By day she’s the owner of a small business…but when it comes to tracking down a fashion bargain she’s Charity Shop Gal!
Meet Faye Wagstaffe, the fashionista who makes all her stylish purchases from the city’s charity shops and is spreading the word about sustainable fashion by taking her message onto Instagram - follow her as @charity_shop_gal.
And now she’s joining Sustainable Style at St Luke’s, the September event which will highlight the fantastic range of pre-loved clothing available to buy at our chain of 13 shops across Sheffield.
“It was in 2019 that I decided I wanted a really good quality leather jacket because it was the only thing I didn’t have in my wardrobe,” says Faye, who lives with her family in Greystones.
“As soon as I bought it, though, I realised I didn’t need to buy anything else, that there was nothing else I wanted.”
It was about the same time too that Faye began to read about how much damage the fashion industry is doing to the environment - and that’s when she decided to give up new clothes for a year.
“I didn’t buy anything new at all but I did allow myself to pick up things from charity shops because by buying second hand I am not contributing to the problems of the fashion industry,” she says.
When the year without new fashion came to an end - followed by the Covid lockdown which saw all shops close their doors - Faye simply decided to continue with the experiment and to spread the word via her Instagram account, which now has almost 500 followers.
“I remember when we could go back into shops again, I walked into one of the big high street chains and actually felt a little bit sick at all the waste and overwhelmed by all the cheap fashion - it was just too much and made me feel very uncomfortable,” she admits.
Now Sheffield’s charity shops are her fashion hunting ground - and she’s a big fan of our Ecclesall Road shop and also our Broomhill vintage store.
“I love shopping but you can get just the same buzz from looking around a good charity shop and, in fact, you can get an even bigger buzz when you find a real bargain,” Faye says.
“You get that excitement of finding something you weren’t expecting to find and at the prices they’re charging you can take a chance on something you never even thought you needed!
“The St Luke’s shops are marvellous and it’s a charity I’m passionate about too.
“This time two years ago, my beautiful mum lost her battle with a rare form of cancer and for a short time she was a patient at St Luke’s, where the incredibly kind and dedicated staff cared for her in the last days of her life.
“By shopping with St Luke’s I’m doing something for the environment, finding some great items and supporting a great charity.”
Find out more about Sustainable Style at St Luke’s by visiting Sustainable Style and get involved by showing off your St Luke’s purchases on social media and tagging the charity