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Charity shopping in a post-Covid world: Liberties, Rathmines and Camden Street

Charity shopping was one of the things I missed most when Ireland went into lockdown. As you all know, I spend an inordinate amount of time browsing and trying on clothes and looking for bargains.

As I moved house just before lockdown, I didn’t even have a chance to visit the charity shops in my new neighbourhood.

So as soon as I heard they were reopening, I was ready to go check them out. Previously, I’d lived on the northside of Dublin and although I’d frequently been charity shopping on the southside, I wasn’t as familiar with its offerings.

LIBERTIES

My first day back at the shops was a little disappointing as there are strict limits on the numbers that can enter at any one time and I had to queue for a few. Staff were meticulous about reminding customers to use hand sanitiser which was great but like other shops, you can’t try anything on at the moment. I wandered around the shops around Meath Street and Thomas Street but left empty-handed. Not all of the charity shops opened on June 8 so I didn’t get to visit them all.

However, a few weeks later I had a successful thrifting spree in the fantastic Simon Community shop on Thomas Street.

It was a Friday and there were a few customers browsing but I didn’t have to queue. I immediately noticed some great stock, including a beautiful blue Sandro dress.

However, as I couldn’t try things on, I had to judicious about my selections. I spotted a really cute floral Nasty Gal blouse with fringing on the sleeves and back.

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€7 shirt brand new
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Floral shirt

It was a size 12 but looked small so I knew it would fit me.

It was new with tags on but was only €7. I’ve already gotten loads of wear out of it which is great!

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The fringing on the back and sleeves

Using my investigative journalist skills (lol), I found it on the Nasty Gal site and it had been €28 full price so I got it for a quarter of that!

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The floral blouse and belt I thrifted

Here I’m wearing it with my favourite Topshop jeans, an old wicker bag I found at home and my Doc Martens.

The floral shirt
Wearing the shirt and belt I thrifted

I also spotted a brand new F&F bra with tags on in my size for €5. The original price was €12.50 so a good bargain!

I know some people wouldn’t even consider buying a bra in a charity shop but this was brand new and I’m trying to avoid buying new where possible.

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Pink F&f Bra
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€5 new bra

I was also tempted by a white denim overall dress but when I turned it around, I saw some marks on it so I left it.

When I was going up to the till, I spied an adorable belt with a gold Scottie dog buckle and three little dogs on the side.

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Vintage style belt

On the inside, I saw it was marked real leather in French and I could tell it was really nice quality too.

It didn’t have a price on it but when I brought it up to the till it was €1!

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My adorable belt was a big hit on the gram also!

Unfortunately, when I got home, one of the dogs fell off the side but I’m going to find a way to reattach it because it is the cutest belt ever!

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So cute!

My total was €13 and everything fit well. The belt is a little small but I will wear it around my waist with a dress rather than jeans.

I visited again recently and there was even more gorgeous (and new) stuff, including an Urban Outfitters keyhole 90s style top and pleated skirt that I may go back for.

I also nipped into the Vincent’s shop on Meath Street which was closed for longer than the others and I saw a brand new tie-dye print slip skirt from Penneys.

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The tie-dye style slip skirt

I’d been looking for a slip skirt for ages to wear with Doc Martens. It was a size 12 and still had tags on, originally priced at €14.

I’m a ten but I thought it looked small and as it was only €5, I decided to get it.

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Primark skirt brand new with tags
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€5, verdy good value!

It’s ever so slightly large for me in the waist but fits well in the hips. I don’t have any weddings this year thanks to Covid but I may wear it to an upcoming barbeque.

RATHMINES

There lots of charity shops in Rathmines but I visited at the start of June when they weren’t all open. Rathmines tends to have some really nice stock compared to the city centre and I admired some skirts in Oxfam but as you couldn’t try anything on, left them behind.

I did pick up a holographic sunglass sleeve for €1 which was great because I lost the one my Ray-Bans came in (typical I know).

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Raybans not included

I will be back to Rathmines another day for a proper shop.

CAMDEN STREET

My blogging pal Ama and I decided to meet up for a charity shop crawl of the Camden Street area which was so much fun. If you can rope a friend into charity shopping, it’s much more enjoyable and also you have someone else’s advice.

We popped into a few of the stores, including Liberty, Enable Ireland and the Irish Cancer Society. Ama was on the hunt for a formal bag and struck gold – we saw a beautiful pink Karen Millen bag that was in excellent condition. It was €15 and in really good nick so she was delighted with it.

I was tempted by a gorgeous Zara long skirt and a real leather Tommy Hilfiger 90s style one with a slight side split.

But the Zara was too small and the Tommy Hilfiger one had a damaged zip so I reluctantly left them behind.

Ama was a good companion for charity shopping as she reminded me I didn’t need more skirts anyway! Check out her blog here.

I spied a Humans of New York book for €10 that I was very tempted to buy but I had no cash and the shop didn’t have a card machine. Now, I’ve noticed a lot of more charity shops take card these days but it’s still worth bringing cash in case they don’t.

Instead I merely bought a few wooden clip hangers for a mere 10 cent each as I don’t have enough at home for the giant skirt collection!

