Fashionastas Declare Charity Shopping Cool

As well as being ethical, sustainable, chic and right on your doorstep!

Chiswick’s Charity Shops

Cancer Research – Chiswick High Road: opposite Turnham Green and on corner of Fisher’s Lane

Oxfam Boutique – Chiswick High Road

Trinity Hospice – Turnham Green Terrace

Octavia Housing (taken over Notting Hill Housing) – Turnham Green Terrace

Barnados – Turnham Green Terrace

Oxfam Book Shop – Turnham Green Terrace


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While Britain was following the fortunes of Slumdog and ‘our Kate’ at the Oscars last week, all Oxfam eyes were on BBC Breakfast’s, Susanna Reid and her stunning £50 frock she bought from their Notting Hill boutique.

The charity is currently working hard to change the perception that Charity shops are a dumping ground for smelly old fashion disasters. Its latest campaign, Sustain Me, supported by host of celebrities including glamour pusses Cat Deeley and Honor Blackman, is all about persuading us that charity shopping is cool, not merely for fashion students, stylists and creative types, who have long used them for inspiration, but for everybody.

Chiswick is blessed with an abundance of Charity shops including the Cancer Research store opposite Turnham Green which was recently ranked number four in The Times’ top ten Charity shops in London.

Billed as ‘a delight for vintage-lovers. Strong on 1950s pieces, with Chiswick’s yummy mummies adding designer jumble into the mix, it deserves its cult status.’

“A lot of us are looking for ways to consume ethically, and now that we are in recession, people are also looking for value for money,” a spokesperson for Oxfam said. “These two things make charity shops very relevant to today’s consumer.”

Fancy a rummage? Fashion experts' top tips on how to charity shop:

- It can be daunting when you go in. Keep an open mind and ask yourself: “Is that a beautiful piece?” If so, the chances are you will be able to do something with it.

- To update a charity-shop dress, cut it short. This makes everything look more modern.

- Look out for jeans, especially old Levi’s. You can roll them at the ankle for the boyfriend look, make them into shorts or even into a skirt. It’s easy to do.

- Look for 1980s and 1990s linen-mix jackets. They work well if you roll up the sleeves and wear them with something smarter. Also look for printed summer dresses.

- Go to a charity shop in quite a wealthy area because you get better quality clothes there. Also remember that every store is different. If you don’t like the stuff in one shop, try another. It might take a while to find one that matches your personal style, but once you do, you will be onto a gold mine.

Any charity shop, anywhere, is a potential fashion gold mine. Think logically and follow the money: the better-heeled an area, the higher quality the castoff. For low-key designers, check out Chiswick for Armani, Joseph and Nicole Farhi.

March 4, 2009