Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Mary, Queen of Charity Shops Tells of Passion for 'Preloved' as She Opens Her 20th Store

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Mary, Queen of Charity Shops Tells of Passion for 'Preloved' as She Opens Her 20th Store

Article excerpt

Byline: Rehema Figueiredo

MARY PORTAS has revealed she wore only secondhand clothes until she was 15 and despite her success still buys "preloved" outfits for herself and her son.

The fashion guru, who has worked for Harrods and Harvey Nichols, said growing up she found her own sense of style from other people's cast-offs.

Portas, who became a TV star with her BBC series Mary, Queen Of Shops, runs a chain of charity stores, Mary's Living And Giving, and tomorrow will open her 20th branch in Notting Hill. Her mission is to make charity shopping a "beautiful experience".

She said: "Charity shopping is all about the thrill of the chase. I only wore secondhand clothes until I was 15.

"My auntie Kathy would bring a bin liner of clothes round and we would rifle through." She still buys preloved items for herself and her toddler son Horatio from London charity shops.

Her own chain, which she founded in 2009, supports Save The Children. The shops, which are designed to have the feel of a boutique, are located in wealthy neighbourhoods where people "can afford to give a lot", such as Primrose Hill, Islington, Fulham and Westbourne Grove. …

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