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Designer items for charity shop prices

PUBLISHED: 15:15 02 April 2008 | UPDATED: 14:31 07 July 2010

Aquascutum, Hugo Boss, and Frank Usher, are all designer labels whose stores grace the fashion conscious cities of London, New York and Paris.

They are glamorous clothes revered the world over, regularly appearing on catwalks and coveted by many.

Aquascutum, Hugo Boss, and Frank Usher, are all designer labels whose stores grace the fashion conscious cities of London, New York and Paris.

They are glamorous clothes revered the world over, regularly appearing on catwalks and coveted by many.

But with price tags easily stretching into hundreds of pounds, for many owning an Aquascutum mac or Hugo Boss suit, is a distant dream.

Now nestled between the local fish and chip shop and bookies, one Norfolk market town charity shop is offering brand new designer clothes at considerably slashed prices.

It may seem heaven for the shopaholics among us but with Frank Usher dresses retailing at about £300, on sale at Dereham Barnardo's for under £40, even the bank manager will stay happy.

The pioneering concept was the brainchild of store manager Joyce Webster, who started approaching companies for clothes when she realised they were sick of being asked for money.

“Every time we approached businesses we got a weary reply. It was such a tired old tradition. Companies prefer to give items like clothes because it's a different way of helping.

“They get their unused items sold and we raise money. Nothing goes to waste. It's a really rather green idea.

“In the end we had so many offers I thought we could just sell new clothes.”

Now internationally famous companies such as Levi, Yves St Laurent, Juicy Couture, and Burberry all regularly send bags, clothes, shoes and accessories to the store, along with high street retailers Topshop, Urban Outfitters, Dorothy Perkins, O'Neill and Long Tall Sally.

In fact the idea has spawned four other Barnardo's stores across the country all selling new designer donations, including books, bric-a-brac and CDs.

Mrs Webster said: “We get so many amazing pieces through here but we never know what's coming. Each fortnight when we get a delivery it's like Christmas.

“Looking through the boxes and discovering all these hidden gems, it's fantastic. Part of the deal though is that we have to cut out the labels. It's the hardest part of the job. Cutting out a Juicy Couture or Burberry label and not being able to advertise that we have it.

“I don't think everyone realises that while we're a charity shop we're selling gifts in kind. People often quibble about the fact a bag is £15 instead of £5 like other charity shops. That's when I try to explain it's a new Burberry bag and will usually sell for thousands of pounds.”

Dereham Barnardo's shop will only be launching stocking only brand new items from next week.

The charity shop is still accepting donations of goods to be sold at other branches.

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