Whoever said you need heaps of cash to have bags of style?
A canny eye and a bit of patience is all you need to work a shoestring fashion budget - according to staff at a new South Yorkshire charity shop.
To prove their point, staff at the YMCA charity store – based in Rotherham’s youth centre MyPlace on St Ann’s Road – staged their own fashion shoot.
The creative team raided their vast stock of donated new and second-hand clothes and accessories, then pooled their skills to style up stunning on-trend outfits for a fraction of the price customers would expect to pay on the high street.
MyPlace business administration assistant Charlotte Medlock, live events assistant Tom Haywood and Jadranka Popikova, who attends weekly youth sessions at MyPlace, got in the frame as models and communities project co-ordinator Nicola Harding stepped in with her camera.
“The results speak for themselves,” said Denise Gracia, retail consultant for YMCA White Rose, the charitable organisation which works with children, young people and families in South and West Yorkshire.
“Our shoot proves that anyone who loves fashion can have dash without the cash if they’re prepared to spend a little time hunting through the rails.
“We did hippy chic on the cheap and put together top-to-toe date night outfits for as little as £9 for him and £12.50 for her - a lot less than you would spend on a night out.
“And it was easy. We had so much to choose from. Our new charity shop is packed with brilliant bargains and there are labels galore on our rails. We opened our doors last month and, thanks to the generosity of the public, we’ve had good-as-new designer labels Rochas and Calvin Klein on our hangers, plus classic second-hand pieces from fashion houses such as Planet and Jacques Vert and scores of on-trend pieces from high street names like French Connection, Zara, Topshop and Topman.
“There are also some unique vintage pieces dating back to the 1950s - much-loved items Rotherham people couldn’t bear to part with for decades that have finally found their way to us. Our best vintage finds include a pair of men’s brogues from Dolcis dating back to the ’70s, which have walked right back into fashion, and a ’60s paisley-print shirt dress.”
The charity shop is on the ground floor of the community hub and performance and arts centre for handicapped and able-bodied young people in Rotherham. It raises money for the YMCA’s work and provides work and training opportunities for young people. Up to three retail apprenticeships are being created in store, along with a work experience programme.
Open from 9am to 4.30pm on weekdays, the shop is appealing for more donations of clothing, toys, bric-a-brac and household itemss. They can be taken to MyPlace or to YMCA White Rose’s other charity shops on Bellhouse Road in Firth Park, St John’s Green in Kimberworth and on Mexborough High Street.
“Charity shop chic has become very popular with local recession-istas and recession-Misters,” added Denise.
“We think it always will be in fashion. Who doesn’t love that feeling of knowing their outfit not only looks great, but cost them next to nothing?”
I know we do.