The UK charity shop 英國的慈善義賣商店

What should you do with your unwanted stuff? Take it to a charity shop!
Why not take your unwanted things to a charity shop?

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處理多餘的舊物是很多人日常生活中的一大難題。有些東西雖然不再需要,但扔掉又可惜。在英國,人們經常會把多餘的衣服、書籍等物品捐給慈善義賣商店,這些商店隨後會以折扣價把它們轉賣出去,從而幫助那些真正有需要的貧困者。本集《隨身英語》介紹英國慈善商店的前世今生。

Vocabulary: charity and recycling 詞彙: 慈善和回收利用

What do you do with old stuff? That top you bought for a party three years ago, for example. You wore it once and it’s been hanging in your wardrobe ever since. You could throw it away, but that seems wasteful – after all it’s still perfectly usable. So, what to do? In the UK, we might take it to a charity shop.

The first charity shops appeared in Britain in the 19th Century. The Salvation Army, a UK charity, was one of the first to run a second-hand clothing shop to provide the impoverished and needy with affordable clothes. This was followed by charities such as the British Red Cross, who also relieved hardship and raised money for the war effort during World War Two. The modern form we know today was opened in 1947 by Oxfam.

These days, charity shops are a common sight with around 11,200 shops across the UK, according to the Charity Retail Association. During business hours any member of the public can donate their unwanted items to a charity shop – clothes, books, electronics, furniture. Most charity shops will take anything. These items are checked for wear and tear and if found still serviceable, priced up to be sold at a heavily discounted price.

For many, this is a win-win situation. To the charity, it means a valuable source of revenue, which they can use to pursue their charitable aim. To the consumer, it provides the opportunity to buy, often extremely cheaply, items and clothes. Though previously owned, they are durable. To the donator, it declutters and may help to assuage consumer guilt. “You can make a pretty good case to yourself that you are doing good, because what you are doing is going towards a charitable cause [and] you are saving stuff from landfill,” Clare Press, fashion journalist and sustainable style advocate, tells the Guardian. Indeed, approximately £140 million worth of clothing alone goes into landfill each year, according to UK charity WRAP, the Waste and Resources Action Programme.

There are sometimes hidden treasures for the buyers, too. On more than one occasion a buyer has purchased something very cheaply, only to later discover its true value – such as a screen print bought for 99p and later found to be by English artist Ben Nicholson. It sold at auction for £4,200. So next time you need to rid yourself of something, spare a thought for the charity shop – after all, charity begins at home!

詞彙表

throw away 扔掉
wasteful 浪費的
usable 能用的
charity shop 慈善商店
second-hand 二手的
impoverished 貧困的
needy 窮苦的,貧寒的
relieve hardship 解困
donate 捐出
unwanted 不需要的,多餘的
wear and tear 磨損
serviceable 可以使用的
previously owned 二手的
durable 耐用的
declutter 清理(多餘的物品)
do good 做好事
charitable cause 慈善事業
sustainable 可持續的
hidden treasure 隱藏的寶藏
charity begins at home 好事從身邊做起

測驗與練習

1. 閱讀課文並回答問題。

1. When was the first charitable sale of second-hand clothing in Britain?

2. What do charity shops do before selling items?

3. Why are charity shops advantageous for charities?

4. How much clothing is thrown away in the UK each year?

5. Which word in the text means ‘make unpleasant feelings less strong’?

2. 請在不參考課文的情況下完成下列練習。選擇一個意思合適的單字填入句子的空格處。

1. I’m selling raffle tickets to raise money for a ______. Will you buy one?

needy       unwanted       hidden treasure       charitable cause

2. How can you work with this mess on your desk? I think you need to ______ it.

declutter       throw away       relieve       durable

3. It’s a tough jacket but it’s showing signs of ______. See? The sleeve is ripped.

second-hand       hardship       wear and tear       durable

4. You eat all your food and don’t be ______. There are many people who are hungry.

useable       wasteful       impoverished       needy

5. It’s an old car, but it’s still ______. Just don’t drive it hundreds of miles in one go!

serviceable      previously owned       hidden treasure       do good

答案

1. 閱讀課文並回答問題。

1. When was the first charitable sale of second-hand clothing in Britain?
The first ‘charity shops’ sold clothes in the 19th Century.

2. What do charity shops do before selling items?
They check items for wear and tear and then price them up.

3. Why are charity shops advantageous for charities?
Because charity shops provide charities with a valuable source of revenue which they can use to pursue their charitable aim.

4. How much clothing is thrown away in the UK each year?
Approximately £140 million worth of clothing goes into landfill each year.

5. Which word in the text means ‘make unpleasant feelings less strong’?
Assuage. To the donator, it declutters and may help to assuage consumer guilt.

2. 請在不參考課文的情況下完成下列練習。選擇一個意思合適的單字填入句子的空格處。

1. I’m selling raffle tickets to raise money for a charitable cause. Will you buy one?

2. How can you work with this mess on your desk? I think you need to declutter it.

3. It’s a tough jacket but it’s showing signs of wear and tear. See? The sleeve is ripped.

4. You eat all your food and don’t be wasteful. There are many people who are hungry.

5. It’s an old car, but it’s still serviceable. Just don’t drive it hundreds of miles in one go!

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