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.

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.

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.




Swap Shopping

Last weekend my friend Emma and I went shopping, came home with new clothes but didn’t spend any money! Confused?!

We attended a swap shopping which event involves bringing clothes you no longer want and swapping for others!

I’d often heard of swap shopping but never had the opportunity to do it until we found one organised through GirlCrew.


I went on a whim, thinking I wouldn’t have many clothes to bring as I’m always reluctant to part with them.

We were asked to bring a minimum of 5 items and a maximum of 10. I was keen to get rid of certain things like old work clothes but I also realised I had other clothes that I barely wore and needed to give away pronto!

I gathered up 7 items ( a jumper, jeans, blazer, floral top, bomber jacket, check shirt and a work shirt).

You were required to bring items which were in good condition, clean and ironed. I realised I’d never worn the bomber jacket and barely worn one of my tops so I knew it was time to let go.

The event was held in one of the girls’ homes and everyone was really warm and friendly. We left the clothes on runner rails in the living room and divided into groups of 2’s and 3’s. We drew straws to see who would go first.

Each group was allowed 5 minutes to browse before selecting an item and returning to the kitchen. There was lots to choose from, with three rails of clothing, bags, shoes and some beauty products.

I really liked a dress Emma had brought along and selected it on my first pick. I love two-in-one dresses and florals so it was perfect for me!

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I also selected this tweed clutch bag as I only seem to have black bags for going out.

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I have a love/hate relationship with tiny bags, they look great but are so impractical!

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I was on the look-out for holiday clothes and tried on one top which our hostess Janice had actually made herself from a dress.

The great thing about swap shopping is that you are compelled to look at different things that you might walk by in a shop.

For instance, this yellow printed crop top, I don’t normally wear yellow or indeed crop tops but when I tried it on it was lovely! (It is floral however so you can see I didn’t stray too far outside my comfort zone.) 😛

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Just as we were about to leave I spotted another cute crop top with floral embroidery and tiny mirror embellishments which I fell in love with!

It will be perfect for my holidays in Mallorca.

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I really enjoyed the whole experience and towards the end of the evening, the clothes had almost been forgotten as we were having such a good time chatting!

A big thank you to all the lovely ladies who made this a great event.

I managed to swap three of my items and brought home the items that didn’t find a home.

 It’s an excellent way to update your wardrobe and costs nothing.

As I’m going back to college soon, I’m keen to cut down on spending and be as economical as possible from now on.

The important thing to consider when swap shopping is to be open-minded and be aware that you might not find something that fits perfectly.

If you’re looking for a swap shop to attend, Sustainable Fashion Dublin frequently run them.

Have you ever been to a swap shop? Let me know your thoughts below, to leave a comment, click the grey speech bubble on the bottom right.

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



The Future of the Fashion Industry

This is an article I wrote for The Fair about the future of the fashion industry from a socio-economic perspective.

I also got another writing gig with Music Review Unsigned magazine which I’m more than thrilled about. I interviewed The Depravations, a Galway based band that I accidently became a fan/groupie of and am now their self-appointed publicist. 😉 I’m putting up both articles and their links for you.

With so many successful online stores such as and, the use of social networks by designers to promote their work and rising rents and slow sales on the high street, what will the fashion market be like in 10 years time?

The global recession means the high street fashion industry has slumped considerably due to its high overheads and lack of sales. Many chain stores have cut back, been closed down or had to be rescued from financial difficulties. Disposable fashion is seen as frivolous and wasteful and consumers are looking to get value from their items.


Stores have tried to compensate with more frequent sales and reductions but to little avail. Meanwhile as the high street flounders the digital market is increasing steadily.

Sites such as and offer more choice and do not have to deal with the daily expenses of running a store either. Self-employed designers and sellers are using Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to showcase their items to a wide audience quickly and with little expense.

The music industry has undergone a collapse and transformation due to the popularity of downloading music and high street chains closing down, will high street fashion be next? It is hard to imagine a world without our favourite clothing stores and obviously clothing can’t be downloaded like music files. But change is coming for the industry.


New business owners are starting out selling online rather than opening a traditional store. E-tail and e-commerce mean that you don’t need a lot of capital to start up a business.

This means less wealthy people have the same opportunity to start a business and we will see more bespoke items and a greater variety of items available. Naturally the ease of going to a store, trying on an item and having the option to return it easily is still appealing to most customers also.

Ethical demands by customers means businesses are starting to scrutinise their suppliers more and this will hopefully bring positive change to those who work in the factories.

However the slump on the high street could affect workers in a negative way also. The world’s population is expected to increase to 9 billion and our natural resources are dwindling.

Ongoing climate change will also affect crop yields and in turn raw materials available. The fashion industry relies heavily on materials such as cotton and uses huge amounts of water. It is a question of when not if it will be forced to radically change its production methods. Currently researchers are trying to develop ways to “grow” clothing using bacterial cellulose.

If companies want to survive the next ten years, they have to think about supply chains, low-impact production and distribution models, and opportunities to use renewable energy.

The demand for online shops means IT professionals and experts are in demand so the IT sector is experiencing growth and will experience more growth. It is difficult to know what technological advances will be available in future but it seems sensible to consider the rise of the “app” and its usefulness.

Most major clothing companies now have an app for smartphones allowing people to access their content wherever they are. Huge profits by online retailers allow them to offer attractive delivery rates, reductions and keep prices down. is one such store where most items are reasonably cheap and they have seen an explosion in trade.

We can expect further technological advances that will help us determine a good buy, new types of materials developed to cope with demand and more sustainable methods of production and distribution in the next ten years.

Clothing which is easier to wash and care for is also envisaged as it will require less energy to maintain. The advent of “smart clothing” which serves many purposes is already upon us with companies such as Nike inventing a running shoe with a sensor that tracks your run and sends data to your Ipod.

Clothing that monitors physiological well-being and possibly even brain activity will be available to us in the future. It is only a matter of finding ways to implant the technologies into clothing in a way that doesn’t affect comfort.

Just as we have developed clothing to withstand any type of temperatures and climates, the future suggests we will have clothing that works for us in many ways. Smart clothing will probably sell at a high price initially but should become mainstream in the next ten to fifteen years.

Although there is change ongoing and even more ahead, the fashion industry can adapt to survive. We can look forward to an industry that will hopefully serve us in a more ethically conscious manner and still meet the needs of a changing society. We must remember that our buying choices and demand for certain items or production methods can help shape this future.

 Thanks as always for checking  out the blog!


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!


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’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! 😉


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.