Last week I spent a brilliant day at Barnardos in Stockbridge in a charity fashion collaboration. My challenge was to recreate some London Fashion Week street style looks using only garments and accessories available at the retail store. I am passionate about ethical shopping, and what better way to do it than supporting a good cause too. This outfit was inspired by an Alexa Chung street style look, and we managed to recreate it with items all costing £20 and under! Read on to see the other looks we created using quality pre-loved fashion.

 
This look was a workwear classic of white blouse and black blazer, but with a ruffled, romantic twist for SS17. Its always hard for tall girls like me to find trousers and jackets that fit but this one was pretty close! Paired with a red lip and animal print scarf, the suit can be easily dressed up for after-office hours. I don’t wear a huge amount of workwear due to the somewhat casual nature of my job and course, but I completely fell in love with the power I felt in these tailored trousers and super-high heels. Not a very ‘me’ look indeed, but totally made me feel like a girl boss.

 

Next up, a typical spring look for picnics in the park or evening walks along the beach. This vintage Laura Ashley shirt dress was a dream find. Even though it was a size XL, with a simple belt round the wait and a cropped cashmere cardigan, it was transformed into a flirty, feminine look. As anyone from Edinburgh knows,  Stockbridge is the place to be for the highest quality charity shop finds, and Barnardos on Deanhaugh St is no difference. They have a wonderful little vintage section and even a corner for designer labels. My favourite part of the day was finding a Kooples navy printed blazer that fit like a glove, only worn once for just £30. 

 

Finally, I created another casual office wear look using a huge tulle skirt rolled up and pinned bag to make a nice A-line shape, paired with a linen pinstripe shirt and maroon accessories. What do you think of the looks?

 

In my opinion, charity shops are Britain’s hidden jewels. People really should take time to check out their local stores. Not only will you save yourself money, you can support causes in your local community, and by recycling clothes you’re also playing your part in saving the planet – it’s a win, win, win situation!

 

 

Sound a bit dramatic? Well not really – when you realise 350,000 tonnes of garments worth an estimated £140m end up in landfill every year in Britain. Money raised by the charity’s shops goes directly towards supporting local services, so by buying preowned clothes our customers can breathe new life into a once cherished garment. By upcycling, they are supporting their local community and they really are doing their bit for the environment too. 
 

 

So next time you donate or buy an accessory or outfit from one of our charity shops, remember it’s more than just a good bargain – it really does have a butterfly effect.

 

I hope this goes to show that even on a shoestring student budget like mine, it is totally possible to look high end on the high street. For me, half the fun is rummaging through the rails, searching for hidden gems. Huge thank you to Barnardos Scotland for a truly enjoyable and eye-opening day! Get more tips and inspiration for charity fashion from @BarnardosRetail on Twitter and Instagram
Ruth @ Urbanity xxx
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