Can shopping at a charity shop ever be aspirational? Yes it can!

Browsing a charity shop for clothing or household knick-knacks is not a popular weekend pastime for many people – but could this be about to change?


Oxfam is planning to open its first ‘superstore’ on an industrial park in Oxford on 7th September selling everything from Fairtrade chocolate to kitchen paraphernalia and goods ‘sourced’ exclusively by the charity. With a café onsite, it is hoped that people will be willing to spend more time (and money) on each visit. There is even a drive-in area for donors to drop off goods.

The new store is incredibly timely and coincides with a growing consumer focus on ethical brands, which can show that their goods or services deliver some benefit to society.

Just this weekend we saw shoppers queuing outside KFC for the privilege of trying the fast food company’s first offerings made from plant-based protein. Who would have thought that lovers of deep-fried chicken would be so fickle? The company declared a ‘Kentucky fried miracle’ on Twitter after the products sold out in just five hours.

News that retail sales figures are being propped up by a small but significant increase in the sale of second-hand goods and furniture should come as no surprise. Who hasn’t stepped out in a vintage garment or tried a spot of ‘upcycling’ yet?

Call it the Greta Thunberg effect if you like, but it does seem that some kind of social and environmental revolution is happening, which has caused many of us to rethink our habits and preferences. Who knows where it might end? But for me at least, a good old mooch around my local charity and bric-a-brac shops might just be in order for next weekend!

Alia Al-Doori