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10 cent hangers can’t beat it

TIPS

You can’t try on clothes at the moment so only buy something if you’re pretty sure it’ll fit and check if it’s possible to exchange if not. I know some stores are offering exchanges at the moment because of this.

Bring cash and cards, some charity shops still don’t have card machines.

Be prepared to queue, most charity shops are quite small and have strict limits on the number of people who can come in. I’ve never had to queue longer than five minutes for any of them but some may be very busy.

Wear a mask and use hand sanitiser – every shop I’ve been to have been asking people to sanitise their hands which is great to see.

And finally – be patient and don’t give the staff hassle, remember the charity shops took a massive hit when they closed and are only getting back on their feet now. So, don’t haggle with the staff and be respectful.

Thanks for reading as always and I hope you found the tips helpful! Don’t forget to check out my InstagramTwitter and Facebook page.

Edel

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Oxfam’s Second Hand September Challenge

We’re almost at the end of September and I’ve pledged not to buy any new clothes for a month as part of the Second Hand September challenge.

It’s not the first time I’ve done a “no new clothes” challenge, I did one way back in 2014 and when I was doing my Master’s, I didn’t buy any new clothes for several months as I was broke!

This year, I’ve seen a lot of people doing No Buy July and I almost made it through the month until I caved and bought a little top from Bershka.

I decided to stick to Second Hand September but I had one small problem – going on holidays!

Last year, I didn’t buy any new clothes for my holidays in Barcelona but I picked up a few high street pieces while I was there. Now, I’m not going to guilt-trip myself over that as it was just two things which are still in my wardrobe.

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Wearing an all second-hand outfit in Lisbon

This year, I again refrained from buying new holiday clothes but I freshened up my holiday wardrobe with pieces such as this Beatles t-shirt which I got for €3 in the Irish Cancer Society charity shop with my denim shorts from the Kilo Store in Amsterdam.

My belt is also second-hand, €1 from the Respect shop in Stoneybatter.

https://www.instagram.com/p/B2mYL-gCeEP/

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Beatles t-shirt and vintage shorts

Another outfit I rewore on holidays was my green River Island dress, also a second-hand bargain from the Irish Deaf Society shop in Phibsborough.

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Ignore the crazy hair

While in Lisbon this year, I initially avoided going into the shops but eventually I went for a look around.

There was a t-shirt I was obsessed with in Brandy Melville (a shop for teens really, everything was a size 0) but I tried it on and although it was nice, it didn’t fit great so I no longer wanted it after that!

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Green River Island dress from a charity shop

To my credit, I managed to browse all of the high street stores without buying anything other than some jewellery.

I was going to buy some bras which I really needed but the store’s card machine was down as were all the nearby ATMs so I took that as a sign!

But I still managed to find some new wardrobe additions as I’d researched the vintage and secondhand options before visiting Lisbon.

My best find was probably this lovely scarf print skirt for €15 in the Feira Da Ladra flea market.

I probably could have gotten it for less by haggling but tbh, I’m not much of a haggler, especially if I have to do it in Portuguese!

Scarf print skirt
Scarf print skirt

When I got home, the weather was still lovely so I paired it with my white Reeboks, a white crop top and a real suede Mango jacket that I found in the Debra Ireland charity shop in Phibsborough for about €10.

I’m a big fan of scarf print and I’d been tempted to buy similar skirts from Zara or Aliexpress earlier this year.

The best thing about this skirt is it’s really versatile and can be worn to a special occasion, work or a casual day out.

 

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Scarf print skirt from the Feira Da Ladra market
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My scarf print skirt

I also picked up a vintage dress in Retro City Lisboa, a renowned vintage shop that was very close to our Airbnb.

This is a size 12 dress but fits more like a 10. It’s really pretty and I may wear it to an upcoming wedding.

It was marked €20 but they only charged €18.

I also discovered a chain of charity shops called Humana where I thrifted a patchwork denim Zara skirt. This was €10 but still had a Zara tag for €19.99 on it.

The stock in Humana was very summery and not as cheap as you’d find at home, a lot of stuff was under €10 but not as much around the €5 mark.

I did spot a really cool Lacoste bag for €20 but I don’t need any more bags right now! If you are in Lisbon, it’s well worth checking out the Humana stores and they are in other European cities also.

Aside from Belgium, I’ve never actually found a charity shop abroad until now (I clearly hadn’t been looking that hard!)

With just two days left, I’m confident of making it through Second Hand September and I’m proud of myself for taking on this small challenge. There were times when I really wanted to buy new items but I managed to remind myself of how much stuff I already own and also the fact that I’ll be moving house in a few months.

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Wearing my suede thrifted jacket and scarf print skirt

One month without buying fast fashion is really not a big sacrifice and I would encourage anyone to give it a go.

And even though September is nearly over, you can still take part by signing up here.

Oxfam will email you some tips and inspiration along the way if you’re struggling!

Have you taken part in Second Hand September or a similar challenge? I’d love to hear your thoughts, drop me a comment below by clicking on the grey speech bubble icon below on the right.

Thanks for reading and if you would like to follow me on social media,  check out my InstagramTwitter and Facebook page.

Edel

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Sustainability Struggles: Trying to live a less wasteful life

Sustainability and zero waste are woke buzz words these days but I was living in a sustainable manner long before I knew what it meant.

