Shwopping and Oxfam

Being rewarded for things I already want to do – that’s something I can get behind. One of such things is an initiative from M&S and Oxfam called Shwopping. It’s existed since 2008 and since then, over £19 million has been raised for Oxfam from “shwopped” items – it’s such an amazing amount of money.

To shwop, you can do one of two things:

1)   1) Donate your local Oxfam shop


You just have to have one item of M&S clothing, in your whole donation to qualify (so make sure it’s at the top of your bag so that you don’t have to do a mid-shop unpacking!) Then you get your £5 voucher and you’re good to go.

2)   2) Donate in your local M&S

All Marks and Spencer’s have a donation bin where you can pop your donations in (usually by the till). They’re called “Shwop Drops” and have room for a regular sized full plastic bag to pop through the top. If you donate in an M&S, you can get 50 Sparks points if you go to the till and request them (hence why the drop points are usually in the vicinity of the till anyway).

Now to start planning how to use my voucher since I’ve cleared some room…

T’s & c’s here:

You’ll be given a £5 voucher when you make a donation to an Oxfam Shop and the donation contains at least one item of M&S-labelled clothing (including shoes, handbags, belts, hats and scarves) or M&S-labelled soft furnishings (bed linen, towels, cushions, curtains, throws, aprons, tablecloths and napkins). This offer does not include donations of the following M&S clothing: swimwear, underwear, socks, or damaged or soiled items. Only one voucher will be issued per visit.

You might also like: 

What Fashion means to Me. AK.Checking Out the Fashion Pages In Oxfam's New Nespaper

                What Fashion Means to Me                                   Fashion in Oxfam’s Newspaper


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What Fashion Means To Me: A.K.’s View

There are so many things that come to mind hearing that word, right? Such as style, trend, imagination, innovation, expression, and fantasy. Basically, fashion is a way of introducing yourself without having to utter a word.

It’s like you enter the room and people can start speculating the type of individual you are, by the way, you dress.

To some people, dressing up can be a form of expression like poetry. It is a complete way of life, and of course profession. It is a varied form of art, a glance into someone else’s personality. It is, by all means, a conception of direction, exhibition, and entertainment. Fashion defines the type of a person you are or at least shows the world what you want them to see.

It is not easy to find the meaning behind fashion; it is not a simple question with a definite answer. Fashion is idiosyncratic, which means, it is different for different people.

It Speaks For You, And Lets You Express Yourself

Fashion can affect various aspects of our life. It exhibits itself more than in the clothing, feelings. It really has the power to make us feel stronger about something we truly believe in. It can be used as an outlet to show your expressions, opinions, and to inspire the world.

It can be used to convey not only the conceptions we have of ourselves but also the image we want to portray, as an individual’s wardrobe chiefly reflects their personality.

 

 

 

Comfortable Fashion Is the Best Choice

Your dressing should speak the message that you want to convey the world. While body confidence is above everything else, one should never wear something they’re not comfortable with. Choosing to wear clothes that fit your body well can make you feel over the top. Fashion is not just pushing your boundaries and going for outfits you would rather avoid. It’s feeling good in your own skin, with comfortable yet stylish clothing. Never allow yourself to be pressured to try trends that don’t suit you or to wear clothing that isn’t
comfortable for your body.

Fashion Plays a Great Role in the Human Transformation

You can let the world glimpse into the type of person you are; just by the way you choose to dress. It provides with a creative outlet that can constantly change and improve. Fashion is an easy way to express yourself if you’re not comfortable in expressing it in words. You can challenge yourself and get out of your comfort zone by putting yourself on display for the world to see just like the celebrities do in an event like met gala. It can be very empowering once you get the hang of it.

I believe fashion should be portrayed as something that represents a rhythm but each one of us has our own steps that we choose to move with. We should move freely, without any bounds. It’s always awe-inspiring seeing people embrace their awesome sides when they decide to take matters into their own hand and shine out in the crowd.

We were created in a unique way, and what’s better to show our uniqueness the way we want, through the way we dress? I can’t think why not. It is time to stop being slaves to the ‘new trends’ and embrace the creativity within you.

