With the “war on waste” slogan ringing heavily in our ears at the moment I wanted to highlight one of the many things that I do to help. I am a massive thrift shopper and can think of nothing more pleasurable than spending a few hours pottering from charity shop to charity shop or rummaging in vintage stores. My passion for this started way back when I was at college. Having the opportunity to finally express myself with clothing after years of school uniform wearing was a revelation. Of course at that age, my income was minimal or even non-existent at times so I took myself off to my local thrift stores.
Growing up in a rather old-fashioned seaside town in Devon, charity shops were plentiful. I would do the tour of the shops taking time to look through the rails to find my fashion gold. Back then I would find properly made clothing that had that vintage edge. These days it’s a little harder with the likes of Primark and disposable fashion taking over. More often than not, most charity shops are now selling high street clothing at double the price it would have been originally. I don’t have a problem with the price as the money goes to a good cause but it’s the fact that a top from the high street might possibly be mass produced and made in a country where work laws might not be up to my high standards.
With this in mind, I have started getting together with my friends (and friends of friends) every few months and hosting clothes swaps. We all bring good quality clothes, shoes and accessories that we no longer wear to swap for something we might. A few Sunday’s ago I held my fifth swap and it was the best one to date. About 20 of us descended on Exe Coffee Roasters on Heavitree Road. Steve, the proprietor fired up the coffee machine so we could get our Sunday morning caffeine hit and many of us baked cakes to have alongside.
The atmosphere was buzzing as like-minded women rummaged through the rails looking for that fashion fix for Spring. A completely ethical way of shopping eliminating the chance of topping up the landfill and costing each of us next to nothing. I for one think it’s the way forward. Of course I will still carry on rummaging in charity shops and vintage stores because I love the process but this way of shopping tops up my wardrobe for the upcoming season. Plus, it’s sociable and I get to spend quality time with my chums for long overdue catch ups when our busy lives take over.
I have started planning the next swap so if you fancy joining in on the fun and live in the Exeter area (or don’t even!) leave a comment below. It really is an awesome way to spend a Sunday morning.
Thank you to Steve at Exe Coffee Roasters for kindly donating the space for the morning. Also, thanks to Chantelle Bridgeman for capturing the morning on her camera.