Limerick woman’s passion for fashion brings the bargain bin to the catwalk

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Noirín de Barra

A LIMERICK volunteer who has worked in the city’s charity shops for more than five years is on a mission to champion buying for less.

Noirín de Barra from Shannon Banks in Corbally is organising a mammoth night of fun and fashion with the novel twist – all the outfits on parade will be from charity and second-hand shops.

“When you buy something in a charity shop, you have the thrill of getting a great bargain. You’re recycling and helping save the planet and helping a good cause,” Noirín told the Limerick Post.

She pointed out for the germaphobes that every item of clothing donated is steam cleaned before going on sale, adding that some items are sold for only a couple of euro, often with designer labels.

“With the cost of living putting everyone, particularly parents, under pressure, the shops can be a great place to pick up unique Christmas presents.

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“In my time working in charity shops, we got some unbelievable stuff in. Toys that had never been taken out of the box. There was one volunteer who used to count every piece in donated thousand-piece jigsaws to make sure there were none missing.”

To stage the show, the former volunteer has already gotten four city shops on board with promises of support from four more.

Each shop will give five unique items to be added to a raffle to raise funds for the Peter McVerry Trust for the homeless in the city.

Noirín has already recruited models for the event, ranging in age from 20 to 83 in an effort to prove that budget fashion can be a passion at any age.

The show will feature two brides and Noirín will be on the catwalk in person as, she says, “the mother in law from hell” boasting an outfit she bought for her niece’s wedding that cost just costing just €21 (including hat, shoes, and accessories).

Tickets, donated by Thomond Printers, cost €10 euro each and can be bought from participating charity shops.

“There will be no dividing up of ticket money,” the bargain fashionista says.

“The money will go directly to the shops where the tickets are sold, so people can choose to support their favourite charity shop.”