“Don’t be into trends. Don’t make fashion own you, but you decide what you are, what you want to express by the way you dress and the way you live.” – Gianni Versace

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DIY Doily Tips: Upcycle Ripped T-Shirts

Article written by Rumaanah Bilal, volunteer at  Oxfam Online Batley 

To begin these DIY doily shirts, collect everything you may need. I created two different shirts but there are limitless designs that you could create! Start off by ironing the shirts to get rid of any creases. I have picked these navy and white tops to work onto. The white one has a hole so I created a design to cover this up. This is a great way to bring new life to a shirt you’d otherwise end up recycling.

What you’ll need:

  • Plain T-shirt (Use ones you already have or check your local Oxfam or Oxfam’s Online Shop)
  • Dollies (Again if you don’t have any you want to chop up it’s worth checking your local Oxfam or Online)
  • Scissors
  • Needle and Threads (mixed colours)
  • Pins


Start cutting into the areas of the doilies you like the best. I picked out doilies with floral designs as this is something I really love, but you could easily use the lacy parts as well – customise to your heart’s content to make this piece a unique beauty!

After getting your desired pieces start to place them on the shirts in different ways to see which layout looks the best. I came up with a lot of ideas and they all seemed to be really interesting and wonderful. Here are some of the designs I tried out:

 

As soon as you have arranged your designs, pin the pieces down and carefully start to hand stitch the separate parts to the shirt. I noticed the edges of the blue doily was quite frayed so I had to fix that by stitching it down tightly, but still making sure I maintained the shape. I cut out around some hexagons from a different doily and I placed them in a row down the sleeves, this way it covered up the hole and also made it quite stylish. In contrast to the white shirt having quite a bit going on, I kept the navy shirt really minimal by only putting a white trim around the neckline.
This technique would also look great along the hem or armholes of your chosen garment, and would be a good way to cover up any wear and tear!

Here are my final designs for both tops. I like how they turned out and would love to do more like this. I like the contrast between both tops. Both are very simple and can be easily styled with a pair of jeans. I love that you can save a lot and create something stylish, whilst saving clothing that would otherwise end up in recycling, instead of paying £20+ for a high street piece.

If you try out my embroidered t-shirt DIY please share the pictures: @OxfamFashion #foundinoxfam I can’t wait to see what everyone makes!

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4 Tips to Help You Slay your Festival Fashion Look

Festival season is upon us once again! And the question what to wear becomes even more intense than ever…  Everyone wants to stand out from the crowd and be as instagrammable as possible. Don’t fret because Oxfam Batley Online will give you the best tips on how to prepare for the festival!

Dress to Impress without the inconvience

1.       Start early. As you’ve probably heard before preparation is key. Well the same is true of fashion – you don’t want to go to into shopping frenzy at the last minute. Few months before the festival, look for inspiration on Instagram, Pinterest & other apps. Note any trends that are going on – and plan accordingly. The Oxfam Festival Shop’s social is a great place to start! Follow them on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.

2.       Be comfortable. We can’t stress this one enough. If you’re at a festival for days, the last thing you want is feeling out of your place with uncomfortable clothing. That said, it’s not advisable to go to a festival in high – heels unless you want your feet to be covered in blisters and trampled down by thousands of festival goers. Wellies are our top choice to ensure a fun filled festival.

Good footwear for a festival

3.       Be creative. Festival fashion is a great way to expresses yourself, it’s all about freedom, fun & creativity. Try to reflect those qualities into your outfit choices. Shimmery glitter, floaty dresses, distressed denim, crop tops, band tees & braids are all great festival pieces. Liven up your look with crazy colours, and don’t forget to accessorize!

Denim and Sequins - Creative festival style

4.    Most of all have fun! Festival time is the time to experiment with your looks, and discover new trends. So mix and match your outfits, be brave and party like there’s no tomorrow!

Make fresh looks by combineing styles

Shop the festival look now at www.oxfam.org.uk/shop or visit one of our festival pop shops at Boardmasters, Leeds Festival and Bestival. All welcome!

 This blog post was written by Oxfam Batley Volunteer Deimante:

“Hi! My name is Deimante, and I’m from Huddersfield (originally from Lithuania). I’m a second year student at University of Huddersfield studying Fashion Communication and Promotion – love it! I’m a sometime fashion blogger and currently on a placement with Oxfam Batley Online listing clothes online and managing social media & PR.”

