Thursday, 26 January 2012


Did someone say recession? What recession? One area that is flourishing due to the terrible state of the economy is charity stores.

Canterbury's Shelter has benefitted from the current economic climate
It seems that the recession has led the people of Canterbury to search for cheaper places to spend their money, with most turning to charity shops.

In fact, the boom in business has lead to charity shops breaking records across the UK. One of these is the British Heart Foundation (BHF) which netted over £26 million in their stores across the country last year, that is an 18% rise in profits from the year before.

One charity shop in Canterbury that has benefitted from the state of the economy is Shelter. Stacy Gore runs the store and has certainly noticed a stark difference, especially during the Christmas period...

View Shelter in a larger map

Wednesday, 25 January 2012


How many times do you turn on your television to see adverts saying you can "win £1,000 by answering the following question..." or "just text a, b, or c to ***** to win a trip to the Caribbean"? Many of us simply roll our eyes because we know the chance of us winning is literally one in a million. 
However, one breed of competitions which is becoming exceedingly popular are Twitter competitions, and you'll be surprised to learn that you just might win something....
The tooth fairy may not be real, but is the freebie fairy?
Canterbury Christ Church University student, Kimberley Young, has been entering competitions on Twitter for a while now, here's what she had to say....

Twitter by kerryleigh15

Fashion for less was still slightly skeptical, so I decided to investigate and try Twitter comping for myself. 

Some of the competitions Fashion for less entered

Throughout the month of December 2011 I took ten minutes out of each day to enter whatever competitions I could find on the social networking website, and when I received my first "Congratulations you've won..." I couldn't believe my eyes. These messages would be a lot more frequent than I initially imagined. In the space of a mere month I won the following...

An item of choice from Boohoo (@boohooOfficial)

A years supply of low calorie chocolate bars from Tasty Little Numbers (@tlntweets)

That'll save me on food shopping for a while...
Fake tan from Xen Tan (@xentan_uk)

An item of choice from Desire Clothing (@DesireClothing)

A green dress from Dressrail  (@DRESSRAIL)

An item of choice from The Fashion Bible (@ukfashionbible)

My item of choice from The Fashion Bible
Mascara from Bourjois (@bourjois_uk)

£50 voucher from ASOS (@ASOS)

Blusher from UNE (@unebeautyuk)

And thank you for the free blusher!
Trousers from Tesco (@ClothingAtTesco)

Nail varnish from GOSH (@GOSHUK)
Face wash from Naked Body Care (@nakedbodycare)

Not the most exciting freebie but certainly the most useful
Not only was the thrill of receiving something free in the post exciting, but the freebies really came in handy. Things such as face wash, nail varnish, and fake tan, saved me money as they're stuff I would usually buy.

You may be wondering why so many companies are giving out free goods? Well it is all about free advertising, Twitter competitions involve re-tweeting their messages, so if one person re-tweets a message then all their followers see it and so on and so forth. Competitions where you can pick an item of choice are also really good for businesses, because sometimes when people don't win they end up buying the item anyway. 
Why not give it a go yourself?
So how do you get started? My advice would be to follow a Twitter account which is solely dedicated to comping, one of the best ones is Competition Club (@competitionclub). They will post all competitions they find on the social networking site, all you have to do from there is click 're-tweet' on the tweet of the competition you want to enter and that is it - it's really that simple. Make sure you're following the companies whose competitions you're entering, otherwise they won't be able to get in touch with you if you win. A little tip from me would be to look at how many followers the company has on Twitter, the less followers they have the more chance you have of winning.

So they're you have it - Twitter comp your way through the dreaded recession. Make sure you leave a comment below and let us know if you win anything. Happy tweeting and good luck!


In the current economic climate it is exceedingly difficult for businesses to survive, never mind opening a new one. However, one person who dreams of opening a Vintage clothing store is the founder of Lemon and Ginger Vintage, Nicole Cobbs. Nicole has had to compromise because of financial constraints and luckily she has found the perfect solution... Vintage fairs. 

Vintage Bazaars; cheap, fun, and addictive
Nicole started doing fairs when she finished university in Brighton because she had a lot of vintage clothing she didn't wear. She said: "I did one fair, really enjoyed it, and just carried on buying stuff really. It's quite addictive." And that's where Lemon and Ginger Vintage all started, "I chose the name Lemon and Ginger because I love lemon and ginger tea and I also dye my hair ginger, I was having a cup of tea one day and thought the name was quite cute."
Quirky name... Quirky clothing...
Lemon and Ginger Vintage Canterbury Bazaar in 2011
Although her dream is to open a shop, she admits that because of the recession that dream will have to wait for a while. She told Fashion for less: "I still eventually want to open a shop. Unfortunately, this is quite an expensive dream and in the current economic climate it is quite risky, so I plan to carry on with the fairs and markets and see how it goes." 

Cheap shoes? So we can buy five pairs instead of one right?
Nicole believes that not only have vintage fairs helped her during the recession because they cut the costs of running an actual store, but the fact that she only sells vintage has factored in as well. Vintage clothing is becoming more and more popular and Nicole feels this is because people want to stand out and put their own stamp on what is fashionable. "In 2012 we don't really have 'a look' in comparison to the 40s, 60s, and 80s, so I think it's fun to recreate past fashions and combine all sorts of eras together. We live in a time where anything goes and vintage fashion enables us to make the most of that," she said. 

There's no need to fork out money for rent, electricity, gas etc, in a courtyard! 
Emulate past fashion eras

Nicole believes that Lemon and Ginger Vintage is different from other companies selling vintage because she sells her stock at low prices. "Vintage used to be cheap but these days most vintage shops charge way over what it's worth... I try to keep my prices low because that way it's a fairer sale. I think if you buy cheap, you should sell cheap."

Fashion for less enjoyed rummaging around the £2 trunk at the latest Lemon and Ginger Vintage fair
So if you're looking for a true vintage bargain then head to the next Lemon and Ginger Vintage fair, which will take place in Canterbury on the 28th January. The location is yet to be announced but if you keep an eye on their Facebook page you'll find it on there. 

See you there fashionistas! 

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