My Favourite Vintage Finds from ReFashion: Oxford’s Sustainable Fashion Event for 2017

ReFashion took place on Saturday in Oxford Town Hall, an event dedicated to encouraging people to reuse and upcycle their clothes for a more sustainable way of life. Oxfam Broad Street were lucky enough to be invited to take part in the event and as I am a long time shop volunteer I headed down to help on the stall. When we arrived, we discovered we were even luckier as we had the best position in the whole venue – we were right next to the cake sale! Yum! After setting up the stand and munching my way through a slice of vegan chocolate and raspberry cake I looked around at the other stalls.

The venue had an amazing atmosphere being full of ethical pioneers and independent business women selling their own crafts. Some of my favourite crafts included notebooks with old Monopoly and Cluedo cards as covers and some reusable fabric sandwich bags made by a woman wearing the most fantastic dungarees I’ve ever seen made from an old bedspread. A large corner of the venue held a clothes swap and there was a catwalk where primary schools, design colleges and independent designers showed their upcycled clothing throughout the day. 

Our stall had a flow of customers with our first sale happening within five minutes of the event opening. We had lots of people coming over to the stand to admire the amazing picks that our manager Dage had selected from the shop’s donations. I have picked out a few of my favourites from our stand to share with you all. It was a tricky decision to choose what pieces to feature as there were so many unique and beautiful items on our stall, all selling to help fight poverty. My ultimate favourite piece was a pale blue
boned and petticoated ballgown featuring blue and yellow flowers which I was incredibly tempted to buy just for the purpose of putting on in my bedroom and spinning around in it screaming “I’m a princess!” like a 3-year-old.  However, I decided it was far too nice to be hidden away in my wardrobe and I hope it will have found a worthy home where a genuine Cinderella can wear it to their ball!

Three of our favourite accessories, gloves, jewllery and bags

Three of our favourite dresses and gowns

Three of our favourite tops, waistcoats, cardigans and jackets

Three of our favourite skirts

Photos of Oxford Town Hall and our stall on the day of ReFashion

We feel that the day was a success and hope that those of you who attended will agree. Oxfam was honoured to share our passion for sustainable fashion with a such an amazing group of like-minded people and hope to see you all again next year!

You might also like: 

How to shop vintage headerThis Old Thing header

How to Shop Vintage                                                Oxfam and Dawn O’Porter

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Bridal Pop Up Shop Behind The Scenes

In celebration of Oxfam’s first ever Bridal pop up shop at Batley on the 25th of March 2017 our Sustainable Fashion Events Specialist, Deborah Anderson, is sharing her advice for brides-to-be with us in this series of Oxfam Wedding Blog Posts. Find more details of the event here 


Have you ever wanted to try on all of the vintage bridal gowns Oxfam has to offer in one day; just to see how you’ll look in each style? Well, now you can! Oxfam are ready to launch their premiere Bridal Pop-Up Shop on the 25th March 2017… and we’re now able to offer you a sneak peek behind the scenes.

You may not know this! Shh! Oxfam has a huge bridal showroom (in Batley, near Leeds). Its scale and range is one-of-a-kind in the UK. It’s here, at this showroom, that we’ll be opening our doors for one day only on 25th March.

For weeks, Natalie and I have been carefully curating the most beautiful, rare and unusual bridal pieces. This is quite a challenge considering the hundreds of items we have to choose from. We can’t help falling in love with each one! We’re catering to every shape and size of woman; whether you love the curvy fit ‘n’ flare shapes of the 1950s, or the slim, column shapes and mermaid hems of contemporary looks.

Our speciality really is the array of vintage styles we can offer, from the antique 1920’s silk slip dress through to the stunning all-over lace maxi gowns of the 1970s. With the best of the nation’s donations to hand, we can help you source a truly show stopping vintage or BNWT designer piece at a fraction of the cost.

