Many of us love shopping. This is something that helps us relax and that produces a great feeling of pleasure. In 2008, Britain’s Brunel University published a study that highlighted the fact that going shopping led to increased activity in the part of our brain linked to positive thinking and pleasure, as long as you enjoy it of course.  If shopping has some benefits for your psychological health, it is not without consequences for our wallet. To play safe then, you can opt for window shopping, which produces the same positive effects on health, according to some researchers. But, where is the fun then?! Don’t worry, I have a trick up my sleeve. And here we are, as a  ‘shopaholic’, I will give a precious tip that will change your life. Are you ready?

In the UK, there are lots of shops where you can find stylish second-hand goods at very affordable prices. Even though they have already been used or worn by people before, they are still in very good shape. The purpose of this kind of shop is to promote charitable causes through an environmentally sustainable retail experience. They are represented by the Charity Retail Association.  Which shops am I talking about? Did you say charity shops? Congrats!!!! You are very perceptive!

Treat yourself while helping others


Just back from your shopping session, it is time to review the purchased items. The black dress is actually very pretty and easy to wear. Moreover, there was 20% off. Good job! What about these blue heels? There are very cute indeed, but if I am not mistaken, you don’t wear high heels, do you?  And there you are, you realise that you wasted money.

Buying clothes in a charity shop will not prevent you from making these kind of mistakes, but the negative impact on your budget will be much less. Moreover, a charity shop aims to generate revenues from sales for an association’s ethical objectives. The Salvation Army uses the money to run shelters for homeless people but also to provide developing countries with humanitarian aid, among other things. In the same way, Cancer Research UK raises money to fund its research activities and programmes.

At the heart of the donation process

Charity shop revenues are generated through donations from individuals. It is based on the principle of reuse, which means that donated used goods, that are in very good condition, are sold in charity shops around the country at affordable prices.

Getting involved as a volunteer

Most of the charity shops are staffed by volunteers. If you have some free time and would like to do something useful, working in a charity shop could be an interesting option. Whenever possible, associations like Oxfam, Barnardo’s, Cancer Research UK or the Salvation Army will do their best to match your skills and experiences with any roles they have. If you are a student, volunteering in a charity shop will enable you to acquire knowledge and skills related to the charity retail sector while serving a good cause. If you are new in the UK, it is a good opportunity to practise your English, make acquaintances, and even friends.