Gift Guides


Charity shop shelves are always full of books and most are in nearly-new condition. From cookbooks to sci fi novels, we’re sure you’ll find something to suit your dad’s interests. Alternatively, if you’re looking for something particular then eBay has loads of preloved books for sale or check out St Elizabeth Hospice’s donated books for sale on Amazon


Take your dad on a nostalgic trip by picking up a favourite album from his younger years on vinyl. Again, you might get lucky at your local charity shop or there’s lots of places to purchase preloved vinyl online.  


Does your dad have a favourite treat? Find a recipe online and have a go at making it yourself. If you’re not so confident in the kitchen then head to your local bakery instead. 


If your dad’s a beer drinker then you can’t wrong with this gift. Hopsters, if you’re local to Ipswich is a great place to pick up some tasty ales and lagers. They have a big menu with all sorts of beers from small breweries. You could also find a vintage beer glass to go with them! If your dad’s not a drinker then you could do the same idea with a bag of coffee and a mug. 


Is your dad into a certain brand? Football team? Hawaiin shirts? With so many online secondhand clothing selling platforms like Depop, eBay and Vinted, you’ll be sure to find something in his style. You can very often find items that have never been worn and still with tags on too. 

Top 5 reasons to volunteer at a zest shop


As a charity we rely on our lovely volunteers to keep our shops going. Volunteering provides lots of great opportunities and experiences – here are our top 5 reasons to volunteer at one of our Zest shops.


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At Zest we offer a range of fun and different volunteer opportunities – search for treasure from our donations, take photos for Depop, put outfits together and so much more! We also attend lots of events each year from local markets to festivals like Latitude. 


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Lots of our volunteers have never worked in retail before and leave with lots of new knowledge to add to their CVs. There are plenty of new things to learn including how to give good customer service, merchandising tips and tricks and social media management . If you have a particular area that you’re interested in then let us know and we can cater your volunteer experience around that. 


We’re lucky to work with a team of like-minded people passionate about sustainable fashion and the local community. Volunteering is proven to help mental and physical health and you’ll meet lots of new people. Many of our volunteers have made friends at the shop and we’ll be organising more social activities for our volunteers this year. 


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By giving some of your time in to volunteer in one of our shops you’re helping to support young adults with life-limiting conditions using our service at St Elizabeth Hospice. Young adults receive specialist care and access to new opportunities which enables them to meet up, have fun with friends and live life to the full. You will experience a real feeling of achievement and discover the direct impact of your time spent volunteering.


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Buying secondhand fashion is one the best ways to be sustainable. We’re trying to change the way people think about charity shops by creating a curated selection of donated clothing and homewares displayed aesthetically. By volunteering you’ll be helping us to encourage more people to shop secondhand and become more eco-concious.

If you’re interested in volunteering with us please speak to us in store, email or visit our website


The Secondhand Way Series, Uncategorized

The first in a series of blogposts – we’re looking at current fashion trends and how you can create them ‘the secondhand way’.


After a year of loungewear, jeans are ready for their big comeback. Denim is a wardrobe staple, and although the trending styles change each year, it’s doubtful they’ll ever go out of style.  

Unfortunately, denim’s environmental impact is high. 2 billion pairs of jeans are made every year and each pair of jeans takes approx. 2360 liters of water to make, a lot of harmful chemicals and a lot of raw cotton.  

There’s currently an uprising of statement jeans – which is great news for the upcyclers among us and if even if you’ve never tried upcycling there’s some super easy hacks to try or there’s loads of amazing people selling their creations on Depop.  

Here are some great ideas for how to get the latest denim trends the secondhand way: 


Photo credit: @austeja.jablonskyte

People are going crazy for pink jeans in particular – and they’re selling out on lots of fast fashion websites. Such a simple way to update your wardrobe is to use dye, and if you no longer want coloured jeans when the trends over you can always dye them black. Grab a pair from a secondhand shop that you like the fit and style of, some pink dye and you’ll have the latest trend for a fraction of the price! 


Photo credit: @mindful_mending

I know I’m not the only one that once I’ve found a pair of jeans that fits perfectly, I want to keep them forever, even if they’re falling apart. Check out @mindful_mending on Instagram for some great tips and inspiration on how to patch up those favourite jeans. Lily’s put together a handy How To here, and she’s written a fantastic book ‘Repair, Rewear, Repurpose: A Guide to Mending and Upcycling Clothes’. 


Photo credit: @lucid.seams

The creativity is endless when it comes to painting jeans, polka dots, abstract patterns, rainbows – you can make a completely unique pair to fit your style. How pretty are the pair pictured above!? We’re absolutely in love with all of @lucidseams creations on Depop. And if you fancy giving a try yourself then @kesslerramires has some tips on her blog.


Photo credit: @seaminglysera

Some designer bleached jeans are selling for £800! You can easily create this look with a pair of secondhand jeans and some bleach for under a tenner. Plus, this way they’ll be totally unique and you create any design you desire. This YouTube video by @seaminglysera has lots of great ideas to create different looks using bleach.