Sunday, 19 March 2017

My Hospice of St Francis golden picks

So something that some may consider slightly unusual about my shopping habits is that I do buy the occasional item of clothing from my local charity shop. Also, whenever I have a clear out of my wardrobe I take them all down to the charity shop and because my mum is registered as gift aided, the charity shop are able to claim back the tax rate to go to the charity. I have certainly given the hospice at least half of my wardrobe at one point or another so I wanted to share with you my golden charity shop buys and prove that you are able to get wonderful high street pieces in a charity shop.

My first golden charity buy is this River Island leather jacket that I found hidden in a corner at my local charity shop. It still had the label on it and I only paid £25 with the original label stating it was £60. Bargain.

My second golden charity buy is my Ted Baker clutch/ shoulder bag. I also found this in my local charity shop. Barely used and had no scratches or visual damage. I managed to get this bag for £40, which considering the popularity of the brand was exceptional.

My third golden charity buy is my Topshop sequin top which I love, its my go to going out top which I only cost me £6. No funny smells which I would usually associate with some charity shops. It is the perfect bargain.

Next time you walk past a charity shop or debate about going into one, just pop in and have a look. You literally never know what you might find, you may like me, be surprised at some of the nice things they have in there. It is also so rewarding knowing that you are being ethical and recycling as you shop.

Let me know in the comments if you’ve found any golden charity buys, or where I should be looking to do my next charity shop buy.

My Top 5 LUSH Products

LUSH is a brand that I am sure all of you have heard of. It is by far one of my favourite beauty brands. It’s definitely my go to when I need a great bath bomb or a face mask. They're so much better than the ones you get in a packet from Superdrug. The main reason that they are in my top 3 favourite beauty brands is because they are strictly against animal testing, as well all being home made. Their products are certified 100% vegetarian and are ethically sourced. There are many of their products that I’ve been using for years, so I thought I would share them.

My number one favourite is their Ickle baby bot bath bomb. I am someone who struggles with sleeping and this bath bomb is the perfect aid to help me sleep. With ingredients like lavender it is sure to help you sleep as much as me. I do also love the fact that it is a little robot, I'm still a child at heart.

My second favourite is the Ocean Salt face and body scrub. It is by far one of the best body scrubs I’ve ever used with its salt and lemon ingredients, it also has a fabulous scent as well at getting into the nitty gritty areas that you need to exfoliate, especially after a fake tanning session. When I want a serious scrub I use it before I get into the shower on dry skin. The results are amazing. My skin is so smooth so I can’t imagine I will ever use a different exfoliator and would highly recommend this product.

My third favourite product is the Love and Light hand cream. During the colder months my hands are horrendously dry and unladylike, which of course most of us hate. This product is a total lifesaver for my hands as I suffer from dry sensitive skin. It also lasts forever as a little goes a long way.

My fourth favourite is the Don’t Look at Me fresh facemask. I know, its blue, which is not the most appealing, but I promise you it’s worth it. Despite looking like a smurf whilst wearing this mask you will have the most amazingly exfoliated soft skin afterwards. It also lasts four weeks in the fridge, which is certainly better than any of the packet facemasks I’ve bought in the past.

My fifth favourite is the Rose Jam bubble bar. This makes your bath time the most luxurious experience. You simply crumble under the running water of your bath and voilà, you have a beautifully pink bubble bath. The bath water feels like silk on your skin and makes you smell delicious. A definite need to buy.

Another thing that I love about LUSH it that they urge you to recycle. If you save up five of their pots and take them into store, they will reward you with a free face mask. Is there a better way to recycle?

Let me know in the comments below your favourite LUSH products and I’ll be sure to try them. 

Go Green with Recycling

Going green with your shopping is something that I am sure some of us can find very hard. Where to shop? How will shopping or donating to certain shops benefit me or someone else? Well, I’ve found a couple of brands that are doing some amazing things with recycling and sustainability so you don’t feel so guilty when finding that perfect pair of jeans.

So something I found out recently that Marks and Spencer have set up is Shwopping. Which they say is “Shwopping ordinary clothes made extraordinary”. The concept of it is really quite amazing. It is in partnership with Oxfam and you basically take some of your old clothes, that you may usually just throw in the bin, to their Shwop bins in any of their stores when you go in and make a purchase, and if you are a sparks card holder you gain 50 points every time you Shwop. All clothes will go to Oxfam and are either resold with Oxfam in store or online. Alternatively, the material will be recycled and go into making things such as mattress filling. It also works vice versa with Oxfam. If you donate any Marks and Spencer clothing into their Shwop boxes, Oxfam will reward you with a £5 Marks and Spencer voucher. You really cant go wrong with Shwopping. It would certainly be a good idea for other brands to link up with charities to do this kind of thing. Less waste in landfills and a bonus for you.

Another brand that I know is very cautious about sustainability is H&M. They do not have any factories in any of the third world countries they use to make their clothing. They also make sure that they are a wholly sustainable company; this is not done just by using organic cotton. They make sure that their suppliers know the strict regulations they have when it comes to sustainability, with both social and environmental regulations. As well as having very high guidelines through out the company to be able to stay sustainable, H&M have a recycling initiative too. They state on their website “We believe fashion is far too precious to end up in landfills. That is why in 2013, we launched our garment collecting initiative worldwide. You can drop off your unwanted garments - no matter what brand and what condition - in all our H&M stores across the globe.” They have partnered up with I:CO who collects their clothing and then decides between 3 processes, Re-wear (clothing that is in a good condition can be worn again), Reuse (clothing that may not be able to be worn again can be used for things such a dusters for cleaning) and Recycle (clothing that can be recycled into textile fibers again and be used for other products). H&M have also partnered up with The Hong Kong Research Institute of Textiles and Apparel, who are currently looking into and developing technologies that allow us to use clothes made of blended textiles and create new clothes. Although with H&M you don’t gain as much back as a shopper as you do with Marks and Spencer, however if you are a real fashion lover like myself, its comforting to know that your loved clothing that you may not fit into or necessarily wear anymore is going towards a good cause. Unlike Marks and Spencer, you can take ant labeled item of old clothing into H&M for recycling. I have a rule, if I haven’t worn it in the last 2 years it’s a gone, and I always make sure I donate to causes such as H&M or any other charity.

If you know of any other fashion brands that are doing something similar to Marks and Spencer or H&M, I would love to hear about it, pop it in the comments below.