Growing up with parents who were a lot older than me (closer in age to some of my friends’ grandparents) meant we had a “waste not, want not” lifestyle.

I remember carefully washing glass jars and peeling off the labels for recycling, using newspapers to dry up spills and light the stove and of course, wearing hand-me-downs and charity shop clothes.

When I made my Communion, my mother even had her wedding dress made into a dress for me – now that’s economical!

We lived on a farm, drank our own cows’ milk, picked blackberries and crabapples and wrapped our sandwiches in old bread wrappers instead of tinfoil. It might sound grim but it was a very thrifty and sustainable lifestyle.

Now, we were far from perfect, country living means driving pretty much everywhere and of course, we ate meat (apart from my very brief stint as a vegetarian).

There were aspects of my upbringing that I didn’t like, as a teenager I wanted all the latest trends from the chain stores but my mother did buy me new clothes and shoes when I really needed them.

When I left home and lived with other people, I was shocked by how some thought nothing of throwing out food or clothes.

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This one of my many thrifty outfits

I didn’t know how to recycle properly but I tried to recycle as much as I could and also dispose of my old belongings in a responsible way.

Nowadays, most people (myself included) are a lot more informed about living a sustainable life and how our wastefulness is killing the planet.

I get very anxious when I think about the harm caused to the environment by our incessant dumping, polluting and use of toxic substances.

I cringe when I see workmates casually flinging coffee cups and dirty cartons into the recycling bin without a care.

I often hear things like “oh I never thought of that”, when I mention that I’m trying to cut down on using plastic etc. I try not to preach as that just alienates people but I think we all need to be living more sustainably for the greater good.

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My bag, dress and belt are all secondhand

While I don’t see myself having children any time soon (if ever), it does bother me that the next generation will be greatly affected by our actions now.

And it’s not just about people but also animals and plants which don’t willfully damage the earth but still suffer the consequences.

Here are a few simple changes I’ve been making to my life in order to live more sustainably. I don’t see myself becoming a vegan, or giving up driving or travelling completely but I am trying to reduce my carbon footprint.

Minimising plastic waste

When I go grocery shopping, I buy loose fruit and veg as much as possible or in a rigid plastic or cardboard container as that can be recycled. Soft plastics (anything you can scrunch up in your hand) are no longer being recycled in Ireland so I’m trying to cut down on them.

I also always take a shopping bag or rucksack – there’s no need to buy a plastic bag, I’ve approximately 70,000 of them at home.

Another way to cut down on plastic is to bring a lunchbox for meat or fish from a deli counter.

Buying in season/locally produced food

When I’m food shopping, I try to buy as much Irish produce as possible. This can be very hard in supermarkets, for example, Tesco tends to sell fruit and vegetables which have travelled from every corner of the earth.

If you can afford to shop at a butcher, greengrocer or farmer’s market now and again, these are good places to pick up fresh local produce. Obviously, these options aren’t available to everyone, particularly if you live in the countryside or have very little money for food shopping.

Zero waste markets and shops are popping up in several cities now, I found an excellent one in Phibsborough called Noms where you can buy food, household products and beauty products.

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Sustainable and stylish

Using public transport or cycling

Again, this one is tough for those who live in the countryside and is more applicable to city-dwellers.

I used to always drive to work until my car died but now I only drive at the weekends when there are limited trains. As I work shifts, there’s no public transport that would get me to work early enough so I have to take a taxi in but I take the train home.

I also started cycling late last year, something I was very nervous about because cycling in Dublin is no joke but I am a lot more confident now. Dublin Bikes cost only €25 for a yearly subscription, making them much cheaper than public transport.

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The power to change things is in our hands

Separating waste correctly

Yes, it’s a pain in the hole but I’d rather that than a hole in the ozone layer! I now have three bins in my apartment, one large one for recycling paper, rigid plastic and cardboard, a smaller bin for food waste (I use compostable bin liners in this) and an “everything else” bin.

All recycling should be clean and dry so that means washing out cartons and containers and letting them dry. I tend to do this while washing the dishes so it’s just part of the routine.

It took a while to get everyone using the bins correctly and taking three bins out can be laborious but in the long run, it’s not a big deal.

You can find recycling guidelines on Repak’s website.

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Photoshoot in Galway

Switching up your toiletries – soap bars, toothbrushes, tampons

Bars of soap are definitely more awkward than hand soaps and shower gel but they do the same job, and you can use them to shave with and there’s no waste left over.

I store my bar of soap in a plastic box to stop it melting all over the shower.

I haven’t tried toothpaste tabs or shampoo bars yet but these are definitely on my list. I also now use a bamboo toothbrush and the only issue I have is that toothpaste tends to stick to the brush and you have to clean it regularly.

Recently, I bought a Mooncup, hoping that it would be a good investment but I actually haven’t been able to use it, I think I bought the wrong size.

If you can’t use or afford a menstrual cup (they are pricey), you could try using non-applicator or cardboard tampons to minimise plastic waste.

In the long run though, a menstrual cup is much cheaper. Another option is resuable period-proof underwear (yes such a thing exists and is apparently very effective), check out Colette’s review of them here.

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Having a pensive think about our planet’s future

Slow fashion

My number one hobby is fashion so it may seem a bit hypocritical for me to be talking about being sustainable.

