Our CEO Gill Perkins gives some top tips for CHAZZING this Christmas...

The countdown to Christmas has most certainly begun! If you’re anything like me, you may have had a start at buying gifts in the middle of the year – all good intentions – but now that we are less than 5 weeks away, the panic is starting to set in as most gifts remain unbought. 

But perhaps that is a good thing. It’s time to CHAZZ. The art of charity shopping, otherwise known as ‘chazzing’, is an opportunity to go for a preloved and more environmentally friendly Christmas. Christmas may be the season of giving and goodwill, but it’s certainly not the most eco-friendly time of year.

Here are 9 ideas of how you can Chazz this Christmas and make a little difference to the planet and to a good cause…

Christmas Chazzing
Buy at least one preloved gift this year from your local charity shop. If you’re not a charity shop junkie like me, do take the opportunity to pop in to your nearest shop (here’s a link to our shop locations – hint hint!). You will be amazed at the quality and variety of the items on sale – from quirky to glamorous through to practical and educational. I’ve just popped in to one of our shops and bought a pair of brand new Lowe Alpine skiing mittens for my stepson for just £10. You’ll become a serial Chazzer before you know it!

#GoodCauseSantaClaus
If your office or family does a Secret Santa, then why not get involved with the Charity Retail Association’s campaign Good Cause Santa Claus? Instead of picking the usual bottle of wine, expensive book, a box of biscuits or novelty toy, head down into the wonderful world of charity shops. You’ll find a great selection of new items, an amazing selection of preloved books in great condition and unwanted novelty toys from last year’s Secret Santas! And the funds all go to a good cause. Sign up to the campaign here and get some great publicity for your company whilst making a difference. 

Love a good stocking?
Small gifts are often more expensive than big ones, so fill your loved one’s stocking with preloved nonsense and carefully chosen items from a charity shop. Shakespeare Ducks; belts and braces; aromatic tea lights; mini fondue sets…

DIY Christmas
Sew a mini Christmas tree or knit a festive garland under the expert eye of Sue Kibby from Creative Textiles. Sue is running two workshops at our Amen Corner shop on 8th December at 10.30am & 1.30pm

Party Party – Dress to Impress for under £10
Charity shops are treasure troves of beautiful items for your Christmas parties and you’ll never have to wear the same dress twice or turn up in the same off the peg dress as someone else. And we have accessories to die for. Sequins, brands and beads abound…

Festive Jumper Competitions
Look no further than your local charity shop and you’re bound to be the best dressed member of the team for the best price – Rudolph, snowmen, sleigh bells and flashing lights – we’ve got them all – often all on one jumper! Mainly worn just once…recycling at its best!

Glitz and Glamour
Decorate your home with preloved baubles and other random festive items this Christmas. Fill a preloved jar or vase with second hand glass baubles and tinsel or give a new lease of life to a pretty fairy. All our Christmas lights are PAT tested and you might just get a bargain outdoor reindeer if you’re quick…

Sustainable Christmas
Charity Christmas cards are usually environmentally friendly and also help a good cause not just through the funds but also by spreading awareness about the charity. Wandsworth Oasis cards are just £1.50 for 10 cards. I’m going to try reusing last year’s cards as gift labels and make my own cards…lots of Christmas Crafting paraphernalia available in charity shops. All you need is some glue and pinking shears and off you go…

All That Glitters…
Did you know that some of the most expensive wrapping paper is not recyclable? Glitter-decorated and foil-wrapping paper can’t be recycled and needs to go in the general waste. Remove sticky tape and bows from simple paper and recycle if it passes the scrunch test: https://www.recyclenow.com/what-to-do-with/wrapping-paper-1. I’m thinking of using brown paper and seeing what I can find in the shops to decorate or use something from nature.