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Walk into one of Traid’s eight stores and you’ll be met with a fresh twist on charity shopping. There’s vintage sections – where you may well find a Diane Von Furstenberg frock, a hand-beaded caftan, or a 1970’s Marks & Spencer polo neck. You’ll also find a section for cleverly customised pieces that reuse fabrics in innovative ways, along with garments that look as good as new from more recent times.

The secret lies in the staff, Traid prides itself on being a fashion shop and this is made possible buy hiring staff with fashion expertise. Both on the sorting line and at retail level, knowledgeable staff ensure quality stock with style appeal. So much so that top fashion stylists can be often found scouring the rails. Cheapdate magazine said of Traid: “The window display could be Kokon-to-Zai – very well styled and pulls in the punters. Some of the clothes are customised by staff  who improve quality and turn random togs into stylish pieces.” GQ agreed calling Traid, “the hippest charity chain in the UK.

Great threads aside, shopping doesn’t get more ethically sound then this. Traid (Textile Recycling for Aid and International Development) addresses the recycling issue while helping fund projects for some of the world’s poorest communities. Current projects include education in Afghanistan with Care International UK, health and sanitation in Madagascar with Azafady and prevention of domestic violence with Vida Neuva.

From a network of around 700 collection banks dotted all over the country{mosimage} Traid amasses almost 2000 tonnes of textiles per annum. The organisation is dedicated to the reduction of waste and works with local councils by paying for, installing, maintaining and promoting textile recycling banks to the local community.

Train’s fashion ethos has also drawn the attention of High Street retailer – TopMan. Second-hand shopping fan fashion designer – Wayne Hemingway spread the Traid word and introduced TopMan to charity chain three years ago. A meeting which resulted in Traid supplying vintage finds for the trend conscious store. The initiative proved beneficial to both parties drumming up plenty of media interest. GQ Magazine mentioned that, “for maximum impact, they (TopMan) cleverly teamed up with another empire if vintage chic, Traid.”

Traid currently has eight outlets across London and the South East:

– 39, Duke Street, Brighton, East Sussex BN1.

-119, King Street, Hammersmith, London W6.

– 69-71, Kilburn High Road, Kilburn, London NW6.

– 2, Acre Lane, Brixton, London SW2.

– 61, Westbourne Grove, London, W2.

– Unit 12/13, Central Square, Wembley, London HA9 {mosimage}

{mosimage}- 375, Holloway Road, London N7.

– Plus a new Traid store has just opened in Shepherd’s Bush 164, Uxbridge Road, London W12.

Stock will vary from store to store.

To find out more about Traid’s projects, recycling banks and stores visit the website www.traid.org.uk

JoJo Iles




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