge amounts of resources and energy.

Many unwanted clothing items – including returns from stores – end up in landfill. If everyone purchased just one pre-loved fashion item this year, it would have a massive, collective and positive impact on the planet.

So, instead of buying new, fast fashion, why not visit your local charity shop?

You’ll likely find great bargains, plus you’ll be helping a good cause and the environment all at the same time.

Modern shops – offline and online

It’s an unfounded myth that charity shops might be dirty or unpleasant places. It’s not true, in fact nowadays they are often professionally managed and as retail outlets they have to meet standards. There’s nothing better than trawling your favourite charity shops and finding a hidden gem, and I’ve yet to discover a charity shop which has been anything other than super clean.

There are also online charity shops and second-hand stores popping up, for example, White Rose. Unless you live close to Nottingham in the UK you may not have heard of White Rose, as all of their physical stores are based in Nottinghamshire, but the good news is that they also have an online store, and so are accessible to many more people; you can even send them your donations via courier. If your local charity shop is some distance away, or not currently accepting donations check out the White Rose website and consider ordering a donation bag (if you are in the UK) which you can fill and send back at no cost.

White Rose was established as a social enterprise in 2009 by two Nottingham Trent University graduates who were inspired by the work of Aegis Trust, a not-for-profit charity which works to build peace in communities at risk of genocide and mass atrocities and rebuild communities which have suffered from it in their road to healing and recovery.

Take action

So, for action 208, why not spend an afternoon browsing your local charity shops

  • you’ll find some great bargains
  • many charity shops are now operating online as well
  • you’ll be amazed at what you can find
  • it can be fun exploring them for hidden gems
  • you’ll be supporting a good cause
  • buying second hand clothes keeps materials out of landfill
  • buying second hand clothes reduces your CO2 footprint
  • lots of shops stock other items too; it’s a way of generally increasing re-use!

This article has been contributed by our guest writer Lynsey Clayton