If it’s the wedding décor that’s still on the to-do list, Natalie has also been unearthing a treasure trove of wedding venue treats. How about some vintage linen tablecloths, neatly embroidered with bright flowers, or antique lace doilies to create a centre piece or wedding favours?

In case you were wondering, my role has been looking after the day hospitality (sparkly drinks, cupcakes and goody bags!) It’s a hard life, I know! I’ve been super busy promoting the event itself, making sure that we all have a fun-filled day with lots of laughter, and lots of happy brides-to-be! Sally has been helping me do this with some amazing shots for social media!

Don’t forget, Oxfam’s Bridal Pop Up Shop is not only a chance to find an inimitable wedding dress, but an opportunity to make a real impact on ending poverty. Did you know that by purchasing your wedding dress from Oxfam you could provide, for example, clean and safe water for 200 people?

If you like what you’ve seen so far, follow us on Twitter @OxfamOnlineBTLY  or Facebook @OxfamOnline.Batley for more behind-the-scenes updates and inspirational bridal looks.

Can’t wait till the event? Check out our online collection.

Go to the Oxfam Online Shop

Clothes Show Live: Oxfam Top Picks

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For the last few days we have been at Clothes Show Live displaying the best of Oxfam to the hoards of fashionista’s that flood into Birmingham’s NEC over the long weekend. The Oxfam Shop at stall No.B605 can be found brimming with sparkly vintage pieces, cropped jackets and jumpers along with dazzling accessories, hats and scarves. Take a look at our top picks from the shop : )

Go to the Oxfam Online Shop

Go to the Oxfam Online Shop

If you are visiting Clothes Show Live over the next couple of days- make sure you check out The Oxfam Shop at Stall B605. If you like what you see but can’t make it to the show, check out our stock on the Oxfam Online Shop : )

Go to the Oxfam Online Shop

Clothes Show Live: Style Spotted

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This weekend we were at Clothes Show Live and the fashionista’s were out in force! Check out some of our style spots…

Charlotte Sykes wears all vintage. She doesn’t think too much about style but instead tends to just throw things together- we think this method is working very well for her! Loving the hat!

Naomi Mullings tells us how she likes to dress simply and then bling up her outfits with lots of statement jewellery. We love her simply polka-dot shirt and jeans combo!

Go to the Oxfam Online Shop

Daniella Verrilla from Shrewsbury wears clashing patterns, chunky faux-fur and leather- some of our absolute faves!

Harley Howitt-Smith likes to shop in charity shops and find things from her Nana’s wardrobe. Her advice to shoppers is to be true to yourself- as long as you like it, that’s all that matters! We are loving her monochrome look!

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Danielle lawson, an Oxfam volunteer, likes to make a lot of her own clothes. Her advice to shoppers is to be unique and find things that no one else has. She likes to shop in Oxfam, her local factory seconds store and vintage clothes shops. She is also setting up an upcycling website:

Rosie Bishop looks stunning and elegant in her hand made headband. her advice to shoppers is to follow the heart… Looking angelic Rosie!

Go to the Oxfam Online Shop

Here are some of our other style spots : )

Oxfam Gerrards Cross: Little Black Dress Event

This is the time of year when we are well and truly in party mode! This gives us the perfect excuse to get out and go shopping for some fabulous new frocks… Gerrards Cross Oxfam are holding their annual Little Black Dress event on November 21st where they will be showcasing their seasonal party wear. 

During the evening, volunteers shall be modelling a selection of sparkly and seasonal party outfits perfect for your upcoming social events. This fashion show will be quite the event with volunteers on hand to offer drinks and canapés to all those in attendance… Sounds like quite the night! Don’t miss out!

Oxfam Skegness showcases its fashions!

Oxfam Skegness is holding a special evening wear event on October 23rd from 6-8pm.

The event will be held in the shop and will be showcasing the amazing fashionable donations the team have been collecting for the past few weeks – everything from Louboutin to Karen Millen, Marks & Spencer to Warehouse.

