Pre-loved is in the air


Second hand September, a campaign instigated in 2019 by charity shop chain Oxfam, focuses on pre-loved clothing with the aim of getting the nation to only buy second hand clothing for the duration of the month. September, usually associated with celebrating Fashion Week’s Autumn/Winter collections, is the
perfect time to rethink your wardrobe and the organisers are hoping to encourage you to shop second-hand and reuse, recycle, rewear and restyle your clothes during September and beyond.

Phrases we’re usually familiar with are ‘slow’, ‘sustainable’ or ‘ethical’ fashion however the focus is the same: encouraging people to rethink their buying habits to create a more caring, environmentally friendly and sustainable way of shopping which is kinder to the planet as we fight the current climate crisis. 

If you’re visiting Ross-on-Wye, there are plenty of quality charity shops in and around the town centre – perfect if you’re looking to save some pennies, support amazing causes and help to save the environment. There are over a dozen available but here are our top five for you to explore: 

1. EnviroAbility

Located in The Old Mill, an historic sandstone building on Brookend Street at the bottom of town, just 5 minutes from the Market House, EnviroAbility, is one of Ross-on-Wye’s much loved local charities, providing people from disadvantaged groups with real work opportunities and experiences. As well as a huge book shop, bike repair service and all manner of furniture, enjoy browsing the vast range of pre-loved clothing on offer from the £1 kids’ clothes rail to winter coats and accessories. The team also refurbish and repair tables, cupboards and garden furniture as well as looking after the environment – their Spread our Wings team packages up bags of top quality bird seed grown in the UK and distributes to local outlets.

Visit: EnviroAbility, The Old Mill, Brookend Street, Ross-on-Wye HR9 7EGT

2. St Michael’s Hospice

St Michael’s Hospice opened a new retail outlet in Ross-on-Wye in May 2023 on Cantilupe Road (opposite Morrison’s) and has a fantastic range of clothing plus much more. This valuable local charity raises millions of pounds to support palliative and end-of-life care to people across Herefordshire and beyond. Most of the charity’s care costs are funded by the community and come come from a variety of sources, including fundraising events such as the Venus night walk, playing the St Michael’s Hospice lottery or leaving gifts in wills.  On offer at this lovely charity outlet are a great range of quality pre-loved coats, dresses, jackets, tops and trousers as well as furniture including cabinets, tables, chairs and a range of glassware.

Visit: St Michael’s Hospice, Cantilupe Road, Ross-on-Wye HR9 7AQ

3. Sense

Opened in May 2023, the new Sense retail outlet in the centre of town overlooks the Market Place in the previous Edinburgh Woollen Mill premises, a familiar landmark in Ross for over 40 years. Sense helps thousands of people who are deafblind, or who have complex disabilities, to communicate, experience the world and fulfil their potential. Shop manager, Laura, has a great eye for detail and you’ll spot her lovely fashion displays in one of the large windows which dominate the corner of Gloucester Road and  the High Street. As well as a great range of ladies’ fashion items and accessories, you’ll find plenty of children’s games, books and soft toys – so why not stock up for Christmas, save money and do your bit to save the planet this autumn?

Visit: Sense, 10-11, George Place, Gloucester Rd, Ross-on-Wye HR6 5BS

4. Scope

Scope is a lovely little charity shop in the heart of the Market Place and shop manager, Erica, is always keen to encourage the local community to get involved and help out at their busy hub. Volunteers are regularly encouraged to join their team to help out sorting through donations, researching prices online or helping design the shop front displays. Collaborating with Marks & Spencer, they frequently have brand new clothing donated from the high street retailer’s previous clothes’ ranges at hugely reduced prices, so pop in and grab a bargain this autumn.

Also keep an eye on their shop window displays this party season – their creative fashion team pulls together suggested co-ordinating outfits for those special occasions where a sparkly pre-loved party dress, handbag, shoes and matching earrings can often cost you under £30 leaving you lots of spare cash to enjoy your night out!

Visit: Scope, 1 Market Place, Ross-on-Wye HR9 5NX

5. Zero Waste Stall

Finally the Zero Waste Stall, another much-loved local organisation, can be found on Old Gloucester Road in the Ross-on-Wye Community Garden, a few minutes’ walk from the town centre. If you’re visiting Ross-on-Wye on a budget and need a few items for your self catering or camping trip, pop over between 10.30am and 11.30am every morning to find out what’s on offer. Items change daily depending on the local supermarkets’ surplus produce, but you can be sure to pick up anything from bread, rolls and cakes, to fruit, veg and salads.- and the best thing is it’s all free, so join the queue and enjoy a bargain meal! Tip: keep an eye on their Facebook page for daily updates and special offers.

Visit: Zero Waste Stall, 29 Old Gloucester Road, Ross-on-Wye HR9 5AA

Click here for a list of all our town centre charity shops in Ross-on-Wye.