If I need something, I search for it on eBay, Preloved or Gumtree before I search for it anywhere else. Then I head to the vintage, charity and ethical shops (see my guide at the top of the page). I prefer to buy second hand as its cheaper and much better to re-use rather than to re-cycle or worse, chuck away, so I try to encourage this by buying everything I possibly can second hand. I have searches 'saved' on my eBay account for everything from P.O.P baby stuff to vintage pyrex and mid century mirrors so I always know if something good gets listed. I then set an alarm on my phone for 5 minutes before the auction ends, and place my bid in the final 30 seconds.
I love Orla Kiely home ware. I'm particularly enamoured with her bed linen, and have given many a longing glance to the concession in Heals and gazed lustily at the Orla Kiely website. Before Christmas we decided to treat ourselves to a king size duvet cover and pillow cases which we won for for £50, instead of £160. It was brand new in its box and everything. The seller had simply bought the wrong one and lost the receipt. Thank you Ebay.
I've also won some gorgeous baby clothes on ebay recently. A pack of 6 Baby Boden stripy baby grows for £7. Some Scandinavian baby branded vests and baby grows for 99p. A vintage snowsuit for Frankie Rose for 99p.
Vintage snowsuit. Its still a little big for her!
I also bought myself a new coat too. Well, two new coats actually. Firstly, I bought myself a new Gloverall Duffle Coat in the sale. I'd been lusting after one for ages and ended up buying it for £130 instead of £275. Its not second hand, but I didn't feel too bad ethically as its made in the UK, from pure wool, and is pretty indestructible. But it came and wasn't the right shape so I sent it back. And for roughly the same price I bought a red vintage Gloverall duffel coat and a Jack Wills yellow fishermans mac on Ebay. Score. Perhaps keeping the two coats isn't the thriftiest of decisions, but as they came in at the budget we'd set I didn't feel too guilty.
New Yellow Jack Wills mac. Frankie-Rose wanted to be involved in the photo's too!
Vintage Gloverall red duffel coat (and my new jeans too. And a hanger-onner)
My penchant for bulk buying has become somewhat legendary amongst my friends, who mostly think i'm nuts. We buy tons of our food in bulk from Ethical Superstore because it saves money and feels satisfying to fill my pantry. Its also my life's desire to be able to survive in the case of a zombie apocalypse (I'm not kidding. Its a conversation my mister and I have often) or, perhaps more realistically, epic global warming. Let me expostulate about our loo cleaner. I spoil you, I do. 750 ml of our usual Bio D bog cleaner is about £2.56. If I buy 5 litres instead of 750 ml, it saves me about £7.50, which is a massive saving. We usually buy the Machu Pichu Cafe Direct Coffee. One pack is £3.75 but If I buy a case of 6 packs, each bag costs me 3.39, saving me £2.50. Over the year this really mounts up. We are also members of Bookers, a cash and carry as my mister is self employed, and there you can buy stuff like a case of 12 cans of chopped tomatoes for £3. Thriftylicious.
How about you? Found any good eco shops recently? Grabbed any decent sales bargains? Any bulk buying love?!
P.S Any London peeps heading to the Save Lewisham Hospital demo tomorrow? If the A&E and maternity units close, it will affect all of the hospitals in South and South East London! We'll be there if Frankie is better by then (had a nasty temperature).
P.P.S See a glimpse of me and some of my pals in a little video of a buggy flash mob I was part of here