It’s high time that some of us pull our heads out of the sand and put aside any mistaken prejudices we may have had about charity shop shopping. If I said you could get designer looks from Chanel, Balenciaga, Burberry, Prada, Versace and dozens of other brands with up to 70% off weekly drops online, would I attract your attention ?
The big news on Ireland’s charity fashion front is that thousands of luxury items – over 6,000 to be exact – have been donated to charity NCBI via Thriftify, and a new cache of designer gems will be released on the thriftify.ie website every Thursday evening at 6 p.m. for the foreseeable future.
Last week, I flew out to take a behind-the-scenes look at this new collaboration, where items range from €50 for a designer belt or phone case to €4,830 for an SS19 Alexandre Vauthier dress.
Since launching in 2018, Thriftify has sold second-hand, designer, vintage and bargain goods on its website, which now features products from 98% of charities in Ireland. The background to designer runs like this is that charity shops frequently acquire high-value luxury items, and these runs are part of the fashion world’s responsible way of keeping unsold inventory out of landfills and supporting the very important and enduring concept of circular fashion.
The consignment sale on Thriftify includes cool Yeezy and Gucci sneakers, designer bags, Jimmy Choo heels, sunglasses, and lots of exciting menswear and cute kidswear.
The designer pieces have been carefully selected, photographed and appraised over the past few weeks, so what happens next online?
The designer’s drop set going live this week includes the Alessandro Enriquez Cartoon Print Shirt (€376-€150.40) and the Never Fully Dressed ‘Casa Stripe’ Maxi (€101-€50).
If trending heels are on your radar, watch out for The Attico orange/pink heels (€350-€140), Vivien Green Retrofête Dress (€555-€222) and Badgley Mischka Red One Shoulder draped dress (from €1,673 to €502), which were selected as favorites by second-hand style queen Roz Purcell.
Proceeds from sales are donated to NCBI, which operates 130 charity shops across Ireland, selling clothing, homewares and furniture. Beverley Scallan, head of retail for NCBI, tells me they’ve introduced vintage and retro clothing to their Capel Street store and are looking to bring similar items to Camden Street and also Maynooth, which should appeal to the student population. . thriftify.ie
Video of the day
Clodagh is a new 50-minute documentary about local fashion and interior talent Clodagh O’Kennedy, and it’s worth a watch when it airs on RTÉ One on Thursday at 10.15pm.
The show provides insight into Cong’s teenager, 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 her marriage broke up, Clodagh changed careers, moved to the United States 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 his New York studio, and was full of advice for young creatives. She highly recommends gaining experience working with people you admire.
“Be a sponge and ask questions.” And when it comes to dressing and furnishing your home, Clodagh says, “Everyone has good taste; don’t be afraid to use yours.
This pioneer designed Robert Redford’s penthouse in New York, and her pieces are selling at the very cool Restoration Hardware. His story is compelling, especially his vision of well-being in design. It’s worth looking at his interiors books for ideas, and details of his work in Ireland and abroad can be found at clodagh.com and on his Instagram @clodaghdesign.
Paul is back
Loewe’s new collection of Paula’s Ibiza baskets in woven straw and raffia are sure to get you in the mood for this impossibly stylish island in the sun. New season pieces arrived at Brown Thomas last week. Espadrilles are from €390, baskets from €420, and for beach lovers looking for stunning pieces, there are sequined bustier tops and luxe palm sarongs.
Into the sunny mix, add silk shirts, lurex cardigans, sequined dresses and tops. The novelty from Irishman Jonathan Anderson, Loewe’s creative director, features artful crochet tops in artisan fabric made in Japan. brownthomas.com
Shopping on public holidays
I see Kilkenny has a mid season sale which runs over the bank holiday weekend and ends on Monday. It has up to 30% off clothing and accessories at stores nationwide and online. Top brands such as InWear, White Stuff, Seasalt, Eva Kayan, Orla Kiely, Fee G and Guess. kilkennyshop.com