Styled for Good

The Oxfam Online Story 

Photo courtesy of Julia Fullerton-Batten and Oxfam.

Have you discovered the wonderful and ethical treasure trove of Oxfam Online yet? I came across it for the first time last month and have been extremely impressed, both with its range of items and its customer service. All this - and the money you spend there goes to a range of vital projects around the world, so that's a real "win-win" in my book.

So exactly what is Oxfam Online all about?

It is the UK's biggest charity shop with thousands of unique treasures in one place, from the Oxfam Unwrapped range of charity gifts to more than 100,000 unique second hand items. There are over 50,000 books, 23,000 women's clothing and accessories, 13,000 items of music, films and video games and 6,000 items of homewares and collectibles. So, plenty of choice for everyone!

Oxfam shops across the country upload new items to the site every day, and volunteers at two central hubs, based in Milton Keynes and Batley, Yorkshire, upload thousands of new items a week.

One of the best things about Oxfam's Online Shop is the huge range of clothes it stocks.  Customers can expect to find garments across the whole range of designers and retailers - from Armani and Stella McCartney to Reiss, Top Shop, H&M, Zara and Boden. There is also a huge vintage collection which spans the decades of style and is sure to reveal some unique gems for those keen to develop their own unique look.

APhoto courtesy of Julia Fullerton-Batten and Oxfam.nd the benefits for customers?

Variety - it's like visiting a hundred shops in one place. And you're sure to be able to put together a quality outfit that no-one else is wearing, plus for just a fraction of the original retail price.

We love the fact that Oxfam Online is always adding new items of clothing to their shop - so there are always new things to explore! How many other retailers can claim to add new items every single day?

We also love the convenience - shopping from the comfort of your own home, avoiding the crowds and with the ability to access a range of hidden gems from stores all around the country.

Jill Hocking, Shops Marketing Coordinator at Oxfam, told us what a new customer could expect to find.

"If you haven't visited the Oxfam Online Shop before, you will be taken aback by how many items are on there. It's a complete treasure trove, with so much opportunity to find either your favourite brand or a category that you love."

"Personally, I love Topshop, but it's a bit too expensive for me now. I searched Topshop on the Online Shop out of curiosity and found some gorgeous and cheap Topshop products on there! To buy something you know you'll love, and be helping a good cause, it's kind of amazing!"

Emma Fabian, Press Officer at Oxfam, told us, "Oxfam Online really has got something for everyone and therefore attracts a range of customers, all looking for something different."

You can see some examples of customer stories below........

Photo Courtesy of Julia Fullerton-Batten and Oxfam.

But it doesn't stop with women's fashion/accessories......

Other sections of Oxfam Online offer a wide selection of menswear, children's clothes, books, music and other household items. I've tracked down some of my favourite books from Oxfam over the last few months, in addition to a beautiful Boden dress, an immaculate and gorgeous Reiss jacket, Whistles trousers and a linen summer jacket from Hobbs.

Oxfam told us, "It's a vast online emporium where fashion lovers, bookaholics and music fans can lose themselves in the comfort of their own homes and find the one-of-a-kind items they are looking for.  Shoppers can seek and discover everything from vintage crockery to box sets, cameras and capes, and fight poverty at the same time."

Oxfam's Exciting New Advertising Campaign....

A stunning new advertising campaign, shot by leading photographer Julia Fullerton-Batten, and featuring real online shoppers, showcases some of the 100,000 items available at the Oxfam Online Shop.

The campaign was shot at Milton Point in Milton Keynes, one of Oxfam's two sorting centres.  Julia Fullerton-Batten transformed the warehouse into a magical wonderland to create images with the incredible lighting and sense of mystery she is known for.

Photo courtesy of Julia Fullerton-Batten and Oxfam.

"I wanted to tell stories and create mini fantasy worlds,' says Julia, who has won a string of prestigious awards. "Each image shows that the Oxfam Online Shop is where bookworms, vintage lovers and vinyl aficionados can indulge their imaginations and passions."

The campaign features real Oxfam Online Shop shoppers - each of whom is proud of their individual style and has a personal reason for shopping at Oxfam.

The Customers

Geraldine Coles, 47, lecturer and mother of three appears at the top of this article with her daughter Issey, 11. Geraldine says the online shop helped her regain her identity and confidence after having children.   "My mood was a bit flat and I worried that my body was a weird shape. But being able to browse when the kids were in bed reignited my curiosity and enthusiasm about fashion. The prices meant I could afford to experiment and regenerate my wardrobe," she says. "I look at the vintage section. The back-story of the clothing fascinates me. I've found beautiful, hand-stitched items that someone has clearly spent a lot of time over. And I think, 'Who made that? Where did it come from?"

Holly Rothwell, 30, a shop manager at Oxfam's Online Hub in Batley and photographed in a vintage dress and feather hat (Picture 2 above) says, "The online shop is a great way to recreate catwalk trends at an affordable price. I believe in shopping ethically, and the online shop allows me to fulfil my passion without a guilty feeling. It's a veritable treasure trove of unexpected and delightful vintage finds. I'm passionate about textiles and fashion. I believe in shopping ethically and the online shop allows me to fulfil my passion."

Photo courtesy of Julia Fullerton-Batten and Oxfam.Erisa Musana, 29, a volunteer clinical support worker (Picture 3) is originally from Uganda. Erisa goes to the Oxfam Online Shop not only for its unique and colourful stock, but also because his purchases fight poverty.  "I've seen suffering," he says. "By shopping at Oxfam I know I'm helping people. Every item feels different. I'll look for t-shirts, shoes, shirts - anything bright or really unique. I don't like wearing what everyone else wears. When I buy things from the online shop it feels like a special item."

Marie Watts, 57, a teaching assistant from Peterborough (Picture 4) loves the online shop for its thousands of affordable dresses and separates. "I have my own, quite classic style, and I'm a bit of a dress fan," Marie says. "The first place I'd look is a charity shop - Oxfam Online being my favourite - because it means you're not wearing something everyone else is wearing."

Charlotte Cullinan, 40, a seamstress from Northampton (Picture 5) loves books and textiles. "I love being able to buy fabrics online to make a dress, gown, coat or whatever takes my fancy," she says. I'm also a little bit of a bookaholic - I've always got a book on the go. That I can get them online, second hand is just perfect."

Joe Marshall, 28, an account manager at Oxfam GB (Picture 6) spends a significant proportion of his free time browsing for vinyl.  "It's like walking into a record store and not knowing what you're going to find -that discovery and sense of the unknown," Joe says. "There's always the chance you'll stumble across some obscure gem that you thought you'd never get hold of."

Stylists on the shoot, Alice Wilby, Bel Jacobs and Hannah Felce, and hair and make-up artist Lauren Kay, used clothes and props from Oxfam's online and high street shops to create looks that represented the passions and personalities of each of the models.

There really is something for everyone, all in one place, at www.oxfam.org.uk/shop Why not take a look and see what you can track down?

Photos are reproduced by kind permission of the photographer - Julia Fullerton-Batten - and Oxfam.

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