7:00 AM July 14, 2022
A personal charity shop stylist has opened a pop-up shop to show people that fashion can be affordable and also eco-friendly.
Elene Marsden, the founder of a stall called Preloved Chica, has always enjoyed buying second-hand clothes and finally decided to open her own place with upcycled fashion.
Elene, 65, who opened her shop in May, said: “I loved clothes for decades, but I never had a shop before. I usually take people out for charity shopping to inspire them to buy clothes this way.
“When the CHIp community called me up and asked if I wanted to have a pop-up shop inside this empty space, I said, ‘why not’.
“It’s been amazing. I just love it. I rent a wall in the community hub and in return I work there two days a week.”
Elene looks for clothes for her stall in charity shops around the world.
She said: “I’ve done quite a lot of travelling. I’ve been to Portugal, Barcelona, Oslo and brought back some preloved clothes.
“Clothes in my shop have got stories behind them. One man got a shirt that I found in Portugal and is going to wear it in Rome.
“I also have people coming to my shop and asking if I would want to sell their lovely dresses.”
Elene, who also gives talks on re-using clothes, is a DJ and radio presenter, and said that recycling clothes is very important for her.
“There are so many clothes going to landfills, they can rot for even 200 years. It’s an environmental thing.
“I want to keep clothes in circulation and encourage people to look through their wardrobe and sell or swap clothes they don’t want.
“If you don’t love your clothes anymore, someone else can.”
The pop-up fashion shop located at CHIp, in St Nicholas Street, is visited by many fashion lovers of all ages.
The community hub takes over empty spaces in Ipswich and comprises of many different businesses, ranging from local artists selling paintings and jewellery to a florist.
Elene said: “Lots of people are coming and buying preloved clothes. This place is great for traders like me and also for people who want to volunteer. ”
The hub also hosts many community events, including yoga classes and drumming workshops, a film club and a bookshelf with free books.