Let Collectively.org's fashion ed Vikki Knowles be your guide to avoiding the January sales wasteland
The sales are the one thing we look forward to in January. Trouble is, they encourage us to spend even more money (argh!) even though we're pretty broke from Christmas (arghhh!) and feeling guilty about buying more stuff (triple argh!). Nevertheless, there are ways to enjoy the January sales free of pangs of conscience. Here's how to grab a bargain without adding to the planet's consumer-driven collateral damage.
High street charity stores
There'll be unwanted, mint-condition gifts galore - perfect for those pesky pals born in January. Trinity Hospice and Fara on the Northcote Road in Battersea are our regular stomping grounds.
Charity shops online
Avoid going outside altogether (hey, it's cold innit) by shopping at charity shops' online stores. Oxfam.org is a good 'un.
Charity furniture shops
Moving out, moving on? Swap the trip to Ikea or John Lewis for a stroll to British Heart Foundation to kit yourself out with everything from toasters to sofas for less than a ton. If you're getting rid of your current furniture, BHF will collect it for free, too.
Even the smallest of stores, the ones that are like 'we're closed until January 10, happy holidays!', will probably have a mid-January sale. Pick up sustainable and ethically traded stuff at good prices. Broadway Market's 69B Boutique has one of the best selections of stylish, ethical fashion.
That goes for these guys too. If new, sustainable fashion isn't usually in your budget, use January to buy some quality fair-trade or eco-friendly clobber. For example, you could make a splash at your local lido in an Auria cossie made from recycled fishing nets.
Give one to buy one
Do good while you declutter. Make it a rule to tell yourself that to buy anything you have to donate something from your bulging wardrobe first. A lot of brands have in-store collections for your old togs, including H&M, Marks & Spencer and & Other Stories.