Tuesday, 23 April 2013

The Umbrella Collective: Charity Shop Challenge!

After the success of last week's post, the wonderful ladies that are RhiannonAmyLaura and myself (I'm not classing myself as wonderful there, just so you know) decided that we'd like to make this collaboration business a weekly thing. And because the other ladies are all clever beans, someone who wasn't me (I'm so sorry ladies, I can't remember who it was!) decided that we needed to give ourselves a name as a group, and so....


... the Umbrella Collective was born! So named because we all post under an umbrella topic each week- and because I had a brolly I could take a picture of.

We've decided that being lifestyle bloggers, we'll post about a range of things- sometimes serious stuff like last week, sometimes not- and this week, the idea of a charity shop challenge was thrown into the ring, and we all decided it sounded like a rather marvellous idea.

Well. Almost all.

I am not a patient shopper in the slightest. I do terribly in sales, or places like Primark and TK Maxx where everything is thrown together and you can't find your size and and and. So when this challenge was suggested, my heart sank a little- I do not do well with charity shops. But saying "yes" is always a good idea, so I agreed with the other ladies and decided to really challenge myself with this one.

So on Saturday I popped into town, and after a few errands decided to nip into some of Tavistock's many many charity shops to see what I could find. Our only rule was that we had a £5 price limit.

My first stop was St Luke's Hospice. This is a local charity, and is an enormous shop- I was sure I would find something in here.


Or perhaps NOT. 


Something I found particularly baffling when charity shopping this weekend- I'm not sure if it's just the Tavistock area, but there was a lot of Primark cast offs being sold for as much as they would be new- and in some cases, definitely more that they would have been new. It was also at this point that I realised that £5 is not a lot to spend in charity shops in Tavistock.


Woodside Charity Shop was my next stop. And as you might guess from the picture below, was no more successful than St Luke's Hospice.


That said, they did have a reasonable looking book section:


SO. I moved swiftly on, my £5 still burning a hole in my pocket. I headed up the hill, and nipped into the Children's Hospice South West and Sue Ryder in pretty quick succession.



In one of these (I forget which one) I found a pair of Benetton jeans- but not in my size. Seriously, this was the closest I got to a good find- almost everything in these charity shops was from either Primark or Tesco- and not only that, most of the stuff was UGLY, or just plain tees/ jumpers. Definitely not what I was looking for.


So feeling slightly despondent, I wandered across the road into Oxfam.



Oxfam is normally meant to be good, right? Well not here. To begin with, they arranged everything by colour- what is this?! Honestly charity shops, this is the most unhelpful thing ever. I really didn't understand why they'd done it- it did not make for an easy shopping experience.

This was literally my last chance- I had to get something. I was getting pretty desperate by this point, and feeling a lot like I was never going to find anything- but then I found something, and handed over my very creased £5 note...


And what did I buy?


A scarf and some chocolate.

Clearly I am awful at this. But look how pretty the scarf is!! I felt like an old lady wearing it with my tweed jacket, and the feather brooch I bought at a boot-sale the other week, but I am pretty pleased with it. In total, I spent £5.10 so a little over, but given that the money is going to charity, I think that's allowed.

Apologies for the awful quality and the gratuitous picture of my chest. Good thing I don't really have boobs.
So yes. I did not do well at this challenge. But I will wear this scarf- I wore it all day on Sunday- which is better than buying something for the sake of it. And I will do better next time I go charity shopping!

Make sure you go and check out the other lovely ladies' blogs- I'm sure they will have been a lot more successful than I was!!

26 comments:

  1. That's hilarious! I was hoping to find all the hidden secrets to op-shopping as I'm terrible at it too! It seems to be an art form because some girls find absolute gems, while I just seem to fine the hidden dust piles!! xx

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    1. Oh I am definitely not one for imparting wisdom on charity shopping! The other ladies are good though :) I know, I don't understand where they find it all! xx

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  2. I can never find anything nice in charity shops, so I've stopped browsing in them. Im so jealous of girls that find all these quirky and beautiful items, where are these charity shops?! Not near where I live, that's for sure

    becominghugo.blogspot.com

    xx

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    1. Me too- this is the first time I've set foot in a charity shop in AGES!! Maybe I'll start looking a bit more though, it was fun :) xx

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  3. Who doesn't like a cheeky boob shot?! The scarf is lovely, and I have to admit I always just come out with books from a charity shop... xxx

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    1. Glad you appreciated it ;) I tried so hard not to buy books, but was SO tempted! Next time.... xx

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  4. I often have this; I love looking at other people's cool charity shop hauls - and that scarf is lovely by the way - but I never have that sort of luck. My Mum is very good at it too, it's super annoying.

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    1. I don't get how people get to be so good at it! Maybe it's practice?! x

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  5. I am not good at charity shops. I never find anything. my friend at work always wears gorgoeus clothes, a lot from charity shops! Her trick is going to up market towns and buying from their charity shops. Designer clothes for bargain prices! Not overmarked Primark crap.

    That scarf is lovely though.

    Jen | sunny sweet pea xx

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    1. I think the area definitely makes SUCH a difference- I'm in a reasonably good area, but clearly people hang on to the good stuff!!! Thanks, I am a big fan of it :) xx

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  6. Haha, this is brilliant! I do love your scarf you got though, it looks so pretty! I agree about the colour thing though, the oxfam here is like it too. Do not like! It's always so hit and miss though with charity shops. You did awesome! X

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    1. Thanks, I love it! The colour-organised thing is SO stressful and frustrating. Hopefully the shops will take heed! xx

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  7. Haha this is brilliant! Your scarf is lovely though, I'm slightly jealous, so good find even if it took a while to get to it! :) xx

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    1. Thanks! I was pretty pleased with my purchase in the end- all's well that ends well! x

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  8. I will say compared to the thrift shops in Hawaii the charity shops in UK can be hit or miss. With that said I've found a lot of great things including a dress form for sewing for really cheap. My advice is dont let the putting out you off, go regularly and you'll find things when it's meant to be.


    Bonnie Rose | A Compass Rose

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    1. They are SO hit and miss! Definitely- I think I'll be going more regularly in the hope I find some real gems! x

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  9. I have a really hard time consignment shopping as well, mainly because the shirts are usually icky, and there's just way to much stuff to browse through. And it's not really great quality. But that said, it might just be the thrift stores that are around my area... Sketchy. Although on Fridays everything is 50% off.

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    1. I think the amount of stuff can definitely be daunting! 50% off is good, but then I don't mind too much given that it's for charity :) Let's hope we both have more luck in the future! x

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  10. Ha this made me laugh! Sounds like one of my charity shop trips (excluding book shopping! Good call on the chocolate though.

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    1. Glad you enjoyed it! Chocolate definitely makes things better- and it's for a good cause so the calories don't count :P x

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  11. I think you did brilliantly! You're right, you really have to trawl through the Primani and the Florence and Fred nowadays. I think your scarf is beautiful, I'd wear it!!

    Kate xx
    Just Pirouette and Carry On...

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    1. Thanks! It is so frustrating- though it has inspired me to maybe give some of my nicer bits to charity shops when I'm bored of them- gives someone else the opportunity to find a gem! Thanks, I am really happy with it!! xx

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    1. Thanks, I do love this scarf! x

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  13. Haha! I ALWAYS think that to myself about Oxfam, why? What is the point? It doesn't even look pretty, far too neat.

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    1. I know! I'm all for neatness in shops, but that's a bit too much I think?! xx

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