Not one Italian person I have met would ever admit to going into a thrift/second-hand shop to purchase anything. I’m not being rude, it is just a fact and one I am more than happy with because it means more for me to pick through!
I’m not the best at spotting the designer labels (I couldn’t even tell you what the latest is at the moment…unless it is a cooking product!) I just wonder through and see if there is anything I like and even then I don’t really look properly. I am a pathetic shopper and Nic will back me up on this. I wait until the item bites me on the nose before I take a look- pathetic!
My lovely friend Sue is the total opposite and knows a great deal when she sees one. I went to a church thrift sale with her a few weeks ago where I came away with nothing and she had 3-4 items that looked fab. I was going to Sue’s for our monthly book club meeting last weekend and she advised me to come early and so she could take me to a cool thrift store out her way. I’m always keen to go because I live in hope that I’ll get better at shopping one day. So to tell you I ACTUALLY purchased goods is quite amazing and what is even more amazing it that we had a blast doing it, this shop/warehouse was fabulous!
The shop is in Quarrata, over by Pistoia and is called Emmaus and is part of the International Emmaus community which makes me even happier to spend money there, helping others less fortunate in Italy and around the world, translate the page and check it out: it is an inspiring story.
We entered the shop and I was instantly blown away by it’s size and lack of mothball smells. The second shocker were the sheets, they were all laundered and pressed!!? Not only could you pick up a great set of sheets but they were clean, ironed and ready for sale. It is a small but very important component, especially if you are skint and really in need. This impressed me immensley.
Ok so my first purchase was spotted within 20 seconds of entering…
Stainless steal gelato bowls!!!! They are beautiful, stylish and only 2.50 euro. The weight in them alone got me excited which put me in a fab mood to wander the aisles with Sue. There were row upon row of dinner plates for 0,50 & 2 euro each, plates that I went looking for in second-hand shops back in Sydney (for work) where they were asking $5+ a plate.
I had to pause a minute with my mate Cosimo just to make sure I wasn’t getting too excited…….He was the one looking excited so I moved on.
After the kitchen aisles we popped down the furniture ones just for a look, lets face it Nic would have killed me if I brought back the larder box I had my eye on, instead Sue and I had a bit of a giggle at the fat wobbling machine no one should ever get on!
Jeans were tried on, dresses and skirts also but in the end it was a really tough decision between two winter coats we spotted. Sure one of them looked like it had never been worn and was 80% lambswool and for the extremely low price of TEN EURO!!!
However, the other one was ready for the Christmas season, cable knitted front panels and forever its own style. After counting at least 5 types of fabric used to create this beauty I decided to stick with the Benetton coat….there is a special kind of person just waiting to find this master piece on the rack.
We had a great afternoon going through the copious amounts of cool stuff and I recommend anyone to see if they have a Emmaus store in their area, donate your unwanted goods because they can make a difference to a lot of families in need, you may even surprise yourself and pick up something you never thought you needed to own!