Fast fashion is a massive contributor to pollution but there are so many sustainable alternatives such as swap shopping, using the clothes you already have, charity shopping, vintage kilo sales and upcycling.

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Kilo store Amsterdam

Markets are another place to get your sustainable style fix, you can even find designer items here.

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Armani blazer at a market in Amsterdam

I haven’t cut out fast fashion completely but I buy about 60% secondhand and 40% new clothing at the moment.

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Denim dress and thrifted belt

In this post, I’m wearing a vintage denim dress that I bought in Amsterdam, a €1 belt from a charity shop, my DKNY rucksack was €6 from a charity shop, but my runners are from Asos and my earrings are from Penneys.

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My DKNY rucksack was one of my best bargains ever

Another way to shop more sustainably is to buy one high-quality item which will last longer. I got almost three years out of my last pair of Reeboks.

Reusable straws, coffee cups and water bottles

These days, I will always say “no straw” at the bar unless they have paper straws.

Paper straws are annoying when they go soggy but they’re less wasteful and I’m thinking of buying a metal one.

I almost never buy coffee in a disposable cup as I can’t bear the thought of them going in landfill. I do have a reusable cup but I don’t really use it as I usually bring my own coffee to work.

I have a Nespresso machine at home but I find the capsules quite wasteful (though I’ve seen compostable capsules in Noms). I try to use my moka pot more as the grounds can be composted.

If you are a Nespresso fiend, you can get recycling bags from your local store/concession.

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Scowling at people who don’t recycle properly

I drink loads of water but almost never have to buy bottled water as I bring my water bottle everywhere with me.

Recently, our workplace got rid of plastic cups which I think is a great move. I’ve a metal bottle which keeps the water nice and cool.

These are just small changes and I’m aware that I’m very privileged to be able to make these. I live in a city with public transport and lots of shops, I have disposable income and I’m an able-bodied person. I know not everyone has the same opportunities or advantages as me.

I’m not perfect and I still need to improve my own efforts but I hope this post has provided some food for thought.

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My denim dress from Amsterdam

Leave me a comment and let me know your thoughts on sustainability.

All photos were taken by Galway-based photographer Sarah Kelly, go check out her Instagram and website, Untamed Moments, she’s an extremely talented lady.

I won a photo shoot with Sarah and I loved having a chat with her about sustainable style and blogging. she was a delight to work with!

Sarah has a degree in Earth and Ocean Science and Zoology and is passionate about protecting our environment. Check out her tips on reducing plastic waste here.

Total outfit cost: €100.20, dress €23.40, belt €1, earrings €3, runners €72.80.

Hope you all enjoyed this post and thanks for reading. Don’t forget to check out my InstagramTwitter and Facebook page.

Edel

 

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Charity shopping in Bray

It’s always nice to get out of Dublin and recently I headed out to Bray to visit my friend and fellow blogger Kathryn.

The visit was postponed several times due to both our busy lives until I had a Monday off and decided to hop on a train out.

After lunch in Kathryn’s beautiful period house, we set out on a charity shop excursion and I was pleasantly surprised by the number of charity shops in the town.

First stop was the Vincent’s shop where I immediately found €2 Marks and Spencers jeans in a bargain bin and a grey and pink pinafore dress for €5.

I was absolutely thrilled with the jeans as I’d been looking for embellished jeans for ages but didn’t want to fork out loads.

It’s pretty rare to find decent jeans in a charity shop as most of them are either cheap ones or worn and stretched out and if you do find a decent pair, it’s likely they’re not your size!

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Wearing my thrifted jeans in the Botanic Gardens

So I got really lucky with these as they are a really nice snug fit in the waist and good quality denim.

They don’t stretch which is a big plus for me. The only downside is that they are a tad too long for me but I just rolled up the ends.

I never buy clothes in Marks and Spencers but I’ve heard that they are good quality.

If you are looking for something similar, they are a ‘girlfriend’ fit from M&S. I will put a full-length photo of them soon.

I also found a grey and pink pinafore dress for €5 in the St Vincent’s store.

It is from Dunnes and I’ve been layering it over a grey poloneck for work.

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Grey check pinafore dress

It is a size 10 and could do with a belt but I haven’t found one that suits it yet. I will put up a pic of me wearing it soon.

It’s a light material with no lining so one for summer rather than autumn/winter and has two pockets in the front with decorative silver buttons.

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Pinafore dress detail

I actually haven’t been to many St Vincent’s charity shops as the nearest one to me is in Drumcondra and  George’s Street and Sean McDermott Street in the city centre.

Kathryn introduced me to the one on Sean McDermott Street and it is enormous -well worth a look around!

I bought this adorable faux leather yellow skirt for about €7 there.

Another shop we visited was Purple House Cancer Support which has the cutest storefront and I couldn’t resist a picture.

Although I’ve been to Bray several times, I never knew there were so many charity shops and was pleasantly surprised by the quality of the stock also.

Many of the shops had homeware and cute knick-knacks and ornaments, a cheap way to spruce up an apartment.

We hit up the National Council for the Blind of Ireland, an Irish Cancer Society shop and an Oxfam along the way.

I tried on several items in these shops, but as my wardrobe is overflowing, I decided not to buy anything else.

