Q&A with Sue Ryder Vintage

by - 16:00

As well as hunting round charity shops, one thing I always look out for when visiting a new town or city is a good vintage charity shop. Obviously a regular charity shop is something I love to peruse but it's an added bonus when I discover a charity shop especially dedicated to vintage clothing and items. As you may have seen from previous posts & instagram one of my fave vintage charity shops is the Sue Ryder shop in Norwich.

I always have a good rummage in their Norwich shop whenever I'm in the area shopping and I always seem to come out with one or 2 vintage goodies. I love what they do as a charity and how they use vintage to raise money for different causes. I thought it would be really interesting to ask them a few questions.

So to start why do you think charity shops are such a good place to find vintage and retro goods?

Charity shops are a great place to find vintage items. At Sue Ryder our clothes and accessories come from such a wide range of donors who want to donate towards a good cause, so you get a huge variety of eras all in one place. You can tell from the current high street trends that fashion styles from the 70/90s are everywhere, so Charity shops are a great place to find the real deal for a great price.

Where do you guys source most of your vintage and retro items from?

All our stock is donated by generous Sue Ryder supporters. There are 23 shops in the area who also send the vintage and retro items they get donated to our Bridewell alley shop, so customers get a large range of items in one place.

What tips would you give to people trying to find vintage gems in charity shops?

Try it on! Sizing differs so much from era to era, brand to brand. Trying it on is the only way to find a vintage gem perfect for you. We put out stunning new stock every day so popping in regularly will guarantee you don’t miss out on that wonderful one off. We get to know our customers really well and if there is something in particular we even keep an eye out for items just for you.

Don’t be afraid to try something on that isn’t your usual style because you could mix and match it with your favourite black dress or high street staples. Vintage gems are perfect for being statement items for your wardrobe so if you’re ever unsure feel free to ask us in store for a styling tip.

What's been your best vintage find to make it into a Sue Ryder shop?

Our best designer find was a Hermès silk scarf in its original box. It was a talking point in the local area and even I was in awe of seeing the Hermès orange box! The money raised from selling this item could buy an important piece of equipment, like a nebuliser to help someone breath in one of our care centers.

As for our best vintage find… it was a late 80’s, early 90’s Moschino Jacket! It was only in our shop window for three hours before it sold.

What sort of varying eras of vintage do you guys cover in a vintage Sue Ryder shop?

We can cover any era of vintage, the earliest we’ve had in so far was a 1930’s velvet opera coat. We currently have an original 1940’s velvet coat which will feature in our up coming fashion show on the 21st of November at St. Andrews Hall. 1990’s is now classed as vintage and is probably one of our best sellers with customers. If it is good enough for Rachel from Friends, it is good enough for our lovely customers.  Our bric-a-brac and books can be even older, we’ve come across some absolute antique gems. It’s amazing to hear about and research the history behind some of our items.

What's your favourite era of vintage fashion to buy?

I have a good idea about what suits me and what I feel confident in so I like to wear  elements from many eras. 50’s glamour for nights outs, 60’s shift dresses and pencil skirts for work. Since it’s the winter season right now, I’m crazy for 80’s jumpers! The bolder the print the better - if Beverly Goldberg would wear it, I want it in my wardrobe.

What are your top places to get vintage bargains? 

Norwich has an ever expanding vintage scene from market stalls, boutiques and pop up events. We are fairly new kids on the block but we already feel at home in the Norwich Lanes. It’s really worthwhile spending a whole day exploring what Norwich has to offer; nothing beats a shopping spree to get into the festive spirit!

And lastly how much does shopping in Sue Ryder shops make a difference to the charity?

From the thrill of finding an amazing bargain, to the satisfaction of volunteering, our 450 charity shops across the country give people so much pleasure. And by supporting our shops, you can help us provide 2.7 million hours of expert medical, practical and emotional support every year, in our hospices and neurological centers, in people’s homes and in the community.

Our shops care for the planet too. Every year we recycle over 15,000 tonnes of goods that could have been discarded but now have a useful new life in someone’s wardrobe, home or garden.

It costs us £23m per year to run our hospices so every donation we receive from our lovely customers really helps us.

£50 provides one session of bereavement counseling for someone struggling to cope with the loss of a loved one.
A big thankyou to Sue Ryder Vintage shop in Norwich for answering my questions and I can't wait to pop in soon! Definitely check out their shop in Bridewell Alley in Norwich if you are ever in the area, you wont regret it.

Daisy x


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  1. I love Charity shops, this one looks amazing! We don't have any that look this amazing in Bath!
    Great interview!


    1. Ah that's a shame! Yeah its amazing. It's great if you can find a really good vintage charity shop like this one. Thankyou! and thanks for reading.

      Daisy x

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