Shop manager Sue Ray, said: “We decided to hold the event to show off some of the great finds you can get at Oxfam. We set up a display asking for evening wear and we’ve been overwhelmed with the amount of quality donations coming in. I’ve never seen so many!”

If you’d like to attend the event Oxfam Skegness’ details can be found here.

Here are some of the great items you can expect to find!

Linsey visits the Oxfam Shop at the Festival of Thrift

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The UK’s first Festival of Thrift took place at Lingfield Point, Darlington over the weekend of the 21st and 22nd September, curated by Wayne Hemingway MBE and Gerardine Hemingway MBE. The festival was a celebration of a thrifty lifestyle and common sense living including upcycling, recycling, and finding the fun in a sustainable living.

The festival was a celebration of what is important in life, getting everyone involved, making and creating to save cash whilst being more conscious of the environment and having fun.

The Oxfam Shop, put together by Oxfam Durham Boutique and Oxfam Darlington, was on hand for everyone’s vintage needs and filled with super stylish items. It was situated on the Village Green area near the charityshopdjs, so you could dance while you browsed. There was everything from picnic sets, gorgeous and glamorous coats, leather jackets, feather hats and much more. Here’s a small selection of the delights on offer…

The site was huge with various sections; Village Green, Memphis promenade, Beehive, studios and more, each with different activities to get involved with and that’s exactly what people did. There was everything from artwork, roving street performers, exhibitions, workshops, theatre, pop up restaurants, food and market stalls to name a few.


The great thing about the festival of thrift was the sense of community spirit and fun throughout the site. Everyone got involved and took part, helped along by all the great games on the Village Green and workshops on site. There was paper hat making, snakes and Ladders, Hula Hooping, dancing and craft creations taking place.


There were thrifty ideas and inspiration throughout the festival with several free workshops that you could get involved with, learn a new skill and make something to take home with you. The first festival of thrift was a great start to something that will hopefully grow into something more, inspiring people to get involved and embrace a thriftier lifestyle all year round.

The Oxfam Festival Shop 2013 Round Up

Shop festival fashion

Now Summer is officially over and we’re wrapped up in our scarves and coats, we’re taking a bit of time to reflect on the fantastic Summer the Oxfam Festival Shop had.

After a grand total of…

8 festivals

97 volunteers

56 days away

10 festival shops

31 days trading

… the shop team have raised a whopping £288,000 for Oxfam!

The journey began at Royal Windsor Horse Show – in the Queen’s garden we sold a Mulberry bag for £225, our highest priced item all season!

Across the pond the team set off to Isle of Wight Festival. Over half the team were brand new to the festival shop at IOW so don’t be afraid to try something new, you will meet lots of lovely volunteers.

Next stop, returning after a year break, Glastonbury was back with a bang. This festival saw the birth of the Pom Pom Palace, a shop dedicated to blankets hand knitted by volunteers and all three shops made a record breaking £22,500 in one day.

Latitude was the hottest festival of the season, luckily the volunteer team had a sneaky paddling pool out the back to keep cool!

WOMAD and Kendal Calling fell on the same weekend with an equally spectacular shop at each. WOMAD had a fashion show put on everyday featuring the shop and campaigns team strutting their stuff in Oxfam Festival Shop clothes. 

It was only our second year at Kendal Calling and we saw lots of faces happy to see our waterproofs when it rained like only it can in the Lake District.

Next stop was a very rainy Leeds festival – the muddiest festival of the season! The shop sold 2,700 pairs of wellies and was up 78% on the previous year takings £66k – so busy!