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Purple House Cancer Support Bray

There were so many good charity shops that it actually took ages to get around to them all!

For my shopping trip, I opted for a comfy and casual outfit, a baggy Topshop jumper, River Island jeans and thrifted black loafers.

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The perfect photo backdrop at Purple House Cancer Support

Usually, I’m alone when I’m charity shopping but it’s always good to have a friend along to give you their opinion.

Kathryn was a voice of reason and stopped me from buying another ornament I didn’t really need (just a dust-collector) and a very nice but slightly too small sparkly blue t-shirt.

Check out her vintage and thrifty fashion blog here.

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Two happy charity shoppers

I hope you all enjoyed this post and if you’ve any charity shop recommendations or questions, leave me a comment below by clicking the grey speech bubble icon on the bottom right.

I’m off to Amsterdam later this month so hopefully, I’ll have a travel post on that soon.

Thanks for reading and don’t forget to check out my InstagramTwitter and Facebook page.

Edel

Thrift Alert: Dublin’s best charity shops

There’s nothing better than getting your fashion fix while also doing a good deed. For years I’ve shopped in charity shops and am still amazed by the bargains. We’re talking brand new items with tags on, designer and leather handbags and beautiful vintage clothing.

Enable Ireland

This is one of my favourite charity shops with branches in Phibsborough, George’s Street, Capel Street, Camden Street, Finglas and Thomas Street. Enable Ireland have a good selection of items from workwear to children’s clothes and shoes. 100% of their profits go to funding disability services.

My best recent bargain from there has to be these black patent loafers which were brand new with a €70 sticker but sold for just €20. For more of my Enable Ireland bargains, check out my Charity Shopping Haul post.

I also found this lovely brand new Missguided playsuit in Enable Ireland’s Phibsborough branch. I got so many compliments when I wore this and it was only €4!

Irish Cancer Society

The Irish Cancer Society shops tend to be quite small but I always enjoy browsing around. I’ve found some good stuff in their Rathmines, Phibsborough and Capel Street shops. The Rathmines one is the most attractive and in general Rathmines charity shops tend to be of a very high calibre!

Oxfam (George’s St)

Oxfam have several stores around Dublin but their George’s Street store is the jewel in the crown. They have both ladieswear and menswear, vintage and a dedicated bridal section with many brand new and designer wedding dresses from sizes 6-22. Brides on a budget, look no further! Oxfam’s profits go to alleviating poverty in third world countries.

I bought these black leather shorts for about €4 in their Stephen’s Green store.

Another gorgeous bargain was this Versace-esque silky bomber.

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Scarf print bomber jacket, Oxfam.

St. Vincent de Paul

SVP are dedicated to helping those living in dire poverty in Ireland and assist thousands each year. Their George’s Street store is a must visit for any thrift shop maven. I’ve seen Versace and Moschino items here and they even have their their own vintage line.

I bought this oversized denim jacket and this cropped red shirt in their Phibsborough branch. (These are both Penneys items but I was on a strict budget at the time!) The jacket was brand new with tags, €8 and the shirt was about €4.

 

Respect (Stoneybatter)

And now for one slightly off the beaten track, the Respect shop in Stoneybatter is one of the most amazing charity shops I’ve ever been in. It looks quite unassuming but is one of the best for a genuine bargain. Among the items I’ve bought there include a black leather DKNY backpack for €6, a €2 Longchamps bag and a red leather American Apparel skirt for €10. I’ve also picked up some great vintage belts here. Respect support people with intellectual disabilities so it’s a really worthy cause.

Macro Shop, Macro Community Centre (North King’s Street)

I love shopping here as the Macro centre gives back to the local community. It also pays to shop here in winter, I recently found real Levi’s cut-offs and a red suede effect H&M skirt for €2 each! Their community centre provides services such as free legal aid, citizen’s information and advocacy to the local residents.

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I later found this skirt for €2!

There are other second hand shops around such as the Second Abbey on Abbey Street which has an incredible selection of clothes, homewares and bric a brac. In some senses, it’s more of a museum!

In general, I prefer to shop in a registered charity shop where possible. That way, you can be sure your purchases or donations always go to a genuine charity. If you want to detox your wardrobe, these shops always welcome donations of clean clothing and shoes.

Do you shop in charity shops? Leave me a comment and let me know if I’ve missed any good ones. Hope you all had a good new year and enjoyed this post.

Thanks for reading as always and don’t forget to check out my InstagramTwitter and Facebook page here.

Edel

 

 

Phibsborough Charity Shop Haul and Thrifting Tips

More and more people are searching for sustainable and slow fashion options these days and I’m happy to say I’m also trying to do my bit.

I’ve always loved mooching in the charity shops for a browse and when I was on a very low income, thrifting allowed me to express my love for fashion without breaking the bank!

Don’t get me wrong I still love Penneys like Kanye loves Kanye but I am making a conscious effort to buy secondhand where possible.

I thrift all over Dublin and beyond but below is a haul of some of the many bargains I bought in various charity shops in Phibsborough.

For people who are reluctant to buy in charity shops or would like to donate here’s what you need to know.

Charity shops won’t sell rags or dirty, torn clothing, so don’t donate these! You can bring them to a recycling bank instead, there are loads of them, even in the country so there’s no excuse not to. I always recycle my old clothes as I hate waste.

