Charity Chic Arrives In Chiswick

Oxfam launches their one stop fashion shop for people with a stylish conscience

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Whether you are a dedicated follower of fashion or a supporter of Oxfam you could hardly have missed the high street's recent most exciting store opening. The Oxfam boutique on Westbourne Grove got everyone talking. And they are going to do the same at 190 Chiswick High Road.

Described as 'the best sustainable fashion offering the British retail sector has come up with', the Oxfam boutique offers a one stop fashion shop to people with both a conscience and a sense of style.

Shop Manager Ruth Habershon said 'We are really excited about the new boutique. At first glance you may think it's a million miles from any other Oxfam shop you've ever been into, but it's essentially the same. We couldn't operate without our team of volunteers who have a variety of roles within the shop - and the majority of our sales will still be our outstanding range of donated clothing.'

The main difference is that the Oxfam boutiques are selling a wider range of new products: jewellery by Wright & Teague, who have created an exclusive range of Fair Trade silver jewellery, People Tree Fair Trade fashion, Ascension jeans and a substantial selection of Reinvented pieces. The Reinvented range is special because it includes pieces reinvented by designers especially for Oxfam from donations that would otherwise only fetch a few pence. For example, Laura Queening's Reworked range takes an old leather jacket and, typically, turns it into three highly desirable, silky soft leather handbags. This season's must have!

'Everything in the boutiques has a story about sustainablility - be it reuse, reinvention, Fair Trade, or organic, 'says Anna Thorne, Retail Development Manager for Oxfam. 'These stores show it is possible to avoid throw away, cheap clothing and enjoy a fashionable, contemporary and relevant shopping experience. Jane Shepherdson, the CEO of Whistles has been an important creative advisor on this project. Creative Resource, the retail design agency, literally gave us our wonderful new store design - as did David Downton, the fashion illustrator, who is allowing us to use his sophisticated illustration as a visual in store. We are so grateful to each of these people, who together demonstrate the many wonderful ways of giving to Oxfam.'

The Chiswick boutique was set to open on Saturday 7th June but delays in the refurbishment resulted in it being put back a week. Shop manager Ruth Habershon said 'We've some fabulous one - off donated pieces for the launch day, sold under our new label, Loved for Longer. The great thing is that people give us clothes that they've loved, but no longer want to wear knowing that we'll find someone else who will pay a good price and love the garment for longer. Of course, most important of all, all our profits go to help those who need it most.'

And the Oxfam boutique always welcomes new volunteers to its join its team. There are so many diverse roles:helping customers on the shop floor,selecting and pricing garments (identifying those really special pieces), merchandising the shop or creating sumptuous window displays We'd love to hear from you, even if you can only spare a few hours a week.

If you would like to find out more about volunteering in the Chiswick High Road shop or any of the other Oxfam boutiques please contact Derek Sims on 07957 887571

June 13, 2008