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Local Spotlight: Mary’s Living and Giving Shop

Local Spotlight: Mary’s Living and Giving Shop


As part of our Earth Month we caught up with the team at the fabulous new Mary’s Living & Giving shop in Chiswick.  Go along and find some real gems – all money goes to Save the Children.

Mary’s Living & Giving shop is at 152 Chiswick High Road, W4 1PR.

What is the philosophy behind Mary’s Living & Giving Shop?

Mary’s Living & Giving Shops for Save the Children were established in 2009 from a philosophy created for Save the Children by retail expert Mary Portas.  The philosophy goes much deeper than just shopping…the shops are community hubs run largely by local people for local people.  They are where you can come to find inspiration, share a bit of local news, a skill, pass the time of day; all in the belief that giving something back is important.

What makes Mary’s Living & Giving Shops unique?

Mary’s Living & Giving Shops offer a revolutionary antidote to shopping – a human and ethical shopping experience;  and it is an experience.  From the moment you walk in the door to when you leave, we want to make you feel like part of the Mary’s Living & Giving family.

Each of the Mary’s Living & Giving Shops have a unique ‘look and feel’– so no two shops are the same.  The design of each is sympathetic to the community in which it lives.  The Chiswick shop (which was designed as a gift from our talented friends at nearby AMD Architecture) reflects the artisan history of Chiswick – resembles an artist’s studio and gallery, with fabulous donations from designer brands and local artisans being displayed as framed artworks.  The studio, with its paint spattered floor is home to both childrenswear and homewares, and there are tasteful pieces of objets d’art strategically merchandised throughout. And let’s not forget the courtyard area including the sculpture garden, which will be the setting for many fundraising events in the height of Summer.  Design and the shopping experience are key to our customers, and therefore they are important to us too.

Product: without the generous donations from the local community, designers and retailers, we would not be able to offer such an eclectic and covetable array of branded goods; all at attractive prices.  There is definitely something in all or our shops to suit all pockets!

Shopping with a conscience and saving children’s lives whilst you shop, is the best kind of shopping in our book!


What sort of things do you sell?

At our Chiswick shop you will find everything from womenswear, menswear,childrenswear and homeware, through to books and bric-a-brac.  We even have a dedicated art space, so you never know what priceless artwork you may find in our ‘gallery’.

Your top pieces on sale in the Chiswick shop?

Vintage YSL Rive Gauche womens skirt and jacket suit (£195)

Gina shoes: black flat ballet pumps with feather and jewel detail at front (£95)

Ray Ban sunglasses – mens and womens (from £50 each)

Black leather mid heeled, calf length Jimmy Choo boots with zip up back  (£140)

Donna Karan biker-style tan soft-leather jacket with epaulettes and stitch detail (£160)

Where does the money go?

The money raised from every item sold in our shops is used to fund the vital work we do at Save the Children, both here in the UK and abroad.

Last year, for the first time in our ninety-four year history, Save the Children directly contributed to improving the lives of more than 10 million children around the world. These 10 million children gained access to life saving drugs and services, education, nutritious food and were protected from harm as a result of programmes that we are delivering around the world and here in the UK.  Our No Child Born to Die and the Enough Food for Everyone IF Campaigns have made a significant and positive impact. In Nigeria alone we reached 1.5m children in the North which is a testament to those supporters who donate, thus making this change possible, and to our staff who work tirelessly in, what is often incredibly insecure environments www.savethechildren.org.uk

How has the shop been received by the local community?

The local community has been amazing, and has welcomed us with open arms.  Their generosity has been unbelievable and not just in terms of donations, but also in terms of volunteer support and just general insight.  The Mary’s Living & Giving Shops does not just belong to the charity, but it belongs to the volunteers, the customers and the local community at large. Without the love and support from the local community, we really would not be able to survive.

We genuinely love our community – they are our suppliers, our shoppers, our neighbours, our supporters and our friends!

What donations can locals bring in?

The majority of stock that you see in the shop is donated over the counter by the local community.

We welcome every donation (menswear, womenswear, childrenswear, homewares, books and bric a brac), no matter how small.  And nothing is wasted.  Anything we are unable to sell is passed onto one of our other shops.  We think of each donation as a gift, and treat it with respect.

What is the most rewarding thing about working in Mary’s Living & Giving Shop?

There are so many rewarding things about working in a Mary’s Living & Giving Shop, but one of the main facts that we are told by our volunteers is that ‘Fashion really can save lives!’ Knowing that the efforts of everyone combined really does make a difference to a child’s life, whether they be here in the UK or abroad.  All of our volunteers are very proud to work for Save the Children; they love being part of a caring family that is doing everything within their realm to make a difference.  Equally it is great to see someone who would not normally shop in charity shops, come in, shop and then join us on the ‘Save the Children’ journey supporting our cause.

For more information visit:


Photo credit: Ali Kulakowski/Save the Children

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