By Josh Talbot

Living in Brighton isn’t a cheap student experience by any means but the answer to affordable living could be on your doorstep- so long as you have enough patience.

Charity shopping is the often-stigmatised solution to your expensive consumerist cravings; if you don’t want to hear it, more fool you.

When you want to go on a shopping spree, naturally, your first port of call would be a shopping centre. In Brighton, you have Churchill Square which, as they go, isn’t too bad.

The trouble with all of the stores in this pristine palace of trendy outlets is that, before you know it, you’ll be £100 poorer and, whilst you may have some nice clothes as a payoff, you can’t help but feel a bit robbed when you’re scraping the pennies together for a can of beans at the end of the month.

The rough-around-the-edges charity shop experience isn’t the instantaneous hit of feel-good that you might get as you overt your eyes, tap the card machine and strut out of Urban Outfitters but, if you put in the leg work and ignore the items that would have probably been better off in the bin you’ll find that diamond in the rough and feel all the better for it.

In Brighton, especially in student areas like London Road, you’re spoilt for charity shop choice but whilst there will be bargains to be had, thrift shopping is a game of strategy. You have to consider how many like-minded students are going to be on that patch. 

It might pay to take a trip to another bargain hub like George Street in Hove. Only a short train ride away, a charity cop isn’t guaranteed but you might find that you have more luck than in other student saturated areas.

What if I like buying new?

That’s fine but, with fast fashion on the rise, consider the impact that your Boohoo binges have on the environment. It might be nice to have a wardrobe update every month but there are sustainable ways of achieving it and it might just be that charity shopping is the eco-friendliest solution.

Of course, if you still need persuading, all proceeds go to charity so, if you are now stood at the checkout of your favourite Highstreet store and find that you are consumed by guilt – I’m sorry but it’s for the good of the planet and your bank account.

Image credit: N Chadwick

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