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Personal stylist saves hundreds of pounds buying second-hand clothes and takes many of her clients around charity shops

A personal stylist and self-confessed shopaholic has fulfilled her new year resolution of only buying clothes from charity shops in 2022, saving about £1,550, while still picking up her much-loved designer labels.

Lindsay Edwards, 37, from Biggleswade in Bedfordshire, even takes her clients around charity shops to help them find the latest deals, showing them that a stylish wardrobe does not always have to come with a huge price tag.

She became a personal stylist in 2019, but just a few months after becoming self-employed, lockdown hit – so she decided to scrimp on her shopping habits and look for pre-loved clothes online.

Lindsay Edwards
Lindsay finds branded clothes for her sons in charity shops (Collect/PA Real Life)

Despite not minding whether things are designer or not, Lindsay loves a bargain, and has so far picked up items ranging from a Ralph Lauren jumper to a Tommy Hilfiger gilet and a Jaeger trench coat.

Since shopping second-hand for the last year, Lindsay’s eyes have been opened to sustainability, and she thinks that when looking for clothes, charity shops will always be her first port of call.

Lindsay was 21 when she had her first son with her husband of 14 years, Ryan Edwards, 41, and always prioritised work that could fit around being a parent to her sons, Jake, 16, and Chris, 12.

Lindsay saw a personal stylist in 2008, two years after Jake was born, and later wanted to become personal stylist herself – but it was not until her children got older that she realised she wanted to make a career change.

She said: “I had children when I was fairly young – I had Jake when I was 21, and I found myself working in a way that would enable me to be with him as much as possible.

Lindsay Edwards
Lindsay advises her clients to dye their clothes for a wardrobe refresh (Collect/PA Real Life)

“I just thought, I’d really love to be doing something that’s creative and can help somebody else in the way that it helped me when I saw a personal stylist myself, because it was so transformational and so much fun.

“I just thought, if I could do anything, that’s really what I would love to be doing.”

Lindsay did her personal stylist training from March 2018 with a company called Colour Me Beautiful, and she began taking on appointments in her evenings and weekends while working full-time at a college helping students find work placements in the childcare industry.

In January 2019 she decided to make the leap and handed in her notice at the college to become a full-time personal stylist, saying: “It got to the point where I couldn’t do both any more and really needed to make a decision.

Lindsay Edwards
Lindsay was inspired to become a personal stylist after seeing one in 2008 (Collect/PA Real Life)

“I noticed really quickly that I was working less hours but earning more money – that’s just a dream, isn’t it?”

Just a few months later the pandemic struck, restricting her finances and preventing her from seeing any of her clients face to face.

She said: “I started doing online work with clients and really just had to cut my costs accordingly, which is why I started shopping more from charity shops, online through Oxfam, also second-hand sites like Vinted and eBay.

“And then once the shops reopened, I was enjoying it so much I said going forward I will continue to buy pre-loved rather than fast fashion in 2022.

“I set a new year’s resolution in January to just shop from charity shops this year, and I have saved an absolute fortune.”

Lindsay Edwards
Lindsay encourages her clients to shop in charity shops (Collect/PA Real Life)

Since swapping to shopping from charity shops, Lindsay expects to have only spent £200 by the end of this year – compared with £1,800 in previous years.

So far this year Lindsay has spent £179.70 in various charity shops, buying 23 items of clothing with an estimated worth of £1116.98.

One was a Ralph Lauren jumper for £18, which still sells online for £150, a Tommy Hilfiger gilet for £12, with similar items currently selling for £175, and a Jaeger trench coat for £15, worth £300.

Lindsay has also found clothes for her sons, such as Nike tops, saying: “My sons recognise that there can be some really great bargains, and they’re not averse to wearing anything that has been purchased from a charity shop.

Lindsay Edwards
Lindsay became a full-time personal stylist in 2019 (Collect/PA Real Life)

“I put it through the wash and it’s good as new by the time that it ends up in their wardrobe.”

Before making the switch, Lindsay was a self-confessed shopaholic, saying: “I think we all get that dopamine hit from hitting the shops at first. Well, you can get that from wherever you shop.

“I think you do get a bigger dopamine hit for getting a bargain from a charity shop.”

Lindsay then began showing her clients how to shop in a cheaper and more sustainable way, and in January 2022, she completed her fashion sustainability certificate with the London College of Style.

Lindsay Edwards
Lindsay Edwards loves helping her clients find clothes in charity shops (Collect/PA Real Life)

She said: “I talk about charity shops with them and about ways that they can alter their own clothes. It’s simple things like using Dylon, an environmentally friendly dye which only costs about £7 which you can dye multiple items with.

“I also talk about bringing in key items that are going to refresh so many more garments within their wardrobe.

“So it’s not about just going out and buying a load of new clothes.

“I also say to them see what you can pick up from charity shops, things like picking up scarves or necklaces or belts that are low-cost items, but just really refresh outfits that you’ve already got.”

Lindsay Edwards
Lindsay with some of her favourite second hand finds (Collect/PA Real Life)

After completing her new year’s resolution of only buying clothes from charity shops, Lindsay explained how it has changed her shopping habits for good.

“If I see something in a shop that isn’t pre-loved, overall it’s going to be a sustainable decision – I use the Good On You app to see how sustainable a brand is.

“But I would rather check out a charity shop first to see what I can find – that’s my default now.”