With the school show ‘Hairspray’ only a week away, the bombshell was dropped that we would have to provide our own costumes. Those who have seen it will know that it’s set during the ’60s and you will realise that people of my age don’t really have lots of spare clothing from that era lying in our wardrobes.
Playing a male character, I thought it would be impossible for me to find an array of ’60-styled suits that I’d be able to wear. But then I remembered a resource provided to us nowadays that seems to be forgotten.
Charity shops are an absolute godsend. Not only did I readily find two suits, one for a tenner the other for two pounds more, but I came to realise that these shops are full of vintage gems that you simply can’t find in River Island or Top Shop, and I felt kind of bad because I had never before dreamed of setting foot in a charity shop before.
This is where I begin to slightly contradict myself. I’ll never walk past a volunteer with their bucket and stickers asking for loose change. But, for some reason, many young people, including me, wouldn’t even contemplate shopping in a charity shop. We’d just walk straight past them, effectively walking straight past the volunteer with the bucket. Regardless, I’ve missed out on an opportunity to give, and that makes me feel quite bad.
The thing that really hit me though is just how much money charities could be losing out on because of the lack of business they get from young people like me. It’s not long hit me the amount of work that charities do to benefit others – frankly, I don’t think it hits you until the cause for the charity affects you personally. I’m actually quite annoyed at myself that I’ve disregarded charity shops in the past, now I know just how much they are helping the causes closest to my heart.
I’m not saying only shop in them when you’ve been affected by cancer or something similar, I’m saying that we need to start being more considerate of others and giving a little more when we can.