Norwich shop lets you make money from unwanted fashion

Investment fashion is haute couture this year and there are many opportunities to buy and make money out of high end and designer pieces in Norwich, says EMMA HARROWING.

The new year means a new start on the fashion front. If you are fed up with 'throw-away' fashion and buying items that don't even last one season you will be pleased to hear that investment fashion buys are becoming increasingly popular on the high street.

High end and designer buys were once thought of as the domain of the rich and famous, but these days it is frugal to invest in high quality items.

This is because even though you will initially spend more than you usually would on an item, it is usually the case that the high quality item will fit you perfectly, will fall in the right places and crucially will last years.

This will make it one of your favourite items in your wardrobe and will be the item that you will wear a lot.

Compare this to an item that you have picked up in the bargain bin for five pounds. It may not fit that well, or flatter your figure and the seams may start to come undone after a couple of washes. So then you buy another to replace it and then another.

If you add up the amount you spend on clothes in a year it could be that if you save and buy a few key investment buys you will actually spend less in the long run.

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Alternatively, if you are a hoarder and have a wardrobe or attic full of unworn high quality clothes, the news that investment buys are trendy could be a money-spinner for you this year.

Ego, a fashion outlet in Chapelfield was set up last year by students from the Retail Skills Academy at City College Norwich. The shop sells many investment fashion items from designers such as Vivienne Westwood and Prada to high end high street items, but the real secret behind the shop's success is that it enables you to make money.

The shop is the place to sell your unwanted nearly new designer and high end fashion items.

All you have to do is take your items into the shop and if they are accepted Ego will sell them for you and give you 52pc of the price it was sold for.

'It works in a similar way to Ebay, but instead of having to upload a picture of your item and keep track of it online, you can just hand it into the shop and we will give you 52pc of the price paid,' says Sue Dougal, head of the Retail Skills Academy in Norwich. 'Ego gives students interested in a career in retail the chance to get hands-on experience in a real retail environment, so not only will you be making money you will also be helping make the shop a success for the students.

'Many people have boxes of high quality and even designer clothes stashed away in a cupboard or attic. This year is the time to clear out your wardrobes and hunt out those items that could be brought to Ego for us to sell to people who want to invest in fashionable items.'

Ego has recently appointed a new store manager, Alistair Divers, who can give you styling tips if you are looking to invest in a key designer piece, or if you want to sell your designer items.

Life Matters couldn't help but take a look at some of the stock available in the shop and with the help of Alistair at Ego and Norwich model Amy Woodman, who starred on Britain's Next Top Model, create a fashion shoot of timeless looks that has inspired us to declutter our wardrobes for 2012.

Take a look at some of the photos from the shoot by clicking on the photo gallery link at the top right hand side of this page.