Music Magpie – making money by Recycling

This morning I am going to tell you about a very useful website I have recently discovered. As regular readers of Fashion-mommy know, I am a huge fan of recycling and upcycling goods, I avidly sort out my rubbish, my wardrobe is regularly culled and unwanted stuff given to Charity Shops, and I am forever filling charity bags that land on my doorstep. But Website Music Magpie may well change the way I look at recycling in that you can actually make money from all manner of things that you may previously have given away, from old clothing to DVDs, from games and consoles to recycling your old mobile phone. You can even sell Nintendo Wii games and consoles and then put the money towards something else that you now really want.

How does it work?

Making money from your unwanted stuff is very easy with Music Magpie. When you visit the website, a pop-up window allows you to quickly find the value of items you are planning to sell.  For CDs, DVDs and games, you simply enter the barcode number, for clothes you enter the brand and the garment type, for technical/electrical items you enter the make and model. From this simple information, you can get an instant valuation.  If you decide the price is right 9to quote that 1980s classic quiz show…) you can then either send your item, or if it is a big item, or maybe you’re selling lots of things, you can have the item collected. The great news is that both the ‘send’ service, and the courier service are absolutely free of charge, with the courier service also being fully insured for loss and damage.

How do I get paid?

Payment can be made in the form of a bank transfer or a cheque. You can also have your payment in e-vouchers, perfect if you have your eye on something that you particularly want to buy. (They do M&S vouchers which are always popular. Or, if you are feeling particularly philanthropic, you can donate your earnings to one of the charities that Music Magpie supports, including the Terrence Higgins Trust, various animal and children’s charities.

So, what exactly are you waiting for? You can get that new bag you have your eye on by selling some of that overflowing wardrobe. Or get your youngest that Nintendo Wii game by getting rid of some of the games that he/she has already mastered, or simply got bored with. Whatever you want a bit of spare cash for, Music Magpie can address all your needs very quickly and simply. What’s not to love?

Helen Dobson- Future Jewellery Star!

Last week, I  attended the ‘Brilliantly Birmingham’ ethical jewellery talk that was chaired by Kate Carter, the Lifestyle editor of ‘The Guardian’. While I was there, I was lucky enough to meet Helen Dobson. Helen is a jewellery student, currently in her final year at The University of Birmingham. BUt what makes Helen so unusual and interesting is that she is currently the ONLY ethical Jewellery student in BCU!


Helen Dobson, talented and principled.


Helen first became interested in making jewellery in an ethical fashion whilst travelling around the world.  Although she was able to experience all manner of beauty, she also came face to face with the grim realities of mining for the precious gold and diamonds used to create beautiful items of  Jewellery. She made a decision that the jewellery she created which be made ethically, using a range of both recycled metals and stones, fair trade gold, and alternative materials, such as vegetable ivory.

Since then, Helen has proved she is talented as well as principled, creating beautiful pieces of jewellery using recycled materials. Her first fully ethical range was ‘The Sakura Range’, made using 100% recycled UK silver. This range is based on Cherry Blossom.

The Sakura range by Helen Dobson


Another inspired piece is the Nepenthes pendant. This stunning piece has been made from 100% recycled UK silver and Peridot. It is based on Pitcher plants, carnivorous plants found in tropical regions.

Nepenthes Pendant by Helen Dobson


Helen ultimately wants to see ethically sourced and produced jewellery being sold on the British High Street. She believes that design is the key to this, that people need to love the design and beauty of the item, rather than just its background. Producing stylish, covetable pieces is the key to this, and Helen hopes to follow the likes of Fifi Bijoux’s Vivien Johnstone and Sara Preisler in attracting new customers into buying ethical jewellery, by making it more available and visible to the masses.

Helen has clearly principled intentions, and with talent in abundance to back this up, hers is a name you will be hearing from in the future. Her website is well worth a look to find out more about the wonderful world of ethical jewellery, and the amazing, sometimes strange things that can be used to create it.

To find out more about Helen, visit her web page

NEWLIFE and SCHUH – Putting their best foot forward.

Question – How many pairs of shoes do you own. If you’re like the average women in the UK, chances are you will own between 40-60 pairs of shoes. If, like Fashion-Mommy, you’re not exactly average, the chances are you will own even more than that, possibly even moving towards a three figure amount.

Women are passionate about shoes, but we own a great many pairs that we never actually wear. There are the impulse buys, the ones that are wrong size, those that hurt our feet too much to be worn for long, the wrong colour, those we bought for a wedding and have worn just once.

Well, if you live in Sunderland you now you have the chance to put those unwanted shoes to good use, whilst earning yourself a nice voucher to help you buy…what else…more new shoes.  Fabulous shoe retailer Schuh, famed for their cutting edge designs and branded names, are launching an exclusive recycling scheme especially for shoes, with all proceeds going to the disabled children’s charity NEWLIFE.

How does this work?

It’s quite simple really. You take your old, unloved and unwanted shoes to the Sunderland branch Of Schuh, located within The Bridges. You will then be given a £10 Schuh voucher which you spend on more shoes!  This scheme will be taking place throughout October in Sunderland, and, if successful, may then be introduced in other Schuh stores across the country. This will help purchase essential and potentially life saving equipment for disabled children through the NEWLIFE Foundation.

Chris Roddie, store manager of Sunderland Schuh, says: “The team are really excited that the initiative is being trailed here in Sunderland and we can’t wait to get involved, make it a success, and help Newlife Foundation get into full swing across the network of Uk Schuh stores.”

Sarah King, marketing manager of the Bridges, adds: “This is a real coup for the Sunderland Schuh store and an excellent opportunity for shoppers to get involved and do their bit for charity while bolstering their love of shoes at the same time.”

NEWLIFE currently needs to raise £283,318 in order to help 123 children needing essential equipment. So, sort that shoe closet and get down to the Sunderland Schuh store this October.