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Overheard in The Wardrobe

We love to chat, and are always happy when we strike up a conversation with customers at the Wardrobe (and at the Fridge, though that’s not today’s topic). We like to think we can judge who’s in the mood for a chat, so don’t worry that you’ll get caught in a long conversation when you just nipped in for a quick look round and have to get back to your work or catch a bus or train.

But often we just overhear what customers are saying. We’re not eavesdropping exactly …….

Do they do men’s clothes?

We sometimes hear this from people looking in the window and sometimes they will pop their head into the shop and ask. The answer is yes. To help, we always try to have at least one traditionally male outfit in the window to encourage our menfolk to come in, but – like every other shop, whether selling second-hand or brand new – we have far fewer men’s clothes than women’s.

We think this is because men, generally, don’t buy as many clothes as women, and they hang on to them for much, much longer. And, really, we should be applauding that.

However, think quality, not quantity. We often get lovely men’s clothes, so it’s always worth a look. Naturally, we don’t mind a bit if men want to buy women’s clothes, and vice versa.

They don’t have anything in my size

Unfortunately, we hear this from time to time, and all we can say is that we can only offer what we are donated. However, we do get clothes in all sizes, so, again, come in and have a browse.

Clothes sizes are quite a minefield though. We have all always known, haven’t we, that a size 12 in one shop does not actually measure the same as a size 12 in another shop. And when you see vintage clothes, the difference is really pronounced! We had this confirmed when we started our Clothes Swaps during Covid and since then we have been much more open to trying different sizes. So far, so good.

Do they really give clothes away for free?

Yes, we do and it is absolutely core to what we are doing here. Why?

· We don’t want to see clothes ending up in landfill

· We want everyone to have access to good quality second-hand items

We feel very strongly that no-one should ever feel any stigma about needing, or wanting, free clothes. They’re here and we want to see them worn again. The person taking free clothes is just as valued as the customer spending money in our shop.

They do workshops too

We do indeed.

Again, it’s one of our core values. We want to pass on skills and enable as many people as possible to repair and upcycle. Plus, it’s just such good fun!

We run a very wide range of workshops because we have a very wide range of people willing to give us their time and talents. Our workshops and events are always broadly on the theme of sustainability, but that can cover making bags, making lamps out of old bottles, learning to sew, making new jewellery from old, learning how to avoid plastic and chemicals, learning how to crochet, gaining further sewing skills, turning teacups into pin cushions ……… if there’s anything you would like to see us do, please tell us. Many of our pasts events have come directly from requests. If we don’t have the necessary skills, we will try to find someone who can help us. It’s amazing how often we find just the right person.

If you’d like to see what’s coming up have a look on our website, on our social media or check out the What’s On poster in the shop. You can also sign up to our newsletter via our website if you like.

It’s cold in here

This is true. It continues to be true even as the weather is getting better.

The primary aim of our project is to avoid waste, and that includes wasting energy. We’re also very conscious about using our money wisely. As a social enterprise, we want to help our whole community, so we think very carefully before spending anything.

Unfortunately, we get very little sunlight into our building so we just accept that we have to wear many, many layers. If you were in the shop during the winter months, you probably saw us hugging hot water bottles too. At least we are practising what we preach.


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