by Kirsty Fenwick
Last month I bought myself a pair of Christian Louboutin shoes. Aren’t I fancy? Actually, I’m the opposite. I found them on one of my favourite preloved sites for 1/6th of the original price. They are beautiful and timeless and I’ve already requested that I’m buried in them.
I became interested in the preloved movement a few years ago and for purely selfish reasons. I wanted to stop the endless cycle of buying clothes, wearing them a couple of times before shoving them in my wardrobe then having a big clearout so I could buy more. And how many times have you ordered something online and when it arrives you’re not sure about the fit, the colour, the fabric, but you hang on to it before eventually listing it for sale or donating it. An estimated £140 million worth of clothing goes to landfill in the UK annually. What I wouldn’t give to have a dig through that!
Online shopping is my favourite reason to use my phone, however now I use apps like Vinted, eBay and Depop, as well as charities that have an online presence and have deleted the “fast fashion” ones. I no longer browse the clothes in supermarkets but instead choose to wander round charity shops hunting for treasure. I’m pickier now because I’m looking for longevity and as a result my wardrobe has reduced by about 50% over the past couple of years.
A recent gem I have found is The Dress Shop on the high street in Huntingdon. At first glance it looks like a boutique however once you start looking through the rails, and at the price tags, it becomes clear that it’s preloved heaven. The manager Carrie Holliman met with me and explained that she wants the shop to be a community space where people can go in and have fun trying on the wedding dresses and ball gowns even if you just went in to look at the daytime dresses or to find something for an evening out. I was surprised to find out that The Dress Shop is actually a charity shop trading on behalf of The Animal Protection and Woodland Organisation who are raising funds to purchase a woodland in the area dedicated to animal conservation. Carrie stated that she has removed men’s clothing, bric-a-brac, books, etc to make it a shop that is fun and friendly.
While I was visiting, a mum was shopping with her two young daughters, the girls were choosing dresses for mum to try on amid lots of giggling and excitement. The clothing is in beautiful condition with a large percentage of them still having their original tags. I don’t need a wedding dress, but the gown that had a £400 price tag on it that was selling for £65 so very nearly came home with me just so I could float around the house in it! They also have a range of girls clothing as well as shoes, bags and accessories. If you can’t get down to The Dress Shop, they have a facebook page that uploads a selection of their treats available for purchase. It’s the perfect time of year to buy a fabulous dress!
Here are a few tips when buying preloved;
- Please try items on. Whether they are 50p or £50, that’s your money and your wardrobe space you’re using!
- Make friends with a local seamstress. Have clothing tailored to you so you look and feel fantastic.
- When anyone calls you thrifty, smile and say “Thank you, what a lovely compliment!”
- With the holiday season upon us may I wish you a happy, frugal Christmas and maybe I’ve inspired a New Years resolution or two?