Some clothing may be brand new with tags on, others will have slight to moderate wear and tear. The prices will reflect this. Don’t try and barter in charity shops.

Do ask when the window display is on sale if you like an item in the window. Generally, the best items, branded handbags, etc. end up here.

But I’ve gotten a designer bag ( DKNY) and a very good fake Longchamps in a charity shop which weren’t in the window so keep your eyes peeled!

Charity shops do have sales- Enable Ireland is especially good and I picked up some absolute beauts in their Phibsborough shop.

I found this brand new Missguided bardot playsuit which is €30.80 on their site for just €4!

The bardot style is still on-trend and it’s perfect for a night out. It’s a size 10 but small fitting.

reverse playsuit edit

stripe playsuit edit

work party 2

I’ve worn this playsuit with heels on nights out and as a more casual summer look with espadrilles during the day.

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Striped playsuit

I also saw a cute pleather lilac skirt in an 8 from River Island that I had to try on. It was €3.90 with some signs of wear.

It fit perfectly and would be ideal with a black or white top for a night out.

This has some slight discolouration but not very noticeable.

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lilac skirt 2 edited

Then I tried on these pyjama style pants, size 10 from Dunnes. I have never worn this kind of trousers but I’m tired of jeans not fitting me, as my weight fluctuates a lot.

These are a great alternative to jeans,  soft and comfy and I adore florals.

They are a little worn and the previous owner cut a small slit into the waistband which I didn’t notice till I got home.

These are loose but have a belt and were €3.90. (P.S. I’ve even worn them to work!)

floral trousers edit

floral pyjama trouser edit

My entire haul of those three items came to €11.80 so I was delighted. As you can see it’s necessary to try on charity shop clothing as you won’t be able to guess sizes and few offer a refund.

There are six charity shops in Phibsborough, Enable Ireland, Oxfam, Debra Ireland, Irish Cancer Society and tucked away up across from St Peter’s Church is a small but very good CASA shop.

Just across from the shopping centre, is a small Aware shop.

I’ve found some gems here such as this 90s style denim dress which was about €6.

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Vintage denim dress from Aware

The bag I’m wearing with it was bought in the Irish Cancer Society shop.

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Denim dress and vintage bag
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Denim dress and vintage bag

My favourite charity shop is probably Enable Ireland.

They always have really nice good quality stock and they even offer an exchange with a receipt which is rare for a charity shop.

I bought this denim jacket there about 6 years ago and it’s still in good nick.

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Denim jacket

They also always have some really nice novelty homeware bits to spruce up your gaff.

I’ve also got loads of lovely things in Oxfam, especially before their renovation this year.

They had an amazing sale where I got a Zara wrap dress and a cute floral playsuit for €1 each!

Obviously, that was a clearance sale but they do have lots of great bargains and the shop looks lovely since it was refurbished.

They also now have a small vintage section which is well worth checking out.

And one of my favourite charity shop bargains ever was this colourful silky bomber which was about €6 from Oxfam Phibsborough.

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I still have this gorgeous jacket I found in a charity shop

And I fell in love with this pretty willow-print dress during the heatwave last year when I desperately needed clothes that were light but still work-appropriate.

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Blue and white willow print dress from Oxfam

Debra Ireland is the newest charity shop in the neighbourhood, it’s open about a year.

Among the lovely things I’ve bought from here is this real suede blue Mango jacket for about €10 and a quirky little 00s style Oriental bag for about €6.

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Blue suede Mango jacket
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Oriental clutch bag

And the Irish Cancer Society shop can also be a good shout for homeware, I found these gorgeous prints for my apartment.

Hope you enjoyed this haul and if you’re in Phibsborough, be sure to check out the charity shops, you won’t regret it!

Leave me a comment below and let me know what you thought. Don’t forget to check out my Instagram and Facebook page here.

Thanks for reading as always.

Edel

Jules Rimet

I threw together this outfit for a photography exhibition hosted by the DIT second year students in The Culture Box in Temple Bar.

My mother has a lot of awesome vintage clothing at home and I borrow her clothes all the time! (I say borrow but rarely return 😉 I like to mix older pieces with my own clothing. I found this gorgeous satin green shirt and knew I had to have it.

It’s very big for me but looks great tucked into my shorts. I really like the colour and the collar saves it from being a pyjama top 😛

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Walking down Capel St I saw a world cup mural drawn just outside the Brazilian bar D One and couldn’t resist a picture beside it! It was the perfect background!

The start and end of my involvement in the World Cup fanaticism.

My shorts and denim jacket are both great charity shop finds, the shorts were about €5 and the jacket also. The jacket was brand new with tags on and I had been looking for an oversized denim jacket for ages!!

I accessorised with simple black flats with gold studs and my Forever 21 earrings.

I knew this outfit worked when someone asked me “Are you exhibiting here?” No but clearly I look artsy enough! The exhibition was really good, really talented photographers with thought-provoking images. You can get a taster of the works on display here.

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Randomly posing at this shop which I absolutely love.The building consists of two stores, Mayfly and Lucy’s Lounge.

Mayfly is full of gorgeous quirky handcrafted jewellery and accessories.Mayfly sells only the work of independent artists and is a nice alternative to mass produced jewellery.