Find out more about how you can volunteer here.

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Glastonbury Round Up 2017 – The Oxfam Shop Edition!

Each year the Oxfam festival team make the journey down to Somerset to assemble four Oxfam shops with four different themes, types of stock and targeted consumer in the hopes of raising as much money as possible for Oxfam’s many causes. This year we battled the hottest Glasto set up of all time and raised a record amount of money for the Festival shop! Here is a blog post to sum up our time at the festival and to mention some of my own highlights. If you want to take a sneaky look at some of the goodies in our shops check out my last blog .

Oxfam’s Glastonbury Shops:

Glade

Oxfam Shop at Glade, Glastonbury

If you visited our shop in the Glade area of Glastonbury then you will know that it was a one-stop-shop for sleeping bags, wellies, socks and a dip into our £3 hat bucket (because why not). This year’s Glade shop had a 60’s ‘summer of love’ theme which was perfectly fitting for the weather. We stocked floral dresses and fake fur and sheepskin coats, which were, as always, popular amongst male customers and they pulled them off in true style.

Park

Oxfam Shop at Park, Glastonbury

If you were in the market for some ‘Wavy Garms’ then our shop in the Park area would have been perfect for you. Stocking everything from one off  vintage items to retro branded goods like Levi Jackets, Adidas tracksuits to name a few, Park catered to the eclectic tastes of Glastonbury’s hipsters. This year we also featured hand painted jackets created by some of our volunteers, these were popular amongst people wanting to get their hands on a one-off creation.

Treasure Trove

Oxfam Shop at Treasure Trove, Glastonbury

This year we said goodbye to one of our shops, Pom Pom Palace and said hello instead to Treasure Trove!  A shop that was filled with the best sparkle and gems that we could find. The shop’s new concept was embraced by everyone with free glitter being done by our Oxfam campaigns team.

 

4th Shop (Interstage)

Oxfam Shop Interstage, Glastonbury

Our 4th shop was located in the interstage area between the Pyramid and Other stage of Glastonbury, catering to journalists and VIPs it stocking items like Cashmere jumpers, Barbour jackets and vintage/ boutique gems. With previous customers like Alexa Chung and Nick Grimshaw this year’s celeb visitors included Matt Smith, Dan from Bastille Blossoms, Black Honey and photographer Charlotte Patmore.

Oxfam Festival Shop Team at Glastonbury 2017

Overall it was an amazing year for the me and the shop, Thank you to all our amazing volunteers who made the running of the shops as smooth as ever and thanks to all our amazing customers who helped us raise an amazing amount of money for Oxfam. See you all in 2019!

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Oxfam is Launching It’s Own Newspaper! Fashion Pages Preview

Oxfam is launching its own newspaper this summer with copies available for free from every Oxfam high street shop it is the perfect feel-good paper to bring a wave of positivity to your day! There are stories from volunteers, Oxfam project updates, book reviews, games, a summer recipe and more it’s definitely worth a read. Today I’m going to give you a tiny sneak peek into the fashion content which focuses on Bridal and Festival fashion.

 

“Together, we save and rebuild lives in disasters. We help people build better lives for themselves. We speak out on the big issues that keep people poor, like inequality, discrimination against women and climate change. Together we can end poverty for everyone.”

The New Oxfam Newspaper

“From stunning designer bridal wear – more than 95% of our dresses are brand new – to world-changing wedding lists, you’ll find everything you need for your big day at Oxfam. Here four brides-to-be give our dresses a try. Keep an eye out for our Chippenham bridal department on Say Yes To The Dress UK too, TLC, 8 Septemeber, 9pm.”

 

Bridal Fashion #foundinoxfam

I love the wedding dresses featured, especially Tobi’s on the far right, so elegant and floaty! I recently got to have a nose around the online bridal collection to choose my seven favourites for my recent blog and had a great time drooling over the beautiful dresses!

“I knew Oxfam did wedding dresses but was surprised by the range. This one’s really fun – the Vegas dress! I love the huge skirt.” – Caely Beecham, Bride-to-be

 

Shop Bridal from Oxfam, from 11 high-street shops and Online.

 

Festival Fashion #foundinoxfam

“Vintage Street #foundinoxfam: Pair branded streetwear – new or vintage – with a hit of bling for a look guaranteed to make you stand out.” Look inspired by Rita Ora.

