We're probably all familiar with the alarming Black Friday scenes on the news, of bargain-hungry shoppers piling into stores and clambering over each other, sometimes even wrestling for the desired product. 

Some find these scenes amusing, others distasteful, but there can be no doubt that the idea of Black Friday - the date on which brands sometimes reduce the cost of items - has broad-reaching appeal. 

But given the backdrop of waste that we're becoming a great deal more aware of, thanks to programmes such as Liz Bonnin's Drowning in Plastic, Attenborough's Blue Planet and Stacey Dooley's Fashion's Dirty Secrets, are there other ways to shop for bargains that don't require athleticism or sharp elbows?

We're becoming more alert to the waste generated by industries such as the fashion industry and as a result of almost everything we buy, which is why shopping in charity shops is not only an ethical choice, but a very rewarding choice too. 

Here are some surprises the ethical consumer might be interested in hearing about.

Quality needn't cost the shirt off your back

Devon Air Ambulance shops only sell items that meet our quality standards: they are clean, without wear and tear, and feature the legally required care labels where appropriate.

We also price our items according to a pricing code that is consistent across all of our 19 shops, according to brand and quality of that item. Clothing comes in and goes out of our doors very quickly, so it's always worth having a look at what's come in and you may find a brilliant bargain.

Don't forget to visit our outlet store in Exmouth. When donations have completed a 6-week shelf-life across two of our shops, we then pass them to our Exmouth shop where every item is significantly reduced, so you can plan your wardrobe for a specific budget.

Hundreds of brands find their way to our shops

We are fortunate in that we receive many items that are very well made - and sometimes garments that haven't even been worn. There's something for everyone from hundreds of retailers. All our donations are nevertheless consistently priced according to our secondhand price chart, so savvy shoppers with a flair for quality cut and materials can feel positive about finding a bargain.

It's also worth having a regular hunt around, particularly after weekends or during holiday periods when most people have a chance to sort through their belongings  and have a good tidy up. 

Shop everything from the electrical to the eclectic

Not only can you find everything from clothing and shoes, to DVDs, books, toys and bric-a-brac in our shops, but we also have specialist shops too. Pop into Exeter's Furniture and Electrical shop for a great range of choices with which to kit out a home. 

More eclectic and unusual items can be discovered in our Vintage & Variety shops in Dartmouth and Topsham. You are sure to find some beautiful and rare items that possess that little extra charm you can't get with a brand new or modern equivalent.

Support #BuyNothingNew day on Friday 23 November 2018 instead

A pre-loved item may be old to someone else, but it is new to you, so this Black Friday, why not forgo the busy sales rails and the heaving shop floors?

Why not think about how you can not only make an ethical choice with your charity shop purchase, but make a meaningful difference to others as well, as all our profits go into keeping your Air Ambulances flying.

Find your nearest Devon Air Ambulance Charity Shop.

Read The Lifecycle of Your Donated Item to find out more about the stock we accept and what happens to it. You might also like to read Trash or Treasure - a practical guide to what you can do with the items we can't accept.