Sunday, 18 November 2012

High Street vs Charity Shop - There's no need to choose!

 So guess what I found out this week? Something that could revolutionize your perception of charity shops and get you charity shopping just in time for Christmas.  Whilst popping out on my lunch break to scout out some of the many charity shops in Central London, I stumbled across an Oxfam Shop on Goodge Street.  Stepping inside I came across a pair of beautiful brand new boots for only £10 which of course I grabbed off the shelves immediately.  After greedily trying them on, finding they were a perfect fit and marching them up to the till, I proudly handed them over, smug in the knowledge that I had got my hands on them before anyone else in the shop had a chance to eye them up.  It was only when the shop assistant turned them over that I saw a £75 Urban Outfitters sticker on the bottom!

I couldn't believe my luck! So much so that I rang every member of my family to brag about my find.  Well, obviously they all struggled to match my enthusiasm. However, they did all share the same confusion as to why anyone would donate a brand new pair of £75 boots to a charity shop.

So I decided to do a little bit of research and discovered that the Oxfam Goodge Street shop has a little deal with Urban Outfitters where some of their unsold stock goes straight from their store onto Oxfam's shelves at a fraction of the high street cost! So if the thought of buying something from a charity shop still makes you grimace, this is the perfect compromise. Brand new stock, at second hand prices.  Why would you think of going anywhere else for presents this Christmas?

PS after writing this post, I was informed that the Cancer Research UK shop on Marylebone High St gets Stella McCartney and other designer samples, Cancer Research UK shop in Angel gets Monsoon/Accessorise samples and Oxfam in Yarms (North Yorkshire) gets Ted Baker's unsold stock so you get really awesome one-offs that never made it to the shops.

If anyone knows of any other High Street links with Charity Shops then please feel free to comment below!


Fashion Diary - 18th November 2012

What I bought from charity shops this week...

A striking winter cardi from
British Heart Foundation, Harbourne
only £4.99

A pair of Faith shoes from
Isabel Hospice Cuffley
only £4.00

Sunday, 11 November 2012

YMCA Charity Shop - Harlow

So after displaying an array of my finest charity shop winter coats last week, I thought for my next post I'd better let you in on a little secret.. where to buy them from of course!

Throughout this blog I will be sharing with you some of the highlights of the charity retail world and so where better place to start than with what I consider the best charity shop around. A lovely chat with shop manager Tessa informed me that it has taken her a good four years to build up the incredible collection of vintage clothes the Harlow YMCA charity shop has to offer but oh wow its been worth it! Every aspect of this shop takes you back in time, from the elegant wardrobes and antique suitcases used to display the clothes to the beautiful wooden mirror perfectly framing anything you wish to try on.  And best of all, by trying to keep prices low, there are some quality items at rock bottom prices... not sure you could ask for more really.

So here is just some of what YMCA Harlow has to offer:

Bulky men's jackets like 
this one with a tan 
leather collar for 

A whole range of
 all for less than


Bright colourful tops –
 guaranteed to draw
                            attention for only

However in my opinion, the best buy of the shop is

High waisted Levi denim shorts - only £5.99

Of course, there was no way I was going to leave empty handed! I'm pretty chuffed with my new colourful chequered top for an incredible £4.99!

So all that's left to say is hurry up and get down there!

Thursday, 8 November 2012

Winter Wonderland

After hearing the phrase 'hasn't it got cold' at least 50 times this week, I thought I would embrace the change in season with some charity retail winter wear.  With the cost of coats and jackets normally leaving a significant hole in your pocket, there's no better place to buy your winter warmers than in your local charity shop.  With prices at least half what you would pay in the shops, you can pick up a range of good-quality bargains meaning you're not stuck with that one heavy duty, practical coat that's got to see you through to 2015!   Plus, this leaves you with just enough pennies to buy some bags to go with them!

The coats on display here range from £5.00 to £50.00 depending on the quality so head down to a charity shop near you to find out what delights they have in store for you this winter.

Astrakhan Coat - Isabel Hospice Cuffley £50.00

Guy Laroche Jacket - Help The Aged Welwyn £6.00
Blouse - St Marys Hospice Selly Oak £3.00
Bag - St Mary's Hospice Selly Oak £5.00

Coat - St Mary's Hospice Selly Oak £7.00

Blouse - St Marys Hospice Selly Oak £3.00
Bag - St Mary's Hospice Selly Oak £5.00

Astrakhan Coat - Isabel Hospice Cuffley £50.00

Handbag - Isabel Hospice Cuffley £10.00

Guy Laroche Jacket - Help The Aged Welwyn £6.00

I would just like to thank my dear friend Hannah Lodge for her talent and her time in taking these photos.  For more of her wonderful photography, please check out


Hi there,

I would like to introduce you to my blog, Sweet Charity.  As someone usually found in a charity shop, either side of the counter, I would like to share the wonderful world of charity retail with the somewhat discouraging world around me.  Although in the process of a drastic image change, charity shops are still viewed by many as mangy dumping grounds in which the only thing you are guaranteed to leave with are fleas.  I on the other hand see them as palaces full of beautiful, original clobber at bargain prices (although this does involve sifting through a lot of other crap I must admit).

Whilst I am a strong advocate of shopping in these delightful stores, I am also a firm fan of working in them as well.  Having volunteered in St Mary's Hospice Charity Shop in Birmingham and more recently in Isabel Hospice Charity Shop in Cuffley, I can't put into words how fun it is ripping open huge sacks of donations, not knowing what gems you might find along the way.  It's like Christmas every time you work, plus you have the added benefit of helping a good cause which might give your karma that little boost its looking for.

I would also just like to thank Hannah Lodge for her wonderful photography which has featured in so many of my posts.  If you would like to see some more of her work then please click here

I would also like to thank Mr Robbie Scott for turning my terribly amateur blog into something slightly more sophisticated.  You can follow him on twitter

Anyway, enjoy my blog and hopefully you will soon be a convert just like me!