Love Clothes Part I: Charity Shops

Hi there, my name is Tanita and I’m the newest member of the Recycling Team. The next series of blog posts will be on the topic of clothes. As someone who loves to go shopping for clothes and pick up a bargain, this is a topic close to my heart! In this blog post I will describe some of the benefits of using charity shops, as a way to give away unwanted clothes and also as a place to pick up some new ones!

Two women sorting clothes

Not for Landfill: Take Clothes to Charity Shops

£140 million pounds worth of used clothing goes to landfill every year. As you can imagine, this has a significant impact upon the environment. If you have clothes, accessories or other items that you no longer wear (or like!) there are many charity shops in Aberdeen that would be very grateful for your donation. It can help to enlist a family member of friend to give you a hand to sort through your clothes with you and give some honest advice about what to keep and not to keep. A list of charity shops in Aberdeen can be found here. We’d love to see more people donating items to charity in Aberdeen which is why we’re working on a ‘reuse map’ of the city so you know what you can take where – watch this space!

Not only is giving to charity a worthwhile activity in and of itself, but by giving unwanted clothes and items away you are also helping the environment because it takes considerable energy and natural resources to make each and every item of clothing. Giving clothes to a charity shop prolongs the life of clothes that may have otherwise been thrown away.

Charity Shop Window Display

There are also a number of textile banks across the city, many at local supermarkets, where you can deposit unwanted clothes. Here is a list of recycling points in Aberdeen that take textiles. Using textile banks can be a handy way to donate clothes if you are already planning on doing your weekly or monthly food shop. This way you can take a few bags of clothes with you to drop off before or after your shop.

Clothing Bank

Fashion Fix: Charity Shop Chic

Some of you may peruse and buy clothes and other items from charity shops on a regular basis but for those of you who may not, there are a number of great benefits to be had for your pocket, the environment and also the charities that need your funds:

  • Charity shops reduce CO2 emissions by about 3.7 million tonnes per year.
  • Every year charity shops raise around £290 million pounds for a range of causes in the UK such as funding medical research, overseas aid, environmental initiatives, supporting sick and deprived children, homeless people, mentally and physically disabled people, for animal welfare and for many other causes.
  • You can pick up a wide range of items: clothing, books, toys, ornaments, kitchenware, DVDs, computer games, furnishings and bric-a-brac – great as a gift for a birthday or for Christmas.
  • You can buy clothes that would have originally been considerably more expensive in a high street shop. It is less likely that you will find someone else wearing the same outfit as you might in Primark or other shops because the items may be last season or from a few seasons back.

My mum used to drag me around charity shops when I was younger and I didn’t really ‘get it’ until I moved out and started studying at university. I then became more aware of the need to budget my finances and the impact of my decisions on the environment. I have now well and truly caught the charity shop ‘bug’. I recently went out with my husband to celebrate my new job (as a Recycling Officer) and wore head to toe clothes from a charity shop. The dress and shoes cost me a total of £14! Bargain!

T_Dress _Web

Not only did I receive great compliments for this glam dress/shoe combo, it also felt great knowing that I had done a small bit towards reusing and looking after the environment in the process.

Charity shopping also encourages you to sift through the items in a foraging fashion (excuse the pun) to find a really beautiful dress/bag/hat etc. The possibilities are endless! However, I would say only buy what you need otherwise the items may end up languishing in your clothes cupboard. This article contains some fantastic tips for picking up a bargain in charity shops.

Next time you have an event or special occasion coming up, why not pop into your local charity shop? You may be surprised at the clothes on offer and be happy in the knowledge of you are giving to charity and looking after the environment in the process! It’s a win-win situation. Perhaps you are already a keen charity shopper like me and have more tips to share. If so we’d love to hear them, or see some pictures of your best charity shop bargains. You can leave a comment on this post or send us a message on Facebook.

Happy thrifting!


4 thoughts on “Love Clothes Part I: Charity Shops

  1. Hi Tanita – I read this article last week, and like you, didn’t really “get it”. However this weekend, I took myself off to the Red Cross Shop on Union St, and brought 2 x dresses and 2 x tops for £13. The clothes were fab, and will be worn to work this week! I also donated some old clothes too. I was impressed by the range & condition of the clothes and felt good about donating to such a good cause.

    I also decided that from now on, for every piece of clothing I buy – I will remove one piece of clothing I no longer use from my wardrobe and donate it to charity.

    Fab article – thank you!

    • Hi Claire – thank you for your message! I’m loving that you got such a great bargain and I think I may follow your lead and for each item of clothing bought donate one too (great idea) 🙂 Happy thrifting!


  2. Pingback: Love Clothes Part 2: Make and Mend | Recycle for Aberdeen

  3. Pingback: Love Your Clothes Part 3: Upcycling | Recycle for Aberdeen

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