Fashionable recycling

July 19, 2007 at 11:14 am

Are you eager to help the recycling cause but find going into a charity shop to buy second-hand clothes a bit of a turn-off? If so, you are not alone. Many people regard charity shops as a place to cast off their unwanted, old, often hugely unfashionable and unflattering items of clothing. For this reason, if you are looking for a new designer dress or a new pair of stunning heels, a charity shop is probably the last place you would think of looking. However, there is a solution to this problem that is becoming ever more popular, particularly in Canada: the consignment store. In the UK, these stores are not as popular but you may hear them be referred to as dress agencies.

Consignment stores are like charity shops except they only stock high-quality, fashionable items. There are different types of consignment store, with some checking every single item they receive to make sure it is a genuine designer item and not a fake and others which are less strict but still sell great quality stock. In relation to the charity shops we are accustomed to in the UK, consignment stores are relatively expensive, with some tops being sold for hundreds of dollars (bear in mind though that this same top could have cost thousands of dollars originally). Having said this though, there are bargains available too, perhaps the best example being a Burberry raincoat for just over 17 dollars. If any items are not bought after being discounted like this, they will go to charity.

If the knowledge that you are helping to save the planet isn’t enough to encourage you to search through your wardrobe and pick out the old designer dress you haven’t worn for years, then you might be persuaded by the fact that you will be paid for donating your clothes. Unlike charity shops, which expect strictly free donations, consignment stores are more realistic and clients can expect a healthy cut of the profit.

Stores work with thousands of clients, who regularly buy and sell goods. Their identities are strictly private and they are identified only by an account number. By building up personal, respectful relationships with rich, even famous clients, consignment stores ensure that they are always fully stocked with the best of the best.

One dress agency in Cobham, Surrey, recently attracted attention due to the relocation of Chelsea Football Club to the village. The influx of footballer’s wives to Cobham caused mass hysteria among many local women who frequent the dress agency, Phoenix, who hoped to see the WAGS’ cast-offs at a cheap price!

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