Amy Wilkinson started posting videos of things she bought in Nottinghamshire charity shops on TikTok after she was inspired by similar accounts on the platform.
Little did she know her videos would end up going viral.
But that is exactly what happened to the mother of two from Southwell, Nottinghamshire, after she uploaded a video exploring Nottinghamshire charity shops on TikTok.
Using the account @PaleandThrifty, Amy also offer tips to those who want to get more bang for their buck especially as household costs continue to rise.
Amy has managed to reach hundreds of thousands of accounts, and she said taking the leap to shopping in charity shops has changed her life and on an off the social media platform.
“It really has transformed the way I shop. My friends now shop in charity shops too,” she said.
“I was shocked how many people my age use them.”
Mind, the mental health charity in England and Wales, have revealed that just under half of us are shopping more in charity shops due to the cost of living crisis.
Amy said she has seen a difference in the types of people using charity shops too.
“I was really shy about looking around at first.
“And I was shocked how many people my age use them and how many big brands donate clothes to them too,” she said.
That same report from Mind revealed that, despite more of us choosing to spend our money in charity shops, only around 13% of us that use those shops would buy gifts from them for other people.
Amy says she is more than happy to buy gifts second-hand.
Amy Wilkinson on buying gifts second-hand.
Nottinghamshire charity shops like the Lincs & Notts Air Ambulance stores are very grateful for more people opting to buy from their counter.
“Without the shops, we wouldn’t be able to complete our lifesaving missions,” said David Hathersmith, head of retail at the charity.
Those life-saving missions can cost as much as £5000 per trip.
David said he is grateful people are changing their minds when it comes to where they buy their clothes and said he would encourage anyone to try buying gifts from them too.
Amy says she understands the stigma that comes with shopping in these places.
That is why she is glad she created her account and that there are others like hers on TikTok too. She says they are working together to break the stigma around charity shopping and buying second-hand.
Amy’s Top Tips for charity shopping
Look for brands you already shop with, that should make finding your size really easy! And if you get home and it doesn’t fit, you can refund most items.
Feel the material, especially jumpers! You can often find cashmere or lamb’s wool hidden amongst ordinary stock.
Shop early! If you know an event is coming up or a season change is on the way, start shopping. Charity shopping can take a bit more time than fast fashion.
If you’re buying drinking glasses, often charity shops won’t realise they’re selling crystal. If you flick it and it rings, it’s genuine crystal!