Being a fashion blogger in modern society, you become very aware of the ethical issues surrounding the circulation and distribution of fashion. I recently spoke about the pressures of blogging in my post One Cardigan, Three Outfits, and how as a content creator, you often feel like you should be creating new looks for every single photo, but what does this cost the environment? Couple this pressure to create, with the guilt of contributing to the ever-growing damage done by fast fashion and you find yourself stuck in a paradox: to buy or not to buy?
I do not claim to be a sustainable fashion pioneer, however I have become more aware of the effects of my shopping habits and how I can change them for the better with little things such as rarely online shopping, focusing on staple ‘forever‘ items and dabbling in thrift stores. Environmentalism in the fashion industry is a red hot topic right now, which is why I am so excited about the post I am sharing with you today!
Just over a week ago, I was super excited to have been invited to a pre-launch party with Newlife stores at their new shop in the Yew Tree Retail park in Birmingham! You may have already heard of Newlife stores, with their presence steadily growing around the Midlands area, but if not, allow me to explain the concept.
Newlife is a hybrid between a charity shop and a normal high street store, bringing the best qualities of the two together. Like a charity shop, Newlife sells clothes at hugely discounted prices, preventing them from going to landfill by giving them a new home. Unlike conventional charity shops however, these clothes are all brand new and unworn! This is because, rather than taking second hand items from people, Newlife liaises directly with high street favourites such as River Island and Topshop, to take their left over stock and sell it for a fraction of the price. Sounds like a dream right?
What’s more, all of the profits go to Newlife’s charity for disabled children, helping to buy essential equipment to those who desperately need it. So, you can get brand new clothing, for a fraction of the normal price, whilst preventing clothes going to landfill and contributing to a children’s charity at the same time. Newlife is the definition of guilt-free shopping, and I couldn’t be more excited about it.
So what did we get up to at the fabulous launch event? Well, we were greeted at the door with a sparkly drink and the friendly faces of the lovely staff and PR team. After a few introductions, we got the chance to explore the shop and see what gems it had on offer!
I was unsure as to what the store was going to be like as I had never been to one before, but it’s safe to say it exceeded my expectations and then some! The team had put together gorgeous displays ranging from coats and sparkly dresses, to handbags and killer heels. Arranged by size and in categories of items, Newlife’s selection didn’t have that ‘jumble sale’ feel that usually puts people off shopping in charity shops, it felt just as organised as any other high street store!
Newlife takes out all of the original labels from the items that they sell, so for the most part, you don’t know where it has come from. However I was amazed to find a large selection of Ted Baker bags, suitcases and purses at hugely discounted prices!
The store was full of great high street items in perfect condition, so naturally I took a whole load into the changing rooms with me…I mean, it would have been rude not to right?
I ended up purchasing three gorgeous items, starting with these super comfortable and stretchy pastel blue gym leggings, that cost me a grand total of £2.99. Yes, you read that right, £2.99! My jaw hit the floor when I saw the price tag and I pretty much ripped them off the shelf as fast as I could. These are perfect for me to nip to the gym in and I’m absolutely in love with the colour!
Secondly, I came across this gorgeous bag that was giving me all the Chanel vibes. I fell in love with the pearl edge detailing and thought it just made for such a classy accessory that would go with so many outfits! It might look expensive, but this bag came in at a fabulous £4.99! Since purchasing it, I have already worn it loads and I can’t wait to style it with more outfits, overall I think it’s the perfect autumn / winter accessory!
The saying goes ‘save the best until last’ and this last item I purchased really was the best of them all. The undoubted star of the show and my new favourite item, this gorgeously soft faux fur coat in pastel blue…I mean WOW.
This really was one of those love-at-first-sight moments, and the second I saw this on the rail, I knew I needed it in my life. This is a real statement piece that will carry me through all of winter and I’m just obsessed with it. Not only is it quite literally the softest thing I have ever felt, but I just feel so sassy and cool in it that I never want to take it off. What’s more, this baby was priced at just £14.99 which is less than half the price of what you would pay for a standard faux fur coat in a high street or online store! This was definitely my big win of the day and I was so happy I found it!
After browsing the store and choosing my wonderful items, the lovely staff who invited me also very kindly gave me some discount on my items. This meant that I got my leggings, the bag and the fur coat for just £18.50! These kind of savings are unheard of in any normal high street store, even in my beloved Primark!
After we paid, we were each given a lovely little goodie bag with a variety of items in it such as makeup and jewellery, which I thought was a really nice gesture from the store to finish off the event.
Overall, I had such a great time at the launch party and I feel very lucky that I was invited to go. If you love fashion but want to be more environmentally conscious, then this is the perfect store for you. Newlife puts a twist on charity shopping, maintaining its core premise, whilst making the whole process more up-market and organised! The store offers a balance between your fashion wants and our environmental needs, whilst contributing to a wonderfully worthwhile cause. I can’t wait to take another trip back here to find some more items!
If you’d like to see the other fabulous pieces I picked out during the launch event, then you can check out my ‘events’ highlight on my Instagram! Whilst you’re there, make sure to give me a follow to get all updates from my blog!
Have you ever been to a Newlife store? Which was your favourite item that I picked out? I’d love to know in the comments below!
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