Savvy shoppers prepare for the sixth BT Shop for Change in ROI

Oct 09, 2017


Secret tips unveiled to finding that ultimate charity shop gem

The sixth annual BT Shop for Change for the Irish Cancer Society was launched today by stylist, Irene O’Brien, with some important tips on how to find some treasure amongst the rails. On 19 October, over 110 BT employees will take over 11 Irish Cancer Society charity shops as part of BT Shop for Change, using all their resources and skills to fill the shops with high-quality stock; attract customers; and raise crucial funds for cancer research and care.

According to a social media survey commissioned by the communications company, BT, 78% of people in the Republic of Ireland are still choosing to donate unwanted items to charity shops, rather than sell online, and nearly 60% of charity supporters donate at least twice a year.
The findings also show that over a third of people, who donate clothes, furniture and other items, see it as a way of doing good or de-cluttering. Not surprising, clothes is the most popular item to be purchased in charity shops with books and home décor/antique items also high on the list of consumer purchases.

With nearly half (48%) of those surveyed revealing that they love to bag a bargain in charity shops, stylist, Irene O’Brien, will be sharing some important tips for shopping on the day on Twitter @btinireland #BTShopforChange.

Simultaneously on 19 October, BT colleagues in Northern Ireland will take over Marie Curie shops as part of the all-island campaign, which has raised in excess of €500,000 for Irish Cancer Society and Marie Curie NI over the last five years. In all, 26 teams of volunteers will be taking over 25 Irish Cancer Society and Marie Curie charity shops for one day only. They will be competing amongst themselves to collect as much new stock and raise as much money as they can to provide care and support for people living with cancer and terminal illness.

Irene O’Brien, fashion stylist and BT Shop for Change ambassador said: "I'm a huge charity shop advocate so was instantly drawn to this campaign and I am delighted to help where I can for this brilliant cause, the Irish Cancer Society. You can find incredible hidden gems in a charity shop, from designer labels to vintage classics; some of my favourite pieces have been unearthed during a charity shop hunt! I would encourage everyone to get involved in BT Shop for Change and head to your local Irish Cancer Society shop on 19 October  to pick up some great pieces for the winter. It’s such a buzz trawling the rails and finding things that you wouldn’t come across anywhere else - and getting them for super prices. If you can’t make it to the store on the day, you can still get involved - do a good clear out of your wardrobe, identify those pieces you're no longer wearing and donate them to the Irish Cancer Society who can sell them to raise vital funds for the brilliant work that they do."

Mark Hopkins, Director of Business Sales, BT Ireland said: “BT have been a proud supporter of the Irish Cancer Society since 2012, helping fund innovative cancer research projects and provide support for patients and their families. Each year participation grows amongst BT employees and we will be working across 11 Irish Cancer Society shops on October 19. BT Shop for Change gives our employees the chance to work in local communities and help raise vital funds for the Irish Cancer Society. By donating your preloved clothes and accessories, and picking up a bargain at your local store on October 19, you can help us deliver real change for local people suffering from cancer.”

Oonagh O’Mahony, Retail Area Manager, Irish Cancer Society said: “We are delighted to once again be working with BT Ireland and welcoming their employees to work in 11 of our shops on October 19. Each year they bring incredible enthusiasm and dedication to generating as many sales as possible on the day. Over 40,000 people in Ireland will get a cancer diagnosis this year. With the help of companies like BT Ireland, the Irish Cancer Society is funding lifesaving research to improve methods of detection and treatment, providing information, care and support to those affected by cancer, and raising awareness of how cancer can be prevented.”

Stylist, Jo Linehan, also gave her top five tips for finding treasures in a charity shop:

  1. Stick to your own style. There's nothing worse than buyer’s remorse, so stick to your favourite pieces, whether that's jeans or trainers. Don't get beguiled by a vintage sequin number if you're never going to wear it.
  2. Look for labels. The best charity shop finds I love have been classic pieces from designer labels. I got an oversized denim Ralph Lauren shirt for €5 in a charity shop about five years ago and it is still amazing. The quality is there. Keep your eyes peeled for labels with distinction and steer clear of cheaper pieces that won't last.
  3. Find out when the shop replenishes what's on the floor. That way you'll be the first to get a look at the newest items.
  4. Talk to the volunteers. People in charity shops have given their time to help, so they're always happy to give you a hand and find what you're looking for. Don't be shy.
  5. I operate on a one-in-one-out policy. If you find something amazing, give something away that you don't wear anymore. That's just good clothing karma.

For further information about BT Shop for Change and for a list of participating Irish Cancer Society shops, please click on and follow all the activity on Twitter @btinireland  #BTShopforChange.

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