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Mary Portas leads charity boutique boom

13th May 2013 Print

More Mary’s Living & Giving shops for Save the Children are scheduled to open all over London offering designer and luxury items from brands and retailers such as Alexander McQueen right through to Zandra Rhodes. Shoppers are treated to bargain prices while raising money for Save the Children’s work in 120 countries. The chain of boutiques is thriving, as London’s fashionistas with a keen nose for a bargain seek out top brands and A-lister offerings. This month, the ninth shop will open in Fulham Road with another opening in Ealing planned for July 2013.

Putting vintage treasure troves on the high street, the ‘donate, don’t dump’ philosophy has attracted the likes of Hollywood favourites. Helena Bonham Carter has been known to put her second hand gems on the clothes rails in the Primrose Hill shop. While Vogue editor Alexandra Shulman often hands in some of her personal pieces. Such clientele gives red carpet worshipers the chance to get their mitts on some celebrity cast offs, and all at amazing value.

In perfect time for the festivals and beach holiday getaways, those seeking to revamp their wardrobes can treat themselves to swimwear by Diane von Furstenberg or kaftans and wraps by Allegra Hicksor and for those cool summer evenings, an elegant brand new Tommy Hilfiger crepe burgundy dress will go down well.  Finish the look off with some Linda Farrow sunglasses and footwear from Kurt Geiger. For those with a mind like a magpie, some Tateossian cufflinks or Alex Monroe ear-rings might suit.

The growing hype has led huge names of the design world to volunteer their creative services. Boxco2 are putting industrial chic into the design at the Fulham branch – they recently designed both Diptyque and Chloe shops - and students from the Royal College of Arts are behind the new Ealing shop. Sustainability is at the heart of every design, with kooky corners stuffed full of reclaimed and locally sourced memorabilia.

Mary Portas says: “Living & Giving is the shop closest to my heart; developed to sit at the heart of every community it serves. The shop provides the community with quality gear and a social meeting place. And profits go to save children’s lives. Win/win/win. All the L&G shops make you feel as if you’re in someone’s home. The store fittings are all recycled home wares – the changing room at Primrose Hill is made from an old wardrobe. It’s comfortable and friendly; as a result it is a hive of activity. I am immensely proud of each and every one of them, and committed to opening more.”

Erica Charles, Chief Brand Ambassador said: ““At a time when global brands, shopping centres and the internet are playing an ever-increasing role in our lives, Mary’s Living & Giving shops offer a revolutionary antidote – a human and ethical shopping experience. At our shops, every penny of profit helps to feed, clothe and educate children in the world’s poorest countries, adding even more of a feel-good factor to shopping.  We have great events taking place throughout the Summer at our current shops, and some new ideas up our sleeves for the soon up-and-coming new shops; right now really is an exciting time.”

All the profits from every Mary Living & Giving shop go to save children’s lives, fight for their rights and help them fulfil their potential. Working in over 120 countries, Save the Children helps some of the world’s poorest families both overseas and right here in the UK.

Mary’s Living & Giving shops always welcome donations from the local communities, fashion houses and local artisans, as well as for volunteers to work in any of the shops. To donate stock or to enquire about volunteering visit our website at