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Thrift Shop Feat. Your Gibraltar Copywriter

Why volunteering is good for you!

Recently your Gibraltar Copywriter discovered a passion for volunteering. Not only because of the instant high in doing something good, but also the positives gained from social and community involvement. Volunteering provides a great deal of satisfaction, especially in Gibraltar, where the quality of donations is high. Recently, a bag full of D&G dresses, Prada skirts and Max Mara dresses came into the shop, which had my young regular thrift shop clientele drooling. Maybe I charge too little, but seeing their faces when they “pop some tags” and bag a designer dress for a fiver is priceless! One young regular tells me “this blows my mind!” making my efforts as a volunteer incredibly worthwhile.  It is good to take time out of copywriting in Gibraltar to do something big-hearted.

Of course, with every good endeavour, there come drawbacks. One shop I volunteered at calls itself a charity shop. Still, after a couple of months, I left, feeling disillusioned and upset. The shop belongs to the Jewish Community, wishing to raise money for needy Jewish individuals and families who find themselves down on their luck. A worthwhile cause, of course. The longest-serving “volunteer” is a Spanish lady who was recruited by the charity shop founder approximately six years previously. The founder, a well-known and respected Jewish lady, no longer lives in Gibraltar but runs the shop from afar.  For the Spanish lady, the shop has become a place to make easy profits.

She bags the best items for herself to sell at nearby Spanish flea markets and car boot sales. Suppose anything old or antique comes in from donators? In this case, she scuttles along to the local antique dealer to get a price for her ill-gotten goods and sell onto him. She even boasted to me that she managed to get £25 for a set of silver dining knives.  Everything she sells is to line her own pockets. “I have to pay my mortgage” she stated. “Then get a job?” methinks.  In the end, I felt I was merely a volunteer for the charity of her sad, luckless life. Back to the Gibraltar copywriting drawing board! It was nice to get feedback from regular customers that I was sorely missed in the shop and that the quality of items for sale had dropped significantly since my departure.

Taking a break from Copywriting in Gibraltar to help charities

Gibraltar is sorely lacking welcoming charity shops and, consequently, missing an opportunity to raise funds. Given the level and quality of donations, so much more money can be raised.  Several local Gibraltarian ladies tirelessly take many of the contributions to Spain where they are distributed among needy families or shipped to Africa to serve disadvantaged communities.  Also, there is a small mental health charity shop, funded by the Government, which has a cute, boutique-style, with items very carefully laid out. The prices are a bit high, but they do raise a lot of money for their chosen charity.

I wear your granddad’s clothes (Damn right)
I look incredible (C’mon!)
I’m in this big ass coat (Big ass coat)
From that thrift shop down the road

Macklemore & Ryan Lewis

However, the kids that I speak to, they don’t dig it. The feedback I get is that they prefer the pile it high and rummage to find that elusive big ass coat, hunting for a come-up, a vintage t-shirt or great pair of jeans, or your grandad’s coat! Gibraltar needs a whopping charity shop with a vast changing area with mirrors to try on clothes, parade and take instagrammable #thriftshophaul selfies.

The only other charity shop is the altruistic Kishin Alwani Foundation, which I volunteer whenever I can. Still, this shop is microscopic, not enough room for the proverbial cat let alone customers.

Right now, I am petitioning the Government to allow me to lead the way to open another charity shop. The locations are endless. I especially covet the Governors Parade locus, where there are some empty old buildings full of character. I envisage a cool, retro-style vintage style charity shop in the centre of the Square alongside the cafes with locals and tourists heading to hang out and find a bargain.

My short time volunteering has shown me that profits can be tremendous. Donations are free, and an average day results in £50 takings, without any marketing or effort on my part to double or quadruple this amount.

A Gibraltar Copywriter’s charity vision

My vision is to give the youth of Gibraltar a trendy thrift shop they will love and can take part in. As part of many schemes, including the Duke of Edinburgh, kids can volunteer and help with collection and selling donations and potentially doubling profits.

New vintage online sites such as thrifted.com, depop.com, Etsy and eBay are increasing in popularity. However, these remain inaccessible to Gibraltar’s kids due to expensive postage and customs charges.  These are sites that kids love to visit to buy second hand and vintage. Kids of Gibraltar are missing out on the thrifting experience that is taking over the world. Gibraltar is all about shopping local, and we can make a new thrift shop, local and loved as much as Thrifted.com and Depop.

Come on, Gibraltar, let’s have a unique and inspiring thrift shop, one that the youth of Gibraltar can get actively involved in and reap the benefits of volunteering for good causes. Gibraltar needs a new thrift shop to raise funds for worthwhile local charities and prevent a looming environmental disaster. We need to change the perception of continually buying new, raise awareness of an environmentally friendly recyclable economy and save the planet.

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