Forget Liverpool ONE, charity shops are the best places to shop
There ain’t no party like a thrift shop party
Charity shops have always been a strange concept. They're everywhere we turn, yet we never pay any attention to them. There's always a Cancer Research or British Heart Foundation popping up on the high street yet we scarcely bat an eyelid as we head towards Zara to blow our student loans. Yes, giving away your clothes for free is a strange concept, and someone else wearing them is even stranger.
What students would do well to remember, however, is that charity shops can offer us (and our bank balances) so much. They are truly a gift from god and it is time we start to appreciate them.
Charity shops are CHEAP CHEAP CHEAP (and cheerful)
Let's face it, unless you're a Fiat 500 driving pony riding trust fund baby, most students do not have £40 to be splashing on an average shirt in Topman every week for your top night out. Charity shops are the solution.
A quick trip to the British Heart Foundation on Bold Street proved extremely fruitful: six pieces of clothing cost only £30, including a Hollister shirt for under £5 and a hip jacket for £2.49. Yes, the jacket may have only been at the height of fashion in 2002 but vintage fashion is all the range, and it will definitely keep you warm on cold evenings in Concert Square!
Yes the stuff is not brand new but after a messy night out neither are your high street clothes. If anything, you'll feel better about wrecking a jacket you know didn't cost a months rent. Don't mistake your mate's judgement for disapproval- they're just jealous of your £2 jacket which can no longer be found on the high street.
They sell almost everything
Walking through the door is almost an immersive experience. Swarmed by racks and racks of all kinds of greatness from CDs to clothes, all holding hidden treasures that you just can't get anywhere else. Where else will you be reunited with your favourite childhood throwback whilst also finding a new edgy outfit for your next trip to Camp and Furnace.
It actually makes shopping fun
Shopping for new clothes has become a massive slog, it seems more like a chore than something that is meant to be fun. I find myself wanting to just shop online rather than having to deal with pretentious middle aged women who barge through Peters Lane in Liverpool ONE.
Charity shops offer something totally different. You have a laugh with your friends over a pair of shorts that belong in the 70's and a red Canada T-shirt that your friend is adamant on buying. You might even end up buying clothes you never imagined yourself wearing. You just don't have the same opportunity to branch out and try new styles in high street shops.
All the other things you can do with the money you save
Too commonly you hear the phrase 'I can't come out I bought a top for £30 and now I am skint'. Think off all the money you can now save from shopping in charity shops! Imagine all the other fun you can have with that £30 you will save, that is easily 2 extra nights out you can go on. Imagine how many more Raz bombs and Fat Frog's you can buy with all the cash you've saved.
Gifts Galore! – a new revolution
It's your Mum's birthday soon, you want to buy her the best present ever but your bank account is saying no to you, it is a heartbreaking experience, what to do? Well first rock up to Scope on Lord Street and get yourself a good present at a discounted price, and no one needs to know where you got it from. Yes, some may say you are a bad person and you probably are, but this is cancelled out by the good deed you are doing by investing in charity, it is a winner all round. You save your money and your Mum gets the best present ever, a CD that is 15 years old.
Your new found love for charity shops doesn't mean you'll never visit the same generic high street shops again, and it doesn't mean you need to becomes a die-hard charity shop lover. However, give them a chance and your heart will warm to them, your bank balance will also be thankful.
Next time you need a new outfit, instead of buying the same thing your friend did from the same old generic shop, take a trip to Oxfam and buy something that no one else has, trust me you will find something so great and so unique that all your friends will want it. You'll end up as the new fashion icon too= it's a win win situation.