Lucy’s Lounge is an amazing vintage store downstairs more like a dressing-up chest than a shop. The proprietor herself is always dressed up in vintage outfits.

I’ve finally started using Lookbook properly, so if you wish to look at my other outfits you can see them here.  I’d love to connect with Irish fashion-lovers so if you have a profile fan me and I will fan back. 🙂

Thanks for dropping by as always! Don’t forget you can check out all my social media channels for more, InstagramTwitter and Facebook page here.

 

Edel

 

My month of thrift and trip to London

So as you know from my last post I embarked on a sacrificial crusade not to buy any new clothes for all of January. Tough considering the sales are on everywhere.

The first week was difficult..particularly as I use Penney’s as a detour to work.. but after a while it became easier and I didn’t miss shopping as much as I feared.

Anyway I got through the month and for once wasn’t completely broke by the end of January (what a coincidence!) and also found a few gems in the charity shops.

The first gorgeous item I found was this amazing pale cream lace blazer in an Enable Ireland charity shop for €10.90.  I love the detail of the bow and it’s in perfect condition.

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I found this gorgeous real leather rucksack for €5!! It’s super soft and so beautiful!

Over in London I scored some awesome charity shop bargains. En route to  Camden market  we saw an interesting charity shop and immediately jumped off the bus to investigate!

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Mind in Camden – a brilliant charity shop that supports mental health awareness.

Here I found a really cute winter/Xmas jumper (it was freezing in London and I needed something warm!) It will serve me nicely next Christmas anyway at just £5! I also picked up a beautiful beaded halterneck top for £5.

Halternecks can be hard to pull off but this was perfect with my Zara fitted leather pants and black brogues.

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Yes I wore a jumper with a reindeer in February…. The oversize denim jacket was a €9 bargain from Enable Ireland and was new with tags on.

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This top is amazing!

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Then we headed to the market to browse the stalls. I’ve been once before in 2o1o and loved browsing the stalls.

We saw some really cute hand painted shirts and cool printed t-shirts and crop tops. Also all of the stalls were selling hoodies and jumpers with Banksy prints. I’m a huge fan of Banksy’s art but I don’t know how he’d feel about all the unlicensed merchandise flying around London! He is known for his anti-corporation views and does not sell photographs or reproductions of his work.

Banksy Girl With A Heart Balloon Graffiti Art Sweatshirt Unisex All SIZES

I may buy this jumper..what do you think?

If you want to get your hands on some Banksy-esque clothing try here. To find out more about the world’s most infamous graffiti artist check out his book Wall and Piece.

023Love this shirt!

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Unfortunately it’s not crop top weather! 😦

It was lashing rain and very cold so we headed indoors to Urban Outfitters to check out their new spring merchandise.

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Hippy flasks!

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Will it ever be warm enough to wear these bad boys?!

The next day we went to Notting Hill to the Portobello Road market. There was so much choice at the market which takes place every Saturday and is very very crowded! Everything from food, souvenirs, art, jewellery, crafts, vintage clothing and charity shops to peruse! Needless to say we spent forever there!

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I ❤ vintage handbags.

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Goldsmith vintage store.

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Amazing jewellery!

While at the market I dropped into a Cancer Research charity shop and picked up two tops for £11.  I was so happy with my bargains as normally I buy new clothes abroad.

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A selection of my charity buys, the grey top was just £4 and the pink and black jumper £7.

Of course when we got to Oxford Street I headed to Primark  to browse their new collection and buy some new accessories. (My challenge was finished by this point!)

129There were lots of candy and pastel colours in Primark’s latest collection. Polka dots, daisy prints and slogans featured prominently also.

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I think these soft rucksacks will be a bestseller! I almost bought the black one but decided on a black satchel instead as I’ve wanted a satchel for a long time and it was only £9!

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In the spirit of not shopping I looked through some of my mam’s old things and found this cute tapestry handbag above! I absolutely love it and was delighted she let me have it. The satchel was my first new purchase at the end of the month!

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Denim shirts get a spring update in the form of bleached styles and polka dot prints. The androgynous look is back in fashion also with lots of stores stocking brogues and braces for trousers.

Stradivarius Spring 2014 lookbook -love this look!

So one month of no new clothes really didn’t hurt at all…I don’t know if I could say the same about a year! I’m not a shopaholic despite what this post suggests but it didn’t do me any harm to spend less money and think about my consumption habits.

Lots of people (myself included) cannot afford to buy new clothing regularly but still want to express themselves…charity shops, swapping clothes with friends and family and upcycling old pieces are all ways you can do it!

Disclaimer : Shopping in charity shops does not guarantee you will spend less 😉 Use common sense and remember that most charity shops will not accept returns so make sure clothes fit and are functional!

Thanks for reading as always and don’t forget to check out my InstagramTwitter and Facebook page here.

Edel

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No New Clothes for a month

NO BUYING  CLOTHES FOR A WHOLE MONTH?!!

I stumbled across a blogging challenge online hosted by Looking Fly on a Dime, an NYC- based blogger who is not buying new clothing for an entire year and will only shop at charity shops.

I was immediately inspired to do the same especially as I’d just read Overdressed:The Shockingly High Cost of Cheap Fashion which exposes the manufacture and production of cheap high-street clothing in scathing detail.

