I found Fara's newly opened shop in Islington, near Angel Tube station, nothing short of 2nd-hand heaven. Light, bright and well-organized, the space is the former home of Fara Workshop. The Workshop closed last month - while a clever concept that saw donated clothing re-worked, re-made and resold, the idea had run its course.
Among other things, Fara Islington features a special section of retro clothing - although most of the charity's vintage donations go to the superb Retromania near Victoria Station. This is one of London's hot spots for true vintage - filled with both men's and women's clothing, Retromaina is unlike any other charity shop in London, catering to those of us who long for quality brands and designs from the past.
The new Islington shop has a relaxed urban vibe all its own, in part due to fashion-conscious shop manager Zane. On the day I popped in, she was looking terribly chic in a full skirt - black with huge white spots - and flat black boots. I get a little thrill when shop staff are super stylish. They provide unique value-added inspiration.
Everything from the cool lighting to the hip music - played not too loud, thank you - is spot on at this, the latest of Fara's 50 shops. If it weren't for the one-off nature of the stock, you'd be excused for thinking the Islington branch was a commercial high street establishment and not a charity venture.
Did I find some pre-owned pleasure? Of course, and in the coming week I'll reveal my best buys. If you pop into Fara Islington, and you should, treat yourself to a cuppa' at the excellent cafe, Saint Espresso next door. First rate coffee and 2nd-hand style - indeed my heaven on earth.
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