 

As I’m headed off to help the festival shop team at Latitude this week the festival fashion was great inspiration for my packing. I like the Classic Festival, Laura Whitmore inspired look best with its floaty, hippy, floral top and modern cut off shorts. With these complete outfits starting from £41 you know you can be decked out in style whatever festival you’re headed to this summer.

Shop festival fashion, vinyl and c-ds online or in-store. 

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Planning My Outfit for the Liverpool Bloggers Event

A few weeks ago I went to a Liverpool Bloggers event. In my head I was totally organised and had already decided my outfit, however, the day before I decided to pop into Oxfam on Bold Street in Liverpool for a little browse (the back of my mind knowing this would never happen). I found two gorgeous shirts one of which was an off-white, stripy one and couldn’t resist changing my pre-planned outfit!

My Outfit From Liverpool Bloggers Event

The classic shirt has been called into question this spring/summer. Designers and high-street brands have been experimenting with it, creating all sorts of different styles whether it be strips of cotton coming off the sides, an off-the-shoulder look, or a cotton belt attached to the shirt to tie around your waist. I have wanted to splurge on one of these gorgeous shirts for a while but when I popped into Oxfam I found it – an incredible one too! It isn’t of the experimental kinds but it’s great because it’s simple, classic and only cost £8. The colour is off-white with faint grey stripes and it’s also mid-length. The cotton is rougher and not the soft cotton we usually find with high-street brand shirts. But I love it! I find this material is better quality and warmer for the winter.

But the best thing…it is one of a kind! Just can’t beat the feeling of owning a piece that is unique to you and that is also funding work to tackle issues such as poverty and education.

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5 Reasons to buy Kidswear from Oxfam Online 

Hi, I’m Joanne Ginley. I’m a sometime blogger and volunteer at Oxfam Online.

Ask anyone who knows me and they will confirm clothes shopping is my favourite hobby! I love nothing more than scouring the shops or searching online for a real bargain. Firm believer in the power of accessories and currently developing a real liking for homeware. Today I’ve focused on the joys of Kidswear as Oxfam are currently promoting their children’s products in the run up to the summer holidays. These are my 5 reasons to buy children’s clothes from Oxfam Online, got any to add? Please feel free to comment!

Shop Quality Kids Clothing With the Oxfam Online Shop

5 Reasons to buy Kidswear from Oxfam Online 

Here at Oxfam Online we stock over 1,000 items of new and second-hand kids’ clothing and with new pieces being added daily we turn looking for a bargain into an online treasure hunt! And if that’s not enough to tempt you, here are our top 5 reasons why shopping with us makes perfect sense:

1: Designer gems: Did you know we sell designer items at a fraction of the RRP? Our selection is constantly changing but popular brands we often stock include Ralph Lauren, Barbour and Burberry. Perfect for picking something up for your mini-me!

Designer Kids Wear from Oxfam Online Shop

2: Brand new items: You won’t just find second-hand goods on the site we also have a selection of BNWT pieces – available at a fraction of the RRP and perfect for gifting.

3: Huge choice: We stock items for all ages; from babies to teenagers. Every parent knows how quickly kids grow out of their clothes, so finding quality clothing at affordable prices is a must. You will find a treasure trove of items online from cute formalwear to casual essentials, shoes, accessories, seasonal must-haves and everything in between. Our website is easy to navigate and you can shop from the comfort of your own home – without having to visit the shops with the kids!

Find Unique Items for Kids From Oxfam Online Shop

4: Unique pieces: Looking for something a bit different? You will also find unique hand-made pieces that no other child has in their wardrobe, including handmade knitted jumpers and vintage childrenswear.

5: Making a difference: By buying from Oxfam you are supporting our work fighting poverty in Britain and around the world. Because of you we can provide clean water for communities, campaign for girls around the world to be educated and help get women into work. Thank you for your support, we won’t live with poverty and we know you won’t either.

Help Fund Life Saving Support for Children Facing Poverty Worldwide

So have a look at the Online Shop and see what treasure you can find for your little ones! Don’t forget to share pictures of your best finds with us on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook using #foundinoxfam

Shop Quality Kids Clothing With the Oxfam Online Shop

 

How to Make a DIY Rug From Old T-Shirts

Blog By Upcycling Volunteer Sophie Burton

As a volunteer at Oxfam Online Batley Hub I was challenged to upcycle something from the rejected products that gets donated to us. As this is such a great way to recycle t-shirt fabric and make something new I decided to share it with you all.

