Retail Hub Style Guide: Vicky and Patricia

Our Retail Hub welcomes a variety of customers every day, all looking for something different. It’s easy to think that shopping second hand limits your style options. However, this is not the case.

In honour of Second Hand September, we’re speaking to regular hub customers about why they choose second hand and what they like about shopping at our Retail Hub

This time, we’re speaking to a familiar face, Vicky, Retail Lead at the Retail Hub, and her mum, Patricia, a regular shopper at the hub.

How long have you been shopping at the hub?

Vicky: I’ve been shopping at the hub since I began working here around three years ago.

Patricia: Around the same time for me too. We have a personal connection to the hospice in our family, so shopping and donating items to the hub is just another way of supporting the services they provide.

What is the best item you’ve found at the hub?

Vicky: That’s a hard one. There have been so many lovely things. My favourite is probably a beautiful blue dress I got. I’ve worn it for so many things and recently wore it to the York Races!

Patricia: Mine would be my Italian-made glass top table and chairs set. It was a great find here at the hub.

Describe your style in three words.

Vicky: Classic, Feminine and Individual

Patricia: Neat, Simple and Minimalist

How long have you been shopping sustainably?

Vicky: We’ve always done it, really. It’s always been an option when looking for clothes and furniture.

Patricia: My mum did it before me, so she started me off! It’s always been popular with us as a family and a great way to get clothes at discounted prices.

What would you say to people who haven’t shopped second hand before?

Vicky: Just come give it a go. There are so many amazing things that people donate. Don’t be put off by any misconceptions about shopping second hand! 

Why would you buy new furniture when we’ve got so many beautiful things in the hub? We collect furniture donations every day, Monday to Friday, so there’s always something new on the shop floor.

Patricia: It’s always worth a look. If you don’t find anything at first, keep coming back until you spot something that you like.

What have you found are the benefits of shopping second hand?

Vicky: Obviously, there’s the fact it can save you a lot of money. You get high-end clothes for a fraction of the price, and you can experiment more with clothes.  If you don’t wear it anymore, you can re-donate it to the hub, so it’s great for the planet.

Patricia: I find that I’m wearing more designer clothes since shopping at the hub than I ever would before. The dress I’m wearing now is from Coast, but I would’ve never gone there to shop.

What do you do with unwanted clothing?

Vicky: If I get something, wear it a few times and realise it’s not for me anymore, I bring it back to the hub and know someone else will enjoy it. Plus, it’s raising more money for the hospice too.

Patricia: Re-donate always! I bring it straight back here to the hub and don’t let anything go to waste.

What are your tips for finding great items when second hand shopping?

Vicky: I’d say make sure you come with plenty of time. There are lots of items to look at, so you don’t want to feel like you’re rushing. Look at clothes that you might not usually wear and try something new. We have a changing room at the hub, so I always recommend trying things on, as all clothes can look very different when they’re on the hanger. 

Speak to the Retail Hub team too. We can recommend pieces that we’ve seen or look in the stock room if you’re searching for something specific.

Patricia: Don’t be put off if you don’t find anything the first time you shop here. Keep coming because there is such a quick turnover for new items. You don’t know what you’ll find next.

Why do you think some people have a negative perception of buying second hand?

Vicky: I think some people feel too proud to shop second hand, as it hasn’t always been encouraged. I’m always keen to tell people that I’ve bought something from the hub and supported the hospice, as I think it makes any outfit even more special. If people realise the quality of clothes we get donated and the sustainability benefits of it, they would feel much differently about shopping here.

Patricia: There is a slight stigma attached to charity shops. But prices here are really good, and you’re making big savings on high-quality clothes.

Style in 5!

As part of their ‘Style Guide’, we gave Vicky and Patricia five minutes to put together this outfit using pieces currently on sale at the hub. Here’s what they chose!

Outfit: Joules top, Topshop Jacket, Laura Ashley Dress and Next Trousers

Our Retail Hub is based on the Fall Bank industrial estate in Dodworth, just three miles from Barnsley town centre. For SAT NAV use S75 3LS. Open Monday to Saturday, 9 am – 4 pm.

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