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logoA Mother & Daughter’s Charity Shop Challenge: Revolutionising the way we do and think about shopping….

The summer holidays always finds me in challenge mode. I always have a good clear out, de-cluttering is like therapy for me.. I love to have a good clear out at the beginning of the hols; clearing the house, helps to de-clutter the mind. I also like a good challenge, to give myself a new goal and focus. As you will have seen before within my ramblings I am a firm believer in the simple life, working hard to ensure that I do not consume too much. I am trying to be ever more savy in my shopping but also socially conscious of what I buy. 

Mum and I love to go charity shopping, she knows me so well that on my recent visit home I think she found a number of my buys. I think I am even turning my sister towards to second hand and swap shop way of thinking. When she rooted through my wardrobe, looking at what I had, every item she pulled out ooing and ahhing over was either from a charity shop or a swap shop… The revolution begins.. 

So Mum and I have come up with a challenge that we are going to do together. All be it, I think this challenge will be a little easier for me than her but we are up for it. Mum and I live at opposite ends of the country, but meet up every 6 weeks or so. I will be introducing my lovely mum on here soon as she will update finds and keep you posted on her perspective on the challenge on this blog too. 

The challenge is for a year to only buy in charity shops, swap shops or dress agencies. The key is that the clothes that we buy must be second hand. We will only buy when absolutely necessary. This rule applies to me especially, as I surveyed the wardrobe I have with my sister, I realised I really do have lots- Enough really! There are a couple of exceptions to the rule; we are allowed to buy underwear and pjs new!! We are also allowed to buy presents for others new, however I am going to use this as an opportunity to try and make lots of my pressies this year. I better get started now 🙂

This challenge will also include items for the home, all must be second hand or sourced for free or made; excluding white goods. Let the up-cycling begin…

We will do the challenge from 1st Sept 2013- 31st August 2014. If we slip and buy something new ( to help prevent this I simply am going to go nowhere near a high street!!) we have to donate the cost of that item to a charity or the church ( whichever we choose).

We are going to run a big swap shop event in May 2014, down south, in my parents home town, at their local church to raise money for local charities. I love clothes swaps and think they are such a great way to get women together and get some new clothes in a really ethical way. So keep an eye out for that one, especially if you live in my home town of Southend 🙂  

My faith in God has rooted me in the thinking that less is more and my love of craft and making has helped to not buy into the consumer culture too much. I hope that this challenge will help me to steer clear of the throw away fashion ideas that sometimes I do get sucked into. I was challenged further this year at a Christian conference I went to, New Wine North, to push my buying habits further and make them as ethically minded as I can. A number of the children who make the clothes that we buy from the high street have been trafficked, forced to work in terrible conditions, taken from their families. I am a strong advocate campaigning and praying to see the end of Human Trafficking. I hope to ensure that this ethos seeps into every aspect of my life. I want to make a stand against this practise and will continue to lobby high street stores to ensure that they are not using trafficked children to make their clothing. Buying from charity shops, making do and mending, thinking ethically in how I buy all my goods is just one little step. Please feel free to share any other ideas you have for being ethically minded shoppers?

I’ll be sure to post up my recent finds very soon and introduce you to my lovely mum; guest blogger for the year 🙂  

Happy vintage and ethical shopping.. let the challenge begin 🙂 

With Love Olive & Emxxxx

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