My Idea: To make a rug. But not a regular rug, more of a quirky style rug that is different and unique. So my idea was to get lots of different jerseys and cotton blended fabric, cut them up into 1-2 inch strands and plait to make a continuous yarn. Once done I wound it together on top of an anti slip material to form the shape of a mat. My idea was to make something that would have been rejected or thrown away into a ready to use item. I have written down the steps below if you want to make a one-of-a-kind rug of your own!

My Rug

What You Need:

  •           Old T-shirts (To create a door-mat sized rug like mine I suggest 6-10 T-shirts, for a smaller table mat you should only need 3 T-shirts)
  •           Non-slip floor matting in a large enough size to create the base of your mat.
  •           Needle and thread
  •           Hot Glue Gun

Step 1: Find a variety of jersey fabric materials that include T-shirts, both long sleeve and short sleeve. Look for bright colours and stripes but avoid complex patterns and these do not work as well. Find a mid-stretch fabric, not too stretchy but not tight that it has no give. Try asking your local Oxfam if you could buy some of the damaged clothing that gets donated to them.

Step 2: Cut the shirts!!! To get the most out of one T-shirt I suggest that you cut across the t-shirt but leave a 1 inch space and don’t cut through. Do this to the whole shirt and carry on cutting to the end once below the sleeves. When you’ve done this, open the shirt up to the part that is all still attached and cut across diagonally. I found this tutorial by My Poppet really helpful in creating my yarn.

Make Your Own T-Shirt Yarn

Step 3: Once you have a length of yarn, start to roll it up into balls. This makes the next step easier as you can see what you’re working with and it makes sure that everything isn’t getting knotted. It is also good to make up some cool colour ways.

Step 4: Once you have all your yarn balls you can then start to plait them together using a normal three strand plait. Sew the 3 pieces of yarn together across the top keeping it as flat as possible – this makes the next few steps less fiddly and gives you more yarn to work with.

Make Your Own Upcycled Fabric Rug

Step 5:  You can now start to lay out your yarn to get a feel for what style and shape you want! I chose an oval style square shape that would make a door mat. I started off by laying my plaited yarn onto non slip material which can be sourced cheap off line or at a general shop.

Wound Rug

Step 6: Gluing. For this I used a hot glue, I cut out a rectangle of the non slip and started in the middle in a circular pattern. Once my circle reached the edges then I laid to pieces of straight yarn above and below the circle, I then went round the circle and created semi circles shapes to fit into the lines above.

There you have it – all finished! You can now enjoy your new mat. Hope you liked this tutorial and please share if you make it! Tweet @OxfamFashion #foundinoxfam

DIY T-shirt Rug

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Espadrille: Mixing and Matching New and Old for My Own Twist On The Trend

I think I’ve always had a bit of an eye for spying the latest trend, be it the neon new rave fad of 2007 (cue that klaxon noise), or the bell bottom trend last Summer – Or more recently, the cropped denim jean/culotte look du jour.

 

When I noticed (how could you not?) the espadrille trend growing ever more apparent on my Instagram feed and usual online haunts, I immediately started to seek out the best pair I could. The ever-so-trendy espadrille, worn by the likes of a la mode French fashion bloggers, Jeanne Damas, Adenorah and Camille Charriere, of course I had to have a pair. I went for a navy pair in a low wedge and teamed it with a vintage black and white 4 buttoned shirt I got in Oxfam a few years ago and vintage Levi jeans.

The epitome of french cool, not only are they some of the comfiest shoes I’ve ever owned, they are perfect for the inevitable transition from relaxed day time attire of cropped denim jeans and t shirt, to partying the night away in, without the risk of blisters!

Oxfam Polka Dot Blouse

Mix and Match - Preloved and brand new

Trends from Charity Shops

Elizabeth Miles and Oxfam Fashion

Shoes

I’m wearing: Blue espadrilles in Navy – Shirt: Oxfam – Jeans: Vintage Levi’s.

All photo’s by Alex Amoros

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