How social media has helped Barnardo’s Vintage become the heart of the community #shopsustainable

Just 5 years ago Barnardo’s Vintage had no online or social media presence.

Through the careful and considered curation of our online presence, (primarily the visual medium of Instagram, but also Twitter), Barnardo’s Vintage has made an impact within a thriving ‘vintage-loving’ ‘sustainable fashion ‘online community. 

Instagram is a powerful social and visual tool and has allowed us to showcase the store’s beautiful and unique vintage artefacts and garments.  With well over 9k loyal and engaged followers, @barnardos_vintage has expanded the store’s customer base (well reflected in the sales figures) and massively increased the quality of donations.

It has also led to successful collaborations with local vintage traders, stylists and TV and film companies and ASOS Marketplace. 

The stylist for the recent feature film release Funny Cow, starring Maxine Peake, was an avid Instagram follower and chose Barnardo’s Vintage to source the costumes for the 1970s set big screen adaptation. From a social media nobody to a vintage influencer/Hollywood big-hitter in a few short years!

We offer many events throughout the year, many of which are out of hours in order to reach further into the community. Evening fashion shows and seasonal clothing launches have proved popular with local residents and regular customers who work full-time and otherwise would not be able to attend. We are organising many ‘swap shops’ throughout 2020 to encourage people to shop sustainably and donate preloved clothing which keeps us going we also encourage people to sign up to gift aid so the donation goes further and makes more for the charity.

We also run regular craft groups supported by the local Women’s Institute – where people can learn new skills, browse and shop our vintage craft supplies and make community connections and friends.

We love to collaborate with other local businesses. They will work with us at our events and even provide us with exclusive prizes and discounts.

We strive to put the store at the heart of the local community. We hold stalls at the local makers market and Stockport vintage village fairs – reaching further into the community, expanding our customer base and raising much needed funds for the charity, outside of 9-5pm support is nonstop, and educating people to shop sustainably and to not all ways buy NEW online and on the high street.

We also play an integral part of the local Victorian Christmas markets, an annual event organised by the Civic Centre. This year we arranged for the local SHE choir to perform contemporary songs and carols outside the store and they raised much appreciated extra funds towards local community projects.

We’re also one of the only charity shops in the village that is dog friendly. We think it’s really important not to exclude our smaller, furry customers and their owners.

Guest blog by Gemma Burgess, Barnardo’s Vintage