The last stop on the Festival Shop travels was Bestival where scurvy sailors and magical mermaids stocked up on lots of suits and sparkle in line with the festival’s nautical theme. The festival shop looking ship shape to fit in with the HMS theme with volunteer-made bunting and ‘mermaid wear’

Team fash has been lucky to join the fantastic shop on its Summer expeditions and it was great to be welcomed into such a fun and friendly team. Here’s what three of our shop volunteer’s had to say about their Summer with the Oxfam Festival Shop…

Louise Adamson is a Shop Volunteer in Oxfam Richmond, Surrey and said:

This summer was the first time that I worked in the Festival Shop for Oxfam and I was really excited to be picked to work at WOMAD and Bestival. Working in the Festival Shop was a really enjoyable and inspiring experience.  It was great to be part of such a lovely team and to know how much money we were raising to support Oxfam’s work.   Highlights included taking part in the fashion show at WOMAD, sorting numerous wellingtons into pairs and finding warm coats and jumpers for festival goers who’d been out in the rain at Bestival.  I
also enjoyed chatting to customers about Oxfam’s work and encouraging them to visit their local Oxfam when they got home. As I spoke to them I realised that these Festival Shops have a really valuable role in raising Oxfam’s profile.  Soaking up the atmosphere of the two festivals was great fun too and I even got to see some of the acts.  I’ll be taking back lots of ideas from my Festival summer to the shop and the other volunteers at Oxfam Richmond.   All in all, this was a great experience and the most inspiring thing of all was to know that the Shops
raised such a fantastic amount of money for Oxfam.

Padraig Spillane is also a Shop Volunteer at Oxfam Blandford, Dorset. He said:

Working in the Festival Shop this summer had been a great experience, fun and satisfying! At the beginning of the year I was new to my Oxfam shop in Blandford, learning a large amount in a short space of time. The festival shop expanded and sped this up, using the skills I have despite not having vast experience. This trust has been priceless and has allowed me to gain great working experience. In addition to this, it was wonderful how easy it was to become a part of the team. It has also provided a unique way of meeting and changing customer perceptions of Oxfam
through engaging with such diverse customer base. It has been the best summer I’ve ever had and I’ve loved all its ups and downs from the sunshine at Latitude and Glastonbury to the mud and rain at Leeds!

Matt Evans from Leeds is a Festival Shop team regular and said:

2013 was my seventh season volunteering with the Oxfam festival shop – it is increasingly difficult to imagine a summer without it. As always, volunteering in the festival shop was characterised by a combination of hard work, fun, mud and coffee – with the overarching theme of raising money and awareness for Oxfam present throughout. It is always good to meet new people and it is especially encouraging to meet people in local Oxfam shops who have become regular customers or volunteers after going to the festival shop.

Huge thanks and high fives to everyone involved in this Summer’s events and to all who visited the fabulous Oxfam Festival Shop. Huge CONGRATULATIONS to the Oxfam Festival Shop team for a great grand total of £288,000!

Back of the Wardrobe brings London Fashion Week to Oxfam

Shop festival fashion
This London Fashion Week SS14, Emma from The Back of the Wardrobe and her team bring us something a little different – Oxfam Versus London Fashion Week .

Stylist Emma Slade set her team a challenge – to recreate London Fashion Week looks, just moments after they appear on the LFW live stream, using only the clothing available in an Oxfam shop. Did they prove that you don’t need a big budget to be on trend? That fashion is for everyone and that clothing reuse can be cooler than you ever imagined?

Watch Emma and her team at work; see whether they managed to do it and which designers were recreated in the final film here

Here’s a look at the six catwalk inspired outfits styled by the BOW team…

Inspired by Holly Fulton SS14 (Left Image Credit:

Inspired by Sister by Sibling SS14 (Left Image Credit:

Inspired by Sister by Sibling SS14 (Left Image Credit:

Inspired by Zoe Jordan SS14 (Left Image Credit:

Inspired by Zoe Jordan SS14 (Left Image Credit:

Inspired by Zoe Jordan SS14 (Left Image Credit:

Do you think this Back of the Wardrobe #charityfashionlive looks beat last years? What’s your favourite look?