Milton Keynes named as one of the best places in the WORLD for charity shopping

Milton Keynes has won fame for having the third highest number of charity shops in the world.

By Sally Murrer
Thursday, 16th June 2022, 11:31 am

As the cost of living crisis bites, second hand shops are expected to make a real resurgence across the nation.

An online company called jewellerybox this week delved into global data to analyse the number of charity shops in major cities. Milton Keynes came out third, below Las Vegas and Dallas.

The only other UK places to feature in the top 10 list were Liverpool and Cardiff.

An Age UK charity shop

A spokesman for jewellerybox said: “Charity shops are some of the best places for you to find gently used classic outfits for a very low price and support charitable work too.

"Nobody knows this more than shoppers in Milton Keynes as the city takes first place, with just over 39 charity shops per 100,000 people.”

In the past, local people have moaned about the predominance of charity shops in MK, particularly in the high streets of traditional towns such as Bletchley and Newport Pagnell.

But recently more and more shoppers have resorted to saving the pennies and buying second hand.

Willen Hospice has a string of charity shops in MK

One local charity volunteer told the Citizen: “I am involved in a local community/charity shop and we are are seeing a massive increase in not only sales but donations.”

She added: “We have many regular customers who say this is where they now like to shop. Prices are affordable and the selection is amazing.

"We work very hard to present a fresh, pleasant and friendly shopping experience, and it is paying dividends. But obviously the choice is also driven by the the current climate.”

Charity shops are also an obvious choice for eco-conscious shoppers. The UK’s Charity Retail Association promotes them are an excellent way to reduce landfill, increase recycling and slow down fast fashion.

Their spokesman said: “Re-use is one of the highest points on the waste hierarchy. Charity shops provide a sustainable and ethical option when they people to dispose of unwanted clothes, books, furniture and other household items.”

He added: “The next most sustainable option is to recycle. If a charity shop cannot sell an item, they will seek to recycle it via a textile recycler. Charity shops are able to reuse or recycle more than 90% of donated clothing, over 90% of donated books and 85% of donated electrical goods.”

In 2018/19, 339,000 tonnes of textiles alone were kept out of landfill as a result of UK charity retail.

This month one of MK’s biggest charities, Willen Hospice, announced it was opening up its third shop in the city centre. It will be in the large former Buzz Bingo Hall in the Point.

The hospice also has a huge clearance store in nearby Grafton Gate Gate and a shop in Midsummer Place. Elsewhere in MK, they have shops in Olney, Stony Stratford, Woburn Sands, Bletchley and Newport Pagnell, as well as a second-hand furniture store on Kiln Farm.

Other places popular with people wanting to furnish a home on a budget in MK are the Age UK Furniture Store and Re-Use, both also on Kiln Farm.