A personal stylist and self-confessed shopaholic has fulfilled her new year’s resolution of only buying clothes from charity shops in 2022.
Lindsay Edwards, 37, from Biggleswade, saved about £1,550 in the process and was still able to shop some of her much-loved designer labels.
Now she says that when looking for clothes, charity shops will always be her first port of call.
The mum-of-two first used a personal stylist in 2008, two years after her eldest son, Jake, 16 was born – she loved the experience so much, she decided she wanted to be one herself.
But it wasn’t until after she had younger son, Chris, 12, and her boys got older, that she realised it was time make the leap into another career.
She said: ‘I just thought, I’d really love to be doing something that’s creative and can help somebody, because it was so transformational and so much fun.’
She completed her personal stylist training in 2018 with a company called Colour Me Beautiful, and she began taking on appointments in the evenings and weekends.
At the same time, she worked full-time at a college, helping students find work placements in the childcare industry.
In January 2019 she decided to switch careers on a full time basis and handed in her notice.
‘It got to the point where I couldn’t do both any more and really needed to make a decision,’ she explained.
‘I noticed really quickly that I was working less hours but earning more money – that’s just a dream, isn’t it?’
Just a few months later the pandemic struck, restricting her finances and preventing her from seeing any of her clients face to face.
‘I started doing online work with clients and really just had to cut my costs accordingly, which is why I started shopping more from charity shops, online through Oxfam, also second-hand sites like Vinted and eBay,’ she said.
‘And then once the shops reopened, I was enjoying it so much I said going forward I will continue to buy pre-loved rather than fast fashion in 2022.
‘I set a new year’s resolution in January to just shop from charity shops this year, and I have saved an absolute fortune.’
Since swapping to shopping from charity shops, Lindsay expects to have only spent £200 by the end of this year. This figure is compared with £1,800 in previous years.
Lindsay has spent £179.70 in various charity shops in 2022, buying 23 items of clothing with an estimated worth of £1116.98.
One was a Ralph Lauren jumper for £18, which still sells online for £150, a Tommy Hilfiger gilet for £12, with similar items currently selling for £175, and a Jaeger trench coat for £15, worth £300.
Lindsay has also found clothes for her sons, such as Nike tops.
‘My sons recognise that there can be some really great bargains, and they’re not averse to wearing anything that has been purchased from a charity shop,’ she noted.
‘I put it through the wash and it’s good as new by the time that it ends up in their wardrobe.’
Before making the switch, Lindsay was a true shopaholic.
‘I think we all get that dopamine hit from hitting the shops at first,’ she said.
‘Well, you can get that from wherever you shop.
‘I think you do get a bigger dopamine hit for getting a bargain from a charity shop.’
Lindsay then began showing her clients how to shop in a cheaper and more sustainable way, and in January 2022, she completed her fashion sustainability certificate with the London College of Style.
‘I talk about charity shops with them and about ways that they can alter their own clothes,’ she explained.
‘It’s simple things like using Dylon, an environmentally friendly dye which only costs about £7 which you can dye multiple items with.
‘I also talk about bringing in key items that are going to refresh so many more garments within their wardrobe.
‘So it’s not about just going out and buying a load of new clothes.
‘I also say to them see what you can pick up from charity shops, things like picking up scarves or necklaces or belts that are low-cost items, but just really refresh outfits that you’ve already got.’
Lindsay says her second-hand shopping experience has changed her for good and for the better.
‘If I see something in a shop that isn’t pre-loved, it still has to be a sustainable decision,’ she added.
‘I use the Good On You app to see how sustainable a brand is.
‘But I would rather check out a charity shop first to see what I can find – that’s my default now.’
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