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Second – hand Style Goes Mainstream


With 45% of shoppers actively searching for sustainable products local charity shops are thriving. The charity shop concept has now got bigger, with the launch of a pop-up Charity Super.Mkt that houses donated clothing and bric-a-brac from 10 UK charities under one roof.

The Charity Super.Mkt in Brent Cross has taken over the former Topshop store and is staffed by volunteers inspired by ethical and sustainable shopping. The four-week pop-up is a national first and the brainchild of Wayne Hemingway, founder of British fashion brand Red or Dead and Hemingway Design, and Maria Chenoweth, CEO of sustainable clothing charity TRAID. 

Contributing charities include: Age UK, All Aboard, Barnardo’s, Cancer Research, Emmaus, Havens Hospice, SCT, Marie Curie, TRAID, and Shelter.

Second-hand shopping has grown in success and momentum as consumers’ values and ethics rapidly evolve, particularly amongst Gen Z and Millennials. These young shoppers are now more conscious of the impact their spending has on the planet and are using platforms such Depop, Vinted and eBay to buy and sell second-hand clothes to create unique looks. 

Charity retail is now a positive part of the modern retail mix, providing more good quality affordable clothing options amid an increased cost of living, and a more sustainable approach to buying and reusing loved items.

With 60% of us now wearing something second-hand and 80% of those second-hand purchases bought through charity shops (source: ‘ThredUp Resale Report 2022’).

Wayne Hemingway and Maria Chenoweth

Wayne Hemingway said: “Charity shops are no longer a signal of decline in our town centres; they represent a powerful and positive movement towards the circular economy and a future that is being wholeheartedly embraced by consumers and contributes hundreds of millions of pounds to our economy, and good causes.

“Brent Cross is one of London’s best known retail destinations and having Charity Super.Mkt right next door to John Lewis and Apple feels right. Shopping at Charity Super.Mkt ensures that every pound spent is a ‘good pound’ as it’s better for the environment and offers a more sustainable approach to fashion.”

Maria Chenoweth, CEO of TRAID, commented: “Having been in charity retail for over 30 years, being part of the first ever charity retail collaboration in an old fast-fashion Topshop store is iconic. Charity Super.Mkt hits circular economy and sustainability aspirations, whilst also hitting the cost of living crisis.“Charity retail is the understated best of sustainable business, there is no better example of a green circular economy in action at this scale. Charity retail provides everyone the opportunity to buy good and do good, from supporting the environmental benefits of shopping second-hand to providing critical funding for causes both local and global.

“Our consumers are increasingly interested in finding sustainable brands and opportunities to mix new outfits with pre-loved fashion, so we’re excited to be bringing this innovative concept to Brent Cross.” 

Sarah Tinsley, Director of Marketing & Placemaking at Hammerson (joint owner and asset manager of Brent Cross) said: “This is a unique partnership which supports our ambition to launch a number of big market firsts across our portfolio this year. We’re going to be bolder and braver with how we evolve our spaces, creating really vibrant experiences that inspire and attract customers, whilst aiming to have a more positive impact on our communities as well as the environment. This will be a transformative year for us!”

Charity Super.Mkt at Brent Cross is open until Saturday, 25 February. 

Customers are encouraged to donate a pre-loved item in-store.

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