According to research by Marks & Spencer and Oxfam, the value of unwanted clothes in British wardrobes is estimated to be £4.6bn, so it’s no wonder our local charity shops are giving established high street haunts a run for their money.
From retro furnishings to Dior ballgowns, we’ve collated a list of London’s best charity shops that are guaranteed to offer up a guilt-free and savvy shopping adventure.
1. All Aboard
Of the many All Aboard shops, West Hampstead is perhaps its most prominent branch. Supporting Jewish charities across London, it’s a goldmine for vibrant accessories, kitschy homeware and vintage crockery.
Where? 224 West End Lane, NW6 1UF
2. Cancer Research UK
Located in an area frequented by the likes of Kate Moss and Cara Delevingne, this central branch of Cancer Research UK is just a short walk from Bond Street. Brimming with high street steals to powerhouse investments, pre-loved pieces from Louboutin, Prada and Burberry are no stranger here.
Where? Marylebone High St, W1U 4PQ
3. British Red Cross
Located a few minutes walk from Victoria station, this branch of the British Red Cross is exactly what you’d expect from this ‘Sloaney Pony‘ neighbourhood. From Barbour jackets to ballgowns, you’ll be in good company with secondhand Hugo Boss, LK Bennett and Reiss finds.
Where? 69-71 Old Church Street, London, SW3 5BS
4. Mary’s Living and Giving
Run by local volunteers, retail expert Mary Portas has pioneered a new direction for high-end charity shops that incorporate the community and raise money for worthy causes. A bohemian, cosy space in which to browse, Portas’ Primrose Hill branch is a luxurious affair for savvy shoppers alike.
Where? 11 Clifton Rd, W9 1SZ
Right in the heart of East London, this buzzing branch of Oxfam is best known for its music and book collections, as well as its impressive array of vintage and couture clothes. Not for the faint-hearted, this Oxfam is renowned for brazen statement pieces and pop-up events.
Where? 514-518 Kingsland Rd, E8 4AR
Victoria / Pimlico
Unlike many of its second-hand counterparts, Retromania maintains a shabby-chic vibe that would rival Brick Lane’s designer vintage stores. Part of the Fara charity retail group, who spend their profits on orphaned and abandoned Romanian children, the Retromania branch is a hub for fashionable finds. But do be prepared to part with more than a fiver as this shop is home to the likes of Marc Jacobs, Alexander McQueen and even the odd Chanel handbag.
Where? 6 Upper Tachbrook Street, London, SW1V 1SH
7. Oxfam Boutique
Blending into its chic surroundings and just moments from Portobello market, this “boutique” branch of Oxfam store is awash with vintage musts, designer cast-offs and impressive high street finds. With a focus on organic, Fair Trade and recycled clothes and accessories, it’s an ethical experience for bargain hunters.
Where? 245 Westbourne Grove, W11 2SE
Traid in Brixton has become its own entity with frequent pop-up events and gigs in this treasure chest of secondhand goods. Not only does it encourage customers to pad their wardrobes with pieces from sustainable sources, they also offer late night opening hours, styling sessions and live DJ sets.
Where? 2 Acre Lane, SW2 5SG; traid.co.uk