Twitter@bodaciousquotacious “I’m not materialistic. I believe in presents from the heart, like a drawing that a child does.” Victoria Beckham

November 9, 2009

I am all for instilling a sense of charity in your kids, as David and Victoria Beckham say they are doing with theirs, but there is another example the Becks could set. Lady B gets given much of her fine wardrobe. She is one of the best clothes horses in town and a newly ordained designer to boot. But by appearing to hoover up shoes, clothes and bags like a hardened cocaine snorter she is giving the legions of fans who follow her such a picture of avid consumerism it could lead her less savvy followers down the road to serious debt.

Don’t get me wrong I love the poshest of the Spice’s. She wears the kind of shoes I would choose to twist around a pole. She was also born under my sun sign of Aries so is a fellow social tourettes sufferer, which makes for hilarious reading.

However she would seriously play the integrity card by flying over from the US and going shopping at the Selfridges Really Really Great Garage Sale this Sunday where Louise Redknapp, Trinny Woodall, Yasmin Le Bon and Denise Van Outen, amongst others, will be donating covetable items for sale and acting as stallholders to raise money for the charity Mothers4children. No-one would give Mrs Beckham gip for being snapped wearing something second hand. The last time she did an Oxfam photocall in 2006, she got a heap of easy publicity and sales of women’s clothes at Oxfam went through the roof. So it’s win win.

I am not one for telling people to do things I would not dream of doing myself, (apart from “taking a hike”) so, having heard charities are losing subscriptions hand over fist, I have upped my personal donations and tempered my own out of control clothes’ habit. I have swapped Zara for frock-swapping and Oxford St for Ebay. I keep my eye on dates at

I even frock-swap and swish online at and but do prefer parties to the online experience: the Internet has nothing on holding a glass of Chilean white in one hand and sifting through a rail of glorious bargains with the other. “Swishing parties are for all those women who want to combine glamour, environmental protection and frugality,” says Lucy Shea, founder of Swishing and director of Futerra Sustainability Communications on her site , “Save money, save the planet, have a party.”

According to Shea the rules of the rail are simple:

1) Everyone must bring at least one item of quality clothing.
2) You have half an hour to browse before the swish opens.
3) No item may be claimed before the swish opens.
4) As soon as the swish is declared open, everyone may take what they want.
5) And, lest we forget, no scratching, spitting or fighting.”

Swishing not only keeps you off the high street, it is good for your money kharma. Most parties raise money for charity and some even give you a percentage of the proceeds from the clothes you donate. The last frock swap I participated in at a friend’s house took 25% off each item sold for Multiple Sclerosis and we pocketed the rest. Despite spending most of my booty the same night I was proud to get rid of my most heinous fashion mistakes, chuffed I hadn’t added to the carbon count and sweatshop labour and felt like a child with a secret pack of chewing gum as I walked out of the door, fingering the small wad of notes in my pocket.

Who knows, with a little public pressure, maybe we could convince the lady of labels to alternate between her clothes line and vintage. Could I be so bold as to suggest she take the swishing trend to LA? Forget her new forays into fashion design, big up vintage in Beverley Hills and Mrs Beckham really could change the world.


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