It’s high time that some of us took our heads out of the sand and parked any misguided prejudices we might have been holding about shopping in charity shops. If I said you could get designer looks from Chanel, Balenciaga, Burberry, Prada, Versace and dozens of other brands at up to 70pc off in weekly online drops, would I catch your attention?
he big news on the charity fashion front in Ireland is that thousands of luxury items — more than 6,000 to be exact — have been donated to the sight-loss charity NCBI through Thriftify, and a new cache of designer gems will be unleashed on the thriftify.ie website every Thursday night at 6pm for the foreseeable future.
Last week, I took myself off to go behind the scenes of this new collaboration, where items are priced from €50 for a belt or designer phone case up to €4,830 for a SS19 Alexandre Vauthier dress.
Since launching in 2018, Thriftify has been selling pre-loved, designer, vintage and bargain products on its website, which now features goods from 98pc of charities in Ireland. The background to designer hauls like this one is that charity shops frequently acquire high-value luxury items, and these drops are part of the fashion world’s responsible way of keeping unsold stock out of landfill and supporting the very important and sustainable concept of circular fashion.
The consignment selling on Thriftify includes cool Yeezy and Gucci trainers, designer bags, Jimmy Choo heels, sunnies, and lots of exciting menswear and cute childrenswear .
The designer pieces have been painstakingly curated, photographed and priced over the last few weeks, so what’s going up online next?
The designer drop set to go live this week includes the Alessandro Enriquez cartoon-print shirt (€376 down to €150.40) and the Never Fully Dressed ‘Casa Stripe’ maxi (€101 down to €50).
If statement heels are on your radar, watch out for The Attico orange/pink heels (€350 down to €140), Retrofête green ‘Vivien’ gown (€555 down to €222), and a Badgley Mischka one-shoulder, red draped dress (€1,673 down to €502), which were selected as favourites by second-hand style queen Roz Purcell.
Proceeds from sales go to NCBI, which operates 130 charity stores across Ireland, selling clothing, homewares and furniture. Beverley Scallan, head of retail for NCBI, tells me that they have introduced vintage and retro clothing into their Capel Street store, and are looking to offer similar items in Camden Street and also in Maynooth, which should go down a treat with the student population. thriftify.ie
Video of the Day
Clodagh is a new 50-minute documentary about home-grown fashion and interiors talent Clodagh O’Kennedy, and it’s well worth a look when it airs on RTÉ One on Thursday at 10.15pm.
The show gives an insight into the teenager from Cong, Co Mayo, who had her own fashion studio on Dublin’s South Anne Street when she was just 17. She showed her collection at the Hibernian Hotel in 1956, and was the youngest member of the Irish Haute Couture group.
After the break-up of her marriage, Clodagh switched careers, moved to the US, and became one of the top 100 interior designers in the world. A force of nature, Clodagh’s international projects include apartments, hotels and spas.
Clodagh spoke to me on Zoom last week from her New York studio, and was full of advice for young creatives. She thoroughly recommends getting work experience with people you admire.
“Be a sponge and ask questions.” And when it comes to dressing and doing up your home, Clodagh says, “Everyone has good taste; don’t be afraid to use yours.”
This trailblazer designed Robert Redford’s NYC penthouse, and her pieces sell at the seriously cool Restoration Hardware. Her story is compelling, especially her take on wellness in design. It’s worth checking her interiors books for ideas, and you will find details of her work in Ireland and abroad on clodagh.com and on her Instagram @clodaghdesign.
Paula is back
Loewe’s new Paula’s Ibiza basket collection in woven straw and raffia will certainly put you in the mood for this impossibly stylish island in the sun. The new-season pieces arrived into Brown Thomas last week. Espadrilles start at €390, basket bags at €420, and for beach fiends searching for wow pieces, there are sequinned bustier tops and luxury palm pareos.
Into the sunshine mix, add silk shirts, lurex vests, and sequinned dresses and tops. Newness from Irishman Jonathan Anderson, creative director of Loewe, includes crafty crochet tops in artisan fabric made in Japan. brownthomas.com
Bank holiday shopping
I see Kilkenny has a mid-season sale which runs over the bank holiday weekend and ends on Monday. It has up to 30pc off clothing and accessories in stores nationwide and online. Top brands including InWear, White Stuff, Seasalt, Eva Kayan, Orla Kiely, Fee G and Guess. kilkennyshop.com