Scarlet Vintage and Retro, Harlow and on Vinted
Customers travel hundreds of miles to this award-winning charity shop, which raises funds for St Clare Hospice in Essex and boasts an in-house seamstress and vintage wedding boutique. Its loyal fans include visitors to the Revival. “They purchase their outfits from us,” says store manager Tracey Chippett. “They are so happy to show us their photos when they visit again.”
Best item sold? “One of our customers had just celebrated her fiftieth wedding anniversary and wanted to donate her wedding dress. She also donated her going away outfit along with her negligee set. We created a beautiful window display showcasing her collection along with her [wedding] photographs. “It was such a privilege to receive her wonderful donations and pass her story to our customers.”
Shelter, Forrest Road, Edinburgh
“We are right in the centre of Edinburgh and benefit from a diverse and vibrant community with a very eclectic taste,” says community shop manager Margarida Jorge. “A lot of art college students with a keen eye for fashion as well as vintage style aficionados local to the historical city centre love a browse through our shop.
“With this customer and donor community supporting us, our stock is always full of surprises, and we never know what treasures we will have for sale: from pristine 1970s Laura Ashley to World War II collectables to Y2K trendy-again pieces, we get it all through the door every single day.”
Best item sold? “A spectacular 1970s white Gunne Sax layered lace dress sold during the Fringe festival [which we sold] to an international visitor. They definitely had to get extra luggage for that one!”
Oxfam, nationwide and online
A pioneer of specialised charity shops, Oxfam has vintage stores in cities including Liverpool and Manchester, its own superstore in Oxford and boutiques offering curated collections of vintage alongside contemporary fashion in locations from Westbourne Grove, London, to Holywood, Belfast. Plus its online store has a vintage section, described by Revival style advisor Bay Garnett as “a brilliantly kept secret”.
Best item sold? “I think the most valuable vintage item was a 1970s Ossie Clark maxi dress, which sold online a number of years ago to a customer in China,” says Ged from the Liverpool Bold Street shop. “The dress was beautiful and she was absolutely delighted with it. It sold for £1,000 so we were hugely grateful to the person who donated it to us, as well as the buyer.”
Some items end up closer to home. “One of our customers found the exact vintage skirt her great aunt wore in the 1950s,” says Holywood store manager Fiona Anderson. “We had the skirt in the shop for a while, it was obviously waiting for our customer Estelle’s visit.
“Estelle said, ‘I really love this skirt. I think my auntie would have been just as amazed as me at this find and it will make me think of her every time I wear it.’
Learn how to spot such a fashion treasure with advice from Revival style advisor Bay Garnett.
This year at the Revival, Dandy Wellington will lead the Vintage Style Not Vintage Values series of talks in the Revive and Thrive Village. Book your tickets now for a chance to meet his wonderful community of vintage icons.