The UK’s first “charity shop department store” has opened at Brent Cross shopping centre in North London.

Titled Charity.Super.Mkt, it brings together 10 charities in a retail space previously occupied by Topshop. The month-long pop-up is the brainchild of Maria Chenoweth, CEO of sustainable clothing charity TRAID, and fashion designer Wayne Hemingway.

According to the website, the pop-up is “the first time ever that national and local charities have collaborated for a multi-charity department store creating a destination for customers to shop with purpose”.

And that purpose is promoting the many benefits of ethical and sustainable fashion. “Our consumers are increasingly interested in finding sustainable brands and opportunities to mix new outfits with pre-loved fashion, so we’re excited to be bringing this innovative concept to Brent Cross,” says Chenoweth.

With close to two-thirds of Brits now owning at least one item of second-hand clothing, it is very much a growing market.

Charity shops are no longer a signal of decline in our town centres,” Hemingway says. “They represent a powerful and positive movement towards the circular economy and a future that is being wholeheartedly embraced by consumers and contributes hundreds of millions of pounds to our economy, and good causes.”

Staffed by volunteers and open seven days a week, the pop-up will run at Brent Cross shopping centre until 25th February. Full opening hours are listed here. The charities participating include Age UK, All Aboard, Barnardo’s, Cancer Research, Emmaus, Havens Hospice, SCT, Marie Curie, TRAID and Shelter.

“Charity retail is the understated best of sustainable business, there is no better example of a green circular economy in action at this scale,” Chenoweth adds. “Charity retail provides everyone the opportunity to buy good and do good, from supporting the environmental benefits of shopping second-hand to providing critical funding for causes both local and global.”

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