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Mary Portas launches charity chain

Retail guru Mary Portas has launched her own chain of charity shops under the Mary’s Living and Giving Shop fascia.

The first store opened in Edinburgh this week and Portas will open five more branches next year with the aim of persuading shoppers to buy second hand and used designer clothing in preference to mass-produced garments from the likes of Primark, which she claims has had a negative impact on UK shopping habits.

The chain will support charity Save the Children, and Portas told The Guardian newspaper: “I don’t think there’s any shop which looks as cool and as fabulous as this. The whole concept is how do we rethink the charity shop and create a business model that has real potential in the next 10 to 20 years.”

Portas has stocked the shop with donations from designer womenwear and menswear clothing brands including Ralph Lauren and with a bag of clothes donated by TV presenter Carol Smillie.

The Edinburgh store is on the edge of the city’s well-heeled New Town and the idea for the chain followed Portas’ Orpington Save the Children store makeover in her last TV series.



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