Although we all know the manufacture of cheap clothing has a negative impact on both human life and the environment, it’s easy to ignore this when faced with a bargain.

I don’t intend to sound self-righteous as I buy mostly cheap clothing and love fashion but the book did make me think about my clothing consumption and consumer habits. I already love charity shops and literally cannot walk by one so I thought why not try the challenge?

However, no new clothing for a year seems like a crazy notion to me so I thought I’d try it for one month. The challenge has been accomplished successfully twice by Patrice from Looking Fly on a Dime but she lives in New York where there are more charity shops and indeed more shops in general 😛

She encourages her readers to try the challenge as well but not to set themselves unrealistic goals, i.e. try it for a month or two.

Now I have a hideous lack of self-control, motivation, and willpower so we’ll see how I get on!

Thankfully I am not required to buy new clothing for work so that is one obstacle overcome. If nothing else it may teach me how to have more control! I once ambitiously tried not to buy any clothing for all of Lent (I now do not observe Lent as I don’t believe in sacrifice or organised religion..) I think I lasted about two weeks.

The only exceptions to the challenge are underwear and hosiery which for obvious reasons are best bought new. Patrice also set herself a spending limit of $50 for each month but as I’m doing it for one month I’m not going to do this.

I know already today I have to return a pair of shoes that are too large for me so I hope I don’t get sucked in by the sales!

It’s going to be really difficult when I see all the lovely sale bargains everywhere but hopefully, I can do it. January is a terrible time to do this but it will be fun to try it. It’s a great incentive to save money as I really need to put money away for the future.

Obviously, I’m motivated by economic and selfish reasons rather than ethical reasons but no harm in being accidentally ethical.

I’ll be visiting my local Dublin charity shops including The Macro charity shop which provides assistance to community and voluntary agencies in the local area just off North King Street and as well as the great charity shops all down Capel Street.

My favourite local charity shop has to be Respect in Stoneybatter where I’ve found genuine DKNY and a decent fake Longchamp bag in the past.

I know anyone wishing to do this who doesn’t live in a city or near a big town may find it more difficult as there are fewer charity shops but where there’s a will there’s a way and at least you won’t be near temptation either!

I hope it will be fun rather than painful and I’m aware you can make unnecessary and impulse purchases in charity shops too so I’ll bear that in mind. I’ve gotten some great bargains in charity shops and lots of my thrifted style photos are on my Instagram.

I intend to put my substantial wardrobe to good use also during the challenge. The premise of my blog has always been about affordable fashion and being creative, not mindless consumerism.

Let me know what you think and if you’re doing this challenge or a similar one. WISH ME LUCK! I’m going to need it!

Thanks for reading as always and don’t forget to check out my InstagramTwitter and Facebook page here.

Edel

Goodwill! Poppin’ tags!

When I was a kid, my mother bought many of my clothes in second hand shops (the joys of being an only girl and the youngest!) I used to get in a huff about this sometimes but once I moved to college and starting getting bargains from the bigger charity stores I soon changed my tune!

Thrift-Shop-Sign

I’m a bookworm but rarely buy them new, as you can get all types of books second hand for a few euros which is a lovely treat for a rainy day. I don’t normally buy shoes there but I’ve often given them some of mine when I had to give up a few pairs for reasons of space and sanity! 😉

I’ve gotten amazing bargains such as a striped Topshop blazer for €4, my winter coat for this year for  €9.50 (saving me approximately €50), a pair of River Island jeans and Converse trackies for €5 each and even a mini sewing machine for €9.90.

I’ve also picked up little things for my room and jewellery at times and of course donated lots of things to the charity shops when I was moving around or clearing out.

I saw a huge Salvation Army store during my time in the US but unfortunately never got to go and see what was there. So in the future I would really love to check out charity shops abroad and see what they are like.

Thrift shoppin’ is fun and I don’t even always do it out of necessity! If you are lucky you might get a designer bargain or find an item that you lusted after before but was sold out by the time you had money for it.

The shops I visit around here vary from actual charity shops to businesses and vintage stores.The vintage stores are mostly to admire things rather than buy. I always seem to find things in Enable Ireland and Phibsborough has the best charity shops.

If you’re in Galway the St Vincent de Paul shop near the docks is really big for a charity shop and very well organised.

House of Portobello is not a charity shop but an amazing place to find a designer bargain. They sell good as new high street and designer clothing. The stock is always fantastic shoes, bags, dresses, jewellery and even unused marked down beauty products. I bought a beautiful pair of River Island red peep toes here for  €50. They were perfect quality and would retail at €70-€80.

My gorgeous shoes!

Here I’m wearing them with a €4 Missguided playsuit which was brand new from Enable Ireland.

 

The downside of charity shops is of course there’s usually only one of an item, good things are snapped up fast and you may see something you love, seize it and then..it’s not in your size! 😥

Naturally it’s also tempting to buy things merely because they’re cheap. However it’s one of the best and more fun ways to spend. Excuse all the subtle Macklemore references, apparently he has Irish roots….my Irish mammy would be delighted with his thriftiness! 😉

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Do you have any favourite charity shops? Let me know! Thanks for checking out my blog. 🙂 Thanks for reading as always and don’t forget to check out my InstagramTwitter and Facebook page here.