In my experience everyone loves a bargain, so what could be better than a charity shop where everything is a bargain all of the time? Nothing. Nothing is the correct answer. Now please excuse me while I state the obvious but obviously being a charity all of the profit goes to helping others which is obviously a super bonus. Also in a sort of less overt way you are also helping the planet by re-using and recycling. Lovely.
So as a lover of feeling good and spending less, I have been perusing Dublin's charity shops for many, many years. I find the best way to tackle their hit and miss nature is just to pop in while you're passing by. This way there's no disappointment when you don't find anything, only delightful surprise when you do. Hurrah!
In the picture below you will see a collection of my all time favourite finds. Including a bright orange velvet jacket remade from old curtains (Enable Ireland, Capel Street, €12.50), a shell art rabbit (Enable Ireland, Georges Street, €3.50) and a feathered hat (Wa-Wa, Aungier Street, €10.00). I never knew that I needed these items but now I feel, with only slight exaggeration, that I couldn't live without them.
If you haven't experienced the highs and lows of charity shopping then here are my top five charity shops in the city centre to get you started...
Oxfam Home, Francis Street.
I rarely need a three piece settee or turn of the century dining room table but somehow I find myself standing in Oxfam Home admiring such items alarmingly frequently while I consider my poor finances.
You will see beautiful things, and you will want them. Be prepared to have to converse at length with your inner id:
“Oh but that dark mahogany letter writing desk will look just perfect in the east wing!”
“We haven't got an east wing. We live in a studio apartment...”
“Oh tut tut, don't be so negative.” You have been warned.
St.Vincent de Paul, Aungier Street.
The only charity shop I know that is constantly having sales with balloons at the door and a CD player playing all your favourite hits from the 90's.
You know that blouse you were just considering? Well it was €2, now only €1! Oh all right then, have it for 75cent!
Ritzy Rags, Bolton Street.
This is the strangest of all the charity shops in the city. A rare breed where everything is beautifully organised and, unexpectedly enough, comes from Paris - Paris, France! How chic! There'll be no raggedy old Dunnes Stores numbers to be found here. I have heard tales of beautiful designer gear being discovered unassumingly and, of course, neatly folded in a box (although Ritzy Rags is a bit of a mysterious establishment and these could be urban legends).
Enable Ireland, Georges Street.
I don't know who does the window display here but kudos. I can't pass without gawking.
Age Action, Camden Street.
First of all, like Ritzy Rags, Age Action supports the elderly which is a great thing. Secondly, I'm not a fan of its recent make over. I feel like the white wash floors and window display took away some of the charm of the place. Is that just me being weird? Probably is. They also have copped on to Oxfam's (the one on Georges Street) idea of creating a pricier vintage section. I haven't placed that particular Oxfam on my list as it is sort of “The Ritz” of the city centre charity shop circuit- meaning nice but over priced. Of course a charity shop that is over priced is still cheap in the scheme of things. I've gone off point, but basically Age Action is a great.