My Thrifting Habit

My thrifting habit goes back a long way – to the 80s in fact. I was 14 years old when I started. My friend and I would seek particular areas of Birmingham where there were clusters of charity shops. We would look for vintage pieces – fake fur, leather and suede jackets, vintage dresses etc. We loved retro fashion from the 60s and 70s and we wanted authentic, we wanted quality and we most definitely wanted cheap!

Our love of fashion was influenced by the music we listened to. Well… fashion and music in the UK has always gone hand-in-hand hasn’t it? My style influences back then, and now included Debbie Harry, total style icon, and Nico for her minimalist chic look. I loved that charity shops offered items that were a bit different from what the high street had to offer. We could be fashionably creative without busting our meagre budget.

I’ve chosen some pictures that show some of the great pieces I’ve managed to find, all bought from Barnardo’s and other charity shops.

It’s a classic!

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My Barnardo’s Haul

My names Alicia, I’m an avid charity shopper and new blogger from Northampton, I have just recently published my first blog called Sauver. I was thrilled that Barnardo’s reached out about guest blogging and I couldn’t wait to get the challenge underway.

I did my research and found my closest Barnardo’s and brought my mum along with me, how edgy! They had rails and rails of stock but I was distracted by the giant bargain bins in the middle of the store. Items were priced from 29p, I completely zoned out. Like a woman possessed, I was waist deep in clothes within seconds and completely lucked out too. Before I knew it, I had 2 skirts, 2 pairs of trousers, a cardigan and sarong (don’t judge, it was 29p).

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5 Minute DIY: Hearts on a T-Shirt

As it was Valentine’s Day this month, and I like to be fashionably late when it comes to seasonally appropriate blog posts, I thought it was time to share the quickest heart-themed fashion DIY. I love all the slogan t-shirts and tops with appliqués on the high-street at the moment so have started keeping an eye out in charity shops to snap up pre-loved t-shirts so that I can get creative.

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Rags to Riches

The lovely guys at Demur Magazine challenged Jamie and Oléin to a charity shop challenge with a £30 budget. They visited a number of charity shops around London including our Brixton store.

Be sure to watch and see who won.

Are you up for the challenge?

Want to share your top Barnardo’s looks with us and feature on The-Thrift? Comment below and we’ll get in touch!

For The Love Of Coats


When Barnardo’s got in touch about guest blogging for The Thrift, I immediately said yes! I couldn’t wait for an excuse to have a browse through the racks of pre-loved clothes at my local Barnardo’s in Tunbridge Wells.

One of the things I love about Barnado’s is that they colour co-ordinate their rails. It allows you to look at things in other sizes that you might not usually choose, or give a second thought to. You just never know what you will find. I’ve picked up some real gems over the years.

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When the coat you didn’t know you wanted, finds you – that’s the beauty of thrifting

It was that awful point in January when it feels like payday will never come around again. All you want to do is go for a huge January sales splurge, but your bank account says a very firm no!

This is the perfect time to hit the charity shops. Not only can you scratch your wardrobe update-itch, but you can keep your bank account healthy, do brilliant things for the planet (save clothes going to landfill, reduce demand on the super-polluting garment-making industry and more!), and the people on it while you shop. How can all that not tempt you out of the house for a good poke around and maybe your next ‘This? It’s designer, but I picked it up for a fiver’ buy?

I set off with only £20 in my purse, so there was a whiff of a challenge in the air. Could I come back with a whole outfit within budget? Well, it was either that or spend the next couple of weeks eating those mystery label-less meals that get stuck at the bottom of the freezer.

I headed to my local Barnardo’s in Whitley Bay, a brilliant treasure trove with a great homeware section too, but that was for another day. Today was all about me!

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My Day In Cheadle

Each time my li’l mellow yellow VW travels from York back to my hometown of Stockport, there is always one essential location on my must-visit list, and that is Cheadle. Why Cheadle? One word – ‘Barnardo’s’, of course!

Yes, Cheadle High Street is blessed with not one, but two Barnardo’s shops, each brimming with bargainous goodies. Of course, my absolute favourite, being a 60s and 70s obsessive, is ‘Barnardo’s Vintage’ – winner of ‘Specialist Shop of the Year’ last Summer at the Charity Retail Association Awards. Manager Gemma has now been given the well-deserved accolade of being a judge at the 2018 awards (get nominating now! Nominations need to be in by 2nd April), and her lovely shop has been recently featured in Refinery29’s list of the best charity shops in the UK.

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My Barnardo’s Find

The weekend is nearly upon us, so why not treat yourself to something at your local Barnardo’s? It’s shopping that is guaranteed to make you look and feel fabulous! Keep scrolling to see what pre-loved finds we love this week.

Fascinated with all things 90’s? Then you must love Mom jeans as much as us! Stream-line your outfit with tucked-in shirts and add fun prints for a feel-good factor. We are obsessed with this look put together by Kayt. She added a trench coat for added warmth in this cold weather. How do you style yours?

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Workwear Chic

2018 has arrived and this year we are waving goodbye to the January blues! New resolutions, lots of planning and a fabulous new work wardrobe are the perfect ingredients to help you face the bleak return to work. Keep scrolling to see what trends are inspiring us this month.

The Power Suit

It’s the perfect season to power suit. Whatever your style, you’re sure to find a suit to match!

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Aprils Winter Trendbook

Hi, my fellow thrifters!

I’m back again with another monthly segment. Winter is officially here, bringing with it a cold snap. This month’s blog is therefore all about a few of my favourite key looks for the season.

This cold weather will not stop my passion for fashion! Nearly everything pictured below was picked up at various Barnardo’s shops. Make sure you check out your local Barnardo’s, especially this time of year for great pre-loved finds to keep yourself warm, cosy and stylish.

Happy reading!!

Kicking off, this is one of my favourite looks for this season.

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