New Zealanders make-do and mend, they re-use more than they recycle so it's no wonder that the charity barn - a warehouse of a charity shop - exist here. Many of the items are free or very cheap and are not ridiculously marked up as is often the case in UK charity shops. At $2 a piece they can easily compete with the likes of Primark. I'm guessing more of the items of clothing end up being re-used here before being sent to textile merchants.
The council run banks are well ordered with the clothes separated-out according to colour but the charity run ones tend to have gigantic piles of clothes that you just have to roll up your sleeves and go through. I'm more at home with the sorted places and went on a mini 'spending' spree - picking up two tops and a pair of jeans for the princely sum of $6. I even got that 'buzz' you get after a fruitful day of shopping on the high street! But the banks don't just deal in clothes they offer almost every household item you could desire and are true Aladdin's caves. It is in theory possible to kit out a whole household with the stuff available.
Mattresses, hard back chairs, stools, high chairs, old ring binders, rows of radiators and fan heaters, electric fires, all manner and colour of armchairs and sofas - matching and mismatching sets.
Usually somewhere in the background a radio plays sunny Saturday afternoon hits. CD racks, coffee tables, a shopping trolley full of miscellaneous items, record players, ghetto blasters, suitcases, rows and rows of glasses and cups with ill-matched saucers, novelty and not-so-novelty mugs, piles of books with inscriptions like 'Happy 7th Birthday Lucy' and 'This is Rebecca's book'. A hand written recipe book with instructions on how to a make walnut cake, steamed pudding and Lucia's tomato chili sauce.
Vases of dusty plastic flowers, a wicker recliner, torches, food blenders, thermos flasks, dishwashers, washing machines, ironing boards, a musty smell, cushions, bedding, dolls, dolls heads, plastic boxes and endless piles of bits of plastic toys. A bewildering collection of used skis, teddy bears, carpet, lampshades, projection screens, Venetian blinds, shelves, beds, bed steads, irons, empty biscuit tins, hairdryers, hoovers, television sets, ornaments.....and a single, forlorn-looking, pair of football boots.