Despite having quite a lot of charity shops around me, I live kind of wedged in between 4 towns, I don’t often go into any of them.
This isn’t down to any kind of snobbery, it’s just that I buy most of our clothing in primark, Asda or Sainsbury’s.
Today I went into Putney with my mum and she wanted to have a mooch around the charity shops. We ended up going in three of them and I’m here to tell you that I was shocked!
The majority of the clothing we saw in each of the shops was dresses and shirts, not designer, just regular high street labels. I could understand designer clothing costing a little more.
Most of the items I saw were priced at around £12- 15 for a second hand shirt?? To be perfectly honest with you, you could buy a brand new piece of clothing in primark for less money. So if you had £15 why wouldn’t you. And if you didn’t have £15 you couldn’t afford anything really.
Now, I understand that charity shops are there to raise money for charity, and it’s definitely a good thing to support charity, but I’d always thought that they were also there for people with very little money to buy clothing. A person living in poverty or even just someone struggling isn’t going to have £15 to buy clothes with.
I have donated clothing to charity shops and I’d always believed that as well as raising money for good causes the clothing I donated would help someone who couldn’t afford to spend much at all on clothing.
I don’t know if this is just a ridiculously romantic notion that I’ve built up in my head but I have to say I’m incredibly disappointed in my local charity shops.
Perhaps it’s partly down to the area, parts of Putney are exceptionally wealthy, but there are also vast housing estates where people are definitely not wealthy and Putney has its share of homeless people. Where are people with very little money supposed to buy clothes, which lets face it, are a necessity, if they are even priced out of charity shops?
I think I’d be put off donating clothing if it wasn’t going to go to someone genuinely in need, but then I’m not sure where I would donate to instead?