Kayt Mendies talks retail, recycling and retro jackets

4 May 2018

I began my journey at Norwood 9 months ago. Having always worked in retail for high-street and high-end brands, I was on a mission to break in to the charity sector and finally move away from the commercial side. I look after our 8 charity shops in the role of Trading Operations Manager – I can safely say that this is my dream job, its hard work, but hugely rewarding.

It is incredibly fulfilling knowing that I am contributing to a fantastic cause whilst working with an incredible workforce and inspiring volunteers.

Anyone who knows me, and perhaps even when you first meet me, will know that I enjoy having my own sense of style, to be a little different with my fashion and to have fun with it.

I’ve always been a keen charity shopper and love anything vintage, and for the last year and a half I have only purchased second hand for my wardrobe.

For me it’s the lure of finding a hidden gem − something unique − and imagining about the stories it could tell! I spend a lot of my free time at vintage fairs, markets and of course, charity shops. The fact that I’m doing my bit to reduce waste and recycle is an added bonus, the fashion industry is one of the most wasteful with over 200 million garments ending up in landfill last year. Then there’s all the great causes out there that you are supporting when you spend your money in the charity shops… including Norwood.

I thought I’d give you a quick rundown of my top picks from our Norwood shops so far…we run on kind donations from the public as well as corporate donations from companies who supply us with brand new stock. I’m excited for the sunshine to kick in so I make a start on my summer wardrobe!

…The cosiest colour-block scarf which kept me warm on my travels.

…This beautiful vintage tea-dress that I can’t wait to wear more this spring.

…This sheepskin coat was my saviour the last few months when temperatures plummeted and the snow came!

…Gold, woven vintage shoes that make me smile so much, that they’ve already been to a couple of weddings and helped me dance the night away.

…Tartan trousers I found in the men’s section.

…Mustard and frills in the form of my favourite jumper dress.

…This silk vintage shirt with a print to die for.

…I bought this woven summer bag when I was prepping for my interview and snooping in our charity shops!

And finally, I bought this jacket in December after seeing it in our Barkingside shop: 80’s, reversible, with a nautical print – I was sold!

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Thank you for reading and I hope you feel inspired to go and have a look in one of our shops.