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Charity shop fashionista calls on bargain hunters to discover more hidden gems

PUBLISHED: 15:00 12 September 2020

Charity shop fashionista Elene Marsden is calling on the people of Ipswich to go out and find hidden gems  Picture: ST ELIZABETH HOSPICE

Charity shop fashionista Elene Marsden is calling on the people of Ipswich to go out and find hidden gems Picture: ST ELIZABETH HOSPICE

ST ELIZABETH HOSPICE

An Ipswich-based charity shop fashion guru is calling on more people in the town to go out hunting for hidden gems.

St Elizabeth Hospice has been taking between 700 to 1,000 bags of donations every day  Picture: ST ELIZABETH HOSPICESt Elizabeth Hospice has been taking between 700 to 1,000 bags of donations every day Picture: ST ELIZABETH HOSPICE

Elene Marsden, who runs the Preloved Chica website and Instagram pages, has made the call as charity shops across the town resume trading following the national coronavirus lockdown.

An avid charity shopper for more than 20 years, Mrs Marsden said she was the first person in the queue for St Elizabeth Hospice’s shop in Heath Road on its reopening and is continuing to add to her wardrobe – 95% of which is “preloved”.

Mrs Marsden said: “I have bought so many things from charity shops over the years, including a Giorgio Armani jacket previously owned by English actress, Felicity Kendal. I think 95% of my wardrobe must be preloved!

“I love the variety of clothes you can find in charity shops, this supports my unique style. It’s an exciting way to shop, you never know what you’re going to find.

“It is great if you’re shopping on a budget and of course, you’re helping your local charity too.”

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Mrs Marsden has a particular passion for supporting St Elizabeth Hospice, which cared for her husband Steve until his death in 2017.

The hospice has been receiving between 700 to 1,000 bags of donations every day at its two retail centres in Martlesham Heath and Ipswich, where a newly assembled team places the items in a 72-hour quarantine.

Mrs Marsden added the return to bargain hunting has been a good one thanks to the new safety measures in place which has left her feeling “very comfortable” on her visits.

She said: “Charities like St Elizabeth Hospice rely on fundraising and donations to survive, so I feel it is really important that people venture to their local charity shops to see what they can find.

“By purchasing preloved items you are also helping the environment by keeping clothes out of landfill.

“I can’t encourage others enough to go to their local charity shop to have a rummage around as you never know what you might find. Charity shops are really full of wonderful gems waiting to be rediscovered.”

More information on the safety measures in place – which include one-way traffic and hand sanitising stations – can be found on the hospice’s website.


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