Beds, Herts & Bucks

Knickers Model's Own: Year of charity clothes goes 'out with a bang'

Caroline Jones Image copyright Knickers Model's Own
Image caption Caroline Jones has worn a different charity-shop sourced outfit every day of 2015

A woman wearing charity shop outfits for a year to raise money for cancer research says she is "fusing fashion and science" in her final outfit.

Caroline Jones, 47, from Harpenden in Hertfordshire, began Knickers Model's Own in memory of her mother Mary Benson, who died of breast cancer.

Her 365th outfit is a modified lab coat from Cancer Research UK scientists at the Cambridge Institute.

"This is paying tribute to the scientists," she said.

"Without science you can't have the Cancer Research shops.

"It's been hard to find a final outfit because eyes are on you. I wanted to go out with a bang - but to me it's all about fusing fashion and science."

Image copyright Knickers Model's Own
Image caption She was given the lab coat with the challenge to 'style it up'
Image copyright Knickers Model's Own
Image caption Caroline Jones started her campaign on 1 January and has posted a daily picture on social media ever since

Ms Jones was given the coat by centre director Simon Tavaré, who challenged her to "style it up".

She has since worked with a tailor to make it look "more like a coat dress", although she admitted it was a "very different look" for her.

Mrs Benson, who died in October 2014, had been a volunteer at the charity's Harpenden shop for 13 years.

Mother-of-three Ms Jones started volunteering as a window dresser soon after her mother died, and on New Year's Eve last year decided she would post a photograph every day on social media of her wearing a different outfit.

She hoped to raise £1,000 in a year, but her daily posts became so popular she increased her fundraising target. So far she has raised more than £43,500.

Image copyright Knickers Model's Own
Image caption Ms Jones volunteers as a window dresser at the Cancer Research UK shop in Harpenden

She says her next project will be to write a book about her year of pre-loved fashion, but the first thing she is going to do is buy some new footwear.

"On 1 Jan I won't be thinking about what I'm wearing but I will carry on wearing pre-loved clothes - it's part of my life," she said.

"Then I'm going to buy some new shoes - it's been hard finding my size in a style I'd like, and with shoes the size has to be right."

Image copyright Pennybird and Camera
Image caption More than 300 people attended a sale of Caroline Jones's clothes
Image copyright Knickers Model's Own
Image caption Caroline Jones said her campaign had "captured the imagination"
Image copyright Knickers Model's Own
Image caption "People are drawn to the campaign because of the message - you can be fashionable and ethical," Ms Jones said

Simon Ledsham, director of volunteer fundraising at Cancer Research UK said the charity was "thrilled" by Ms Jones' campaign.

"She has been an inspiration to many and has shown what great clothing can be found in our shops," he said.

Ms Jones's efforts have also been recognised by Prime Minister David Cameron, who awarded her a Point of Light award, a daily accolade to celebrate people's "remarkable achievements".

"Caroline has come up with an innovative way to pay tribute to her mother and raise a fantastic amount of money for charity," Mr Cameron said. "As well as raising money for an important cause, Caroline has helped raise awareness of the benefits of shopping in charity shops and that with a little styling outfits can be ethical and fashionable."

Related Topics

More on this story

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites