I remember asking my father once where he’d bought a particularly natty scarf from and he replied “from one of your shops.” He was referring to the local charity stores that I would frequently mine for vintage treasure. This was 20 years ago and back then we called it buying second-hand.
Now, it has a fancy name and people have built businesses out of it. But the concept remains the same – old stuff bought cheap and given a new life. As a student, charity shops were not only an alternative source for Saturday night outfits but also great places to buy all the goods required to set up a home. Since my first purchase of two 1970s lobster decor plates from a Heart Foundation shop, I’ve rarely bought tableware from a mainstream store.
Despite the unbelievable increase in the prices of polyester shift dresses (you could not give them away in 1990, now people want £40 plus for them) one can still pick up vintage plates, tableware and kitchen equipment for a few quid.
A recent trip to a Brighton car boot fair was rewarded with a tin fish mould for £3, a retro rolling pin at £2 and a ceramic duck for storing eggs in at a bargain £3. We also bought three miniature bottles of champagne that turned out to be more on the cider side, but the less said about that mistake, the better.
I know this is not a groundbreaking subject, but I wanted to show off a few of the goods we’ve purchased for a few pounds just as a reminder of the beautiful and happy things one can find on the shelves of your local thrift store or at a tabletop sale.