Thursday, 15 September 2011

Thrifting for fashion: Featuring Kidney Research UK

I think you all know by now that I'm very passionate about finding lovely clothes in charity/thrift shops. For too long there has been a certain image of thrift shops as dusty, musty granny closets, a dumping ground for every Tom, Dick and Harry's threadbare circa 1970's plaid trousers. But, thanks to the lovely, feisty Mary Portas, queen of Charity Shops, that image is slowly changing as people's perception of pre-loved clothing is being challenged. The fashion trend for vintage and retro clothing has also meant that people are frequenting these shops in search of those well preserved classics from bygone era's. Not to mention the trumpet call that summons all of us to be more aware of recycling, refashioning and re-using existing items of clothing, in order to take the load off the very heavily laden shoulders of landfill.

So, with that in mind, I'm on a mission to challenge the pre-conceived ideas that label charity shops as mere dumping grounds for tat! Of course we all have to sift through the rails to find that one item (or more of course!) that tickles us pink. After all, shopping is a joyous occasion of hunting and gathering, whether it be in a high street store, designer's boutique or thrift shop. There is nothing more satisfying than finding an outfit you love, and being able to contribute to a worthy cause at the same time!

Over the next few weeks, I'd like to share with you, some of my favourite spots for thrifting, just to entice you to pass by your usual high street shops, in favour of local charity shops. Wander in with an open mind, and hopefully an open purse, and see for yourself if the joys of thrifting get your pulse going!

Today I'd like to cast the spotlight on a Charity that do very important work in the area of kidney research. Kidney Research UK, is the largest funder dedicated to improving the understanding of kidney disease, its causes, treatment and management. The Charity does this by funding ground-breaking research in the hope of finding a cure for all those suffering from kidney disease - which is now at epidemic proportions - with over 3 million people in the UK at risk of developing kidney disease. The Charity are building on the advances and scientific breakthroughs that have been made by researchers - many of them supported by the Charity - during the past forty years. Kidney Research UK are celebrating their 50th Anniversary this year (1961-2011). Thanks to advances in kidney research over half a century 47,000 people in the UK are alive today who would otherwise have died from renal failure, and worldwide, millions can be treated for this ‘silent disease’.

Patron for the charity, Angela Rippon, have strongly supported this cause, to make sure that more people will sit up and take notice of this unappreciated organ and help the Charity shout out about kidney disease.
So, how can you and your closet help? By supporting the shops that are out there! There are 8 Kidney Research shops across the UK, all selling good quality clothing, accessories and bric-a-brac. I frequently pop into our local shop in St. Ives in Cambridgeshire, and have come away with some real treasures. Here is a taster of the lovely things you can acquire!

Lovely accessories, modern and yesteryear

Like most women, I find accessories very exciting! Of late I try to wear something vintage every day, and sometimes this might only be a brooch or scarf pin. Charity shops are a fabulous source for vintage jewelry if you can spot the real McCoy from the imposters. (I'm not a purist, I will wear reproduction pieces too if I find them appealing!) 

This gorgeous vintage handbag is in mint condition. A great find for the vintage fashionista! I also love these accessories. They would lend a feminine touch to any outfit!

As for clothes, I always find something to add to my wardrobe. I found this lovely soft wool jumper (Jane Norman), and the lovely pink plaid skirt at Kidney Research UK. The skirt was very long, but I loved the fabric. So, after chopping off a fair amount and re-hemming it, it is now something quite different!
Now, one thing that has to add joy to your shopping experience is a friendly face behind the counter. I have met the ladies that give up their time to work for the charity, and they're a first class bunch!

Pictured on the left is shop manager Carol Andrews, and on the right Voirrey Butterworth
Now, I hope I have enticed you to go along and support this charity in the very important work that they do. Go along and say 'hi' to the ladies, and try first class pre-loved shopping! Let me know how you get on!
To find your nearest Kidney Research UK store, simply go to
 Happy thrifting!


  1. Great post and really interesting.
    I love your outfit and would so wear it! It looks very 'now' too and very cute.
    I love the handbag. That is a real find, definitely.
    I love Mary Portas!

  2. Great post. Love the outfit.

  3. Thank you ladies! Hope you have a super Friday, and a fabulous weekend!


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