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Lama's Pyjamas

Photo credit Hugo Glendinnings

Surely we are very near to heaven, if not to nirvana, if we enjoy our work, and if our work is our life! - Sangharakshita


Artangel & Miranda July present Norwood Jewish Charity Shop, London Buddhist Centre Charity Shop, & Spitalfields Crypt Trust Charity Shop in Solidarity with Islamic Relief Charity Shop at Selfridges.

The London Buddhist Centre is part of a new artwork by Miranda July and Artangel which takes the form of an interfaith charity shop. It is located on the third floor of Selfridges and open to the public from 31 August – 22 October 2017. The shop is by artist, writer and filmmaker Miranda July. It is a major commission by arts organisation Artangel, and the artist’s first commission in the UK.

This is the UK’s first interfaith charity shop is run and staffed jointly by the London Buddhist Centre and three other religious charities chosen by Miranda July: Islamic Relief, Spitafields Crypt Trust  and the Jewish charity, Norwood. The proceeds will be shared equally between the four partners, all of whom run their own charity shops.

Net sales are divided equally between the four participating charity shops. Each is donating 2.5% of their share to another charity of their choice: Islamic Relief is donating to The Bike Project; Norwood to Carers in Hertfordshire; London Buddhist Centre to Praxis Community Project; and Spitalfields Crypt Trust to Providence Row.

Items for sale are typical of those traditionally sold in charity shops - second-hand clothes, books, games, DVD's, kitchenware, toys ornaments and bric-a-brac. Prices are the same as in any charity shop. 

Miranda July is known for artworks that depend upon the public’s participation — be they apps, performances or sculptures. Her interfaith charity shop at Selfridges will present customers with an unexpected retail experience that will resonate with founder Harry Gordon Selfridge’s famous pronouncement in 1909 that his store was created as an open house, where “everyone is welcome”.

“The London Buddhist Centre is delighted to contribute to such a timely, creative initiative. Both our Centre and our charity shop Lama’s Pyjamas are located on the busy Roman Rd in Bethnal Green, Tower Hamlets, home to many diverse communities. The whole world comes into our charity shop and our doors, like Miranda July’s art work, are open to all”.

Abhayanandi, Lama’s Pyjamas manager and teacher at the London Buddhist Centre


Lama's Pyjamas is part of the London Buddhist Centre (LBC) located just round the corner in Bethnal Green in the London Borough of Tower Hamlets. All our profits go to support the work of the LBC from teaching meditation and yoga to retreats for carers and mindfulness for depression, outreach work in schools and open days. People from all walks of life and backgrounds benefit from the work of the LBC which has a national reputation for pioneering programmes.

We’re fortunate to have a brilliant location on the busy Roman Rd near Bethnal Green tube and en route to the historic Roman Road market. We’re just a short hop from Shoreditch, Brick Lane and the City. We’re right in the middle of the East End and our regular customers and donors reflect the diverse, vibrant make-up of the area.

We enjoy an incredibly loyal following among our many regular customers. Some come in for a browse and a buy every day, while the generosity of our donors never ceases to astonish us. Where else could you delve into a black bin and bring out Vivienne Westwood boots, Paul Smith suits, Nicole Farhi handbags and  Diane von Furstenburg dresses?

According to our customers, we stand out not only for the range and quality of our stock but for the friendly and supportive environment that we create in the shop. We see every interaction with our customers and donors and each other as an opportunity to bring a bit more loving kindness and mindfulness onto our busy high street. We start each day with a reminder of our Buddhist ethics, a different practice for each day of the working week.