The number of people availing of second-hand clothes has increased significantly over the years, due to the cost of living crisis, according to one SVP manager.
Shops like St Vincent de Paul have been a godsend to people over the years, especially teenagers looking to find a bargain. This is also beneficial as many designer goods, and top quality clothes are bought for a fraction of their original price.
There are currently 230 SVP shops across Ireland, and they each play a vital role in helping the charity provide for those who are looking for support.
According to one owner, Léan Brady who has managed the St Vincent de Paul shop in Cavan Town since the pandemic, there has been a noticeable increase in people coming into the store.
“We would have a lot more people coming in because of the cost of living going up and rents going up,” she said. “We have a lot more people coming in and availing of help, whether that’s getting our helpline number if they need help paying bills or need something for their home or they need toys at Christmas for the kids".
“At this time of year, we find a lot more people coming into us and just having a chat, maybe over a cup of tea,” she said.
"a wee chat"
Elsewhere, Léan Brady also spoke about the role that St Vincent de Paul plays in the community.
“We can accept donations, receive donations and sort through them and be able to price them and obviously sell...So that brings in revenue for the St Vincent de Paul charity", said Brady. “Also, it’s a great place for people to pop in from the community. Some people come into us just to have a wee chat".
These shops also encourage people from different backgrounds to shop here, with staff hailing from many different parts of the world, including the Ivory Coast and Lithuania, bringing that multilingual, and multicultural element to it.
“In the last few months or a year, with people coming over from Ukraine, it’s amazing that we have people that can speak the same language or understand their language, so they can translate things for us. They feel more comfortable coming into us", Brady explained.
Along with clothes, St Vincent de Paul also sell books, shoes and bric-a-brac items at knock down prices also, with the affordability of these items integral to giving those who are under financial strain a chance to pick up what they need at a lower price.