Saturday, 20 August 2011

Out & About - Oxfam Shop in Clitheroe

I have never been a charity shop fan. That was until I had the pleasure of organizing a fashion show for Oxfam.

When Lisa, the Clitheroe shop manager, told me we would be running the show with the clothes she had in stock I thought: 'Dear Lord! That will be a bit of a challenge!' In my mind, charity shops = other people's unwanted stuff. Something that, I am ashamed to admit, was a little prejudice of mine. It was not that I thought the shops weren't good enough. It was more about the barrier I had over the fact the stock was someone else's unwanted belongings. My thinking was: "why would I want something someone else is throwing away" when in reality these items have not been disposed of as much as donated. 

Needless to say, I walked into the shop to find rails and rails of designer gear including bags, shoes and jewellery. Not to mention the books! Lisa had a little bit of a problem getting me to concentrate on the clothes as I was just mesmerized by the huge selection of books they had for sale. All my favourites were there. I could have saved myself quite a lot by buying them second hand. "I know some people think charity shops are full of tat, but I don't sell anything that is not in good order or quality" said Lisa, a straight talking and active busy bee. Amen sister! I'm pleased to say I have been converted. And I tell you something... It's a triple winner. I am all up for buying that Ted Baker dress I saw (with the tag still on) at a discounted price for a good cause. How could you not be happy to part with your hard earned cash when you are ticking so many boxes? Good item - check; cheap or cheapER - check; for charity - check. I buy a dress for me and walk away feeling I've helped a child, farmer or family in some almost forgotten corner of the world. That's what I call retail therapy!

Ox-Tales Collection
On the bookish end... In 2009 Oxfam launched 'Ox-Tales', an anthology of short stories by well known writers using the four elements - water, fire, earth and air - as themes. This year they have taken it a step further by launching 'Ox-Travels', another anthology by two dozen of Britain's most lively, critical and thought-provoking travel writers who were asked to recall a significant encounter while traveling – one that has enriched the writer. There is no need to say, but I will anyway, that this book is incredibly interesting. 

The Clitheroe shop includes gifts, books, womenswear and ladies' accessories. The moral is: at Oxfam you can read and shop for a good cause. So why not?

Ambient: ****
Price: ££ with hints of £££
Children: Yes
To check the rating system click here

Oxfam Charity Shop
8 Market Place
Lancashire BB7 2DA
Tel: 01200 424 005

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