We can end fast fashion by using charity shops more: OPINION

In an effort to help save the planet (and boost some sales), Oxfam is challenging us all to go second-hand for September and buy no new fashion items. I’m all in.

Sunday, 1st September 2019, 3:45 pm
Updated Tuesday, 3rd September 2019, 5:22 pm
Zella loves charity shops. Picture: Shutterstock

I love charity shops.

I love the diversity of the clothes, and the fact that you’re not likely to bump into someone else wearing the same item.

I love the age of some of the stock, pre-loved indeed, and the fact I can buy great work shirts for just a few pounds compared to the high prices in retailers.

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I’m less keen on the changing room facilities – normally a stool with a curtain wrapped around it.  

And I wish I’d known about this challenge in advance as it’s obviously the back-to-school month and there’s some things that even I can’t bring myself to buy second hand – socks, underwear, hankies – that type of thing.

But who can?

My first ball dress, at 15 years old, was from a second-hand shop. It’s in the attic now keeping company with a lot of clothes I wore when I was at university – I have to admit, I may have a slight hoarding problem.

Many of those university clothes were, by the way, hand-me-downs from my mother’s formative years when training to be a nurse.

Therefore now all the stuff up in the attic has long crossed the line from second-hand to vintage.

In fact, I could probably open a vintage store if there’s anything left after my teenage daughters have finished their smash and grab raids.

It’s all about the charity shops you visit though, isn’t it?  

Obviously, you should never shop too close to home as you might end up in your friend’s cast-offs so it’s definitely worth a journey.

And as a good rule of thumb, ‘rich’ cities have great charity shops such as Winchester, Chichester and Brighton.

Yes, you may pay a couple of quid extra but it’s worth it for the quality labels. 

And that’s one of the best things about charity shops isn’t it?

Investing in quality rather than endless fast fashion which is cheap and – like most cheap things – bad for the planet’s resources.


I’m furious at the idiots who carelessly let off red flares

Who’s the idiot that was letting off red flares on Sunday night in the Hardway area?

In case you haven’t seen the Facebook post by Gosport

and Fareham Inshore Rescue Service, you caused multiple volunteers a sleepless night looking for your ‘in distress’ boat, and wasted public money.

I can imagine that it seemed fun at the time but there are moments in life when you just have to stop and ask yourself are you really that stupid?

As that’s what it boils down to – utter stupidity – signalling for an emergency service. And anyone with out of date flares, please dispose of them correctly to help these idiots resist their basic impulse of being idiots.


Please sir I promise it’s not drugs, just vegan cake mix

I love the story of the drugs bust at Gatwick Airport which turned out to be, in fact, packets and packets of vegan cake mix destined to supply bakeries in Brighton and London. 

It makes me very happy.

Years ago we visited relatives in Canada and took my mum. She insisted on taking scone mix with her, two bags of white powder to transport across two borders – via an airport into the US and then road into Canada.

Luckily she didn’t get stopped but I still think about my nervousness and her glee at the subversive act. I get in a panic simply thinking I might be asked a question and confess to everything and anything when I’ve done nothing wrong – not even a bit of flour.