For over ten years, social enterprise Roundabout has been providing support to 48 charitable organisations around China, Inner Mongolia and Mongolia, acting as a bridge connecting those who wish to donate their time or money, with those in need. Focused on providing aid to a wide range of disadvantaged families, children and the elderly, Roundabout also has the illustrious distinction of being Mainland China's first charity store.
Those familiar with Roundabout will be aware that the charity currently has a Warehouse, plus Boutique and Community Centre out in Shunyi. While the Warehouse deals with donations and larger furniture, the Boutique specialises in selling locally produced items, as well as donated secondhand goods. However, now joining Roundabout's retail roster is a brand-new store specialising in vintage and designer clothing.
According to Lead Organiser Lili Zhou, over the last few years, Roundabout has been lucky enough to have a large quantity of vintage and designer items donated to the store. However, the team felt that by selling them in their general Roundabout store, 'they weren’t fully maximising the potential profit' of the clothes.
Enter the Vintage and Designer Store. Essentially just a partitioned space within the existing boutique, we take a quick look at what's on offer.
What are they selling?
Roundabout's Vintage and Designer Store sells, as its name suggests, both new and secondhand items, from clothing, to shoes, to accessories. New clothing is received in one of two ways: from a local business which sells its items in the boutique (then donates 30 percent of its total sales back to Roundabout); and companies who donate their new, but unwanted, end-of-line items. Secondhand goods, on the other hand, are donated by the general public (that's you!).
How much do items cost?
Prices, frankly, don't start cheap here, and can range anywhere from 75RMB to 1,000RMB, and beyond. Brand-new knee-length dresses come in roughly at the 300RMB mark, while long dresses are 750RMB. That being said, if you're someone who's after unique vintage or designer clothing, it's worth taking the time to explore Roundabout's racks for that one-off piece you won't be able to find anywhere else.
How can people donate?
Roundabout's always after new stock, so you can donate any vintage or designer label clothes (that are still in good condition) at any time. They're also on the lookout for consignment pieces to sell on customers' behalf, with 30 percent of the total sale price going to Roundabout. So for those of you who have any special pieces you'd like to sell (but can't be bothered doing the actual selling), bring them along to Roundabout's new store where they'll sell your items for you and give you 70 percent of the profits in return. Helping out a charity while receiving money for your unwanted clothes? Looks like a win-win situation to us.