The best charity shops in London

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Grab a bargain and support a good cause at our pick of London's best charity shops

You may need to take a peg along with your wallet, but with vintage shopping now out-pricing the high street, charity shopping is one of the few ways left to stock up your wardrobe and home on a budget. From the Dior and Chanel lining the rails at Retromania, to the bargain beds of the British Heart Foundation Furniture and Electrical store, we’ve compiled a list of the best charity shops for your thrifty purchasing pleasure.


All Aboard

224 West End Lane, London, NW6 1UU

Best for shabby chic

There's plenty of granny cast-offs to root through here - and believe us, you'll need to root. Apparel and bric-a-brac are in plentiful supply, and while reasonably organised, the stock is not as ruthlessly edited as that of more commercial-minded charity shops.

Barnardo's

414 Brixton Road, London, SW9 7AY

Best for designer bargains

A vast and lively charity shop with an exciting, unpredictable mix of clothes and accessories, stocking all kinds of high-street brands with designer bargains going for no more than £50.

British Heart Foundation

184 Balham High Road, London, SW12 9BW

Best for accessories

This clean (it reeks of Mr Sheen) and brightly lit branch sells a good selection of high-street and mid-range brands at very good prices. The shoes and jeans are well worth a look here. They're all sold alongside a range of new, cheaply priced accessories, including necklaces, earrings and hairbands from at little as £2.

British Heart Foundation Furniture and Electrical

36-38 Acre Lane, London, SW2 5SP

Best for sofas

This expansive store situated just off the heady eclectic thoroughfare in Brixton has everything you need to make a house a home, whether you're looking for a cheap TV from £15, a fridge from £30 or a three-piece-suite from £100. On our visit, there were plenty of artily distressed pine goods in good condition starting from £99 for a TV unit.

British Red Cross Chelsea

69-71 Old Church Street, London, SW3 5BS

Best for workwear

This expansive store is arguably Chelsea's most popular and well-known charity shop. It shares a street with the only Manolo Blahnik outpost in London and it's where Chelsea residents like to off-load last season's wardrobe. The store suitably bills itself as a designer charity shop, packing its rails with pieces by Vivienne Westwood, Jaeger, Max Mara, and the like.

British Red Cross

Ebury Street, London, SW1W 9QU

Best for conservative clothing

Located a few minutes' walk from Victoria station in a salubrious street, this branch of the British Red Cross - always stuffed with expensive labels - has a comically conservative vibe. Navy blazers? Check. Padded Barbour-style jackets? Yep.

Cancer Research UK

Marylebone High Street, London, W1U 4PQ

Best for vintage

One street back from the chain stores and bustle of Oxford Street is this two-floor thrifty oasis of calm. On our last visit we found a red-and-navy wool military jacket, rails of men's suits around and a great pair of 1970s silver platforms. It's a favourite with students from the nearby London College of Fashion and employees from Vogue, so if you want to bag the designer bargains, you'll need to visit regularly.

Crusaid

Churton Street, London, SW1V 2LY

Best for jeans

With its Shirley Bassey soundtrack and dedicated gay section, this charmingly eccentric charity shop was coined 'the Harvey Nichols of charity shops', by comedian and regular shopper Alan Carr. Happily, the prices are somewhat more purse-friendly than the Knightsbridge department store.

Fara Kids

40 Tachbrook Street, London, SW1V 2JS

Best for childrenswear

Pimlico, a real destination for charity shops, is home to three Fara stores - including Retromania - and they're close enough to do all of them in one sweep. This childrenswear shop offers an excellent selection of quality stock, which makes sense when you consider that children are likely to outgrow their wardrobes far quicker than they wear them out.

Octavia Foundation

211 Brompton Road , London, SW3 2EJ

Best for vintage books

A large, slightly austere space packed with designer donations from wealthy locals. Plus a 'brilliant' hushed vintage book department with oriental rugs and coffee tables covered in art periodicals and old Christie’s catalogues.

Oxfam Dalston

Kingsland Road, London, E8 4AR

Best for records and books

Located right in the epicentre of London's current hipster enclave, perhaps it's no surprise to find that this Oxfam store is media-savvy enough to have not only its own blog (oxfamdalston.wordpress.com), but a popular fan blog dedicated to digitising its analogue musical offering (dalstonoxfamshop.blog spot.co.uk), as well as a twitter and facebook account to promote its best buys.

Retromania

6 Upper Tachbrook Street, London, SW1V 1SH

Best for high fashion

Charity shops can seem much of a muchness- with the odd decent find buried amongst rails of oddly smelling seconds. Retromania is the antithesis of shabby shopping, with all of the wow labels and fashion forward merchandising of a savvy designer vintage store.

Salvation Army

Princes Street, London, W1B 2LQ

Best for high street seconds

Tucked just behind Oxford Street is this long-established Salvation Army store. It's worth noting that it sits just a few stilletto clops from Vogue House, and takes receipt of some very fashionable cast-offs. The store takes up two floors with a variety of clothing, shoes, and accessories, with regular appearances from a range of high street brands such as Oasis, Zara, Warehouse to Hobbs, East and Maxmara.

Salvation Army Deptford

144 Deptford High Street, London, SE8 3PQ

Best for board games

The up and coming Deptford High Street has a packed out Saturday market full of stalls selling second-hand goods, but this Salvation Army store still manages to draw both good stock and a busy shop floor. The store stocks a good mixture of both women's and men's clothing and accessories, although the more fashionable buys take some hunting down.

Traid

Westbourne Grove, London, W2 4UA

Best for rummaging

Unlike some charity shops in the area where all you find is tatty high-street cast-offs, Traid (which stands for Textile Recycling for Aid and International Development) has a huge mix of good vintage, high-street and designer. While rummaging, we found a woman's wool Aquascutum coat.

Trinity Hospice

Kensington Church Street, London, W8 4LL

Best for handbags and shoes

Renowned for its smart ladies' clothing and accessories, this is a great charity shop where you're bound to unearth designer pieces. There's always a top selection of handbags and shoes, often including Prada evening shoes and DKNY bags.

YMCA Boutique

Unit G15, Kings Walk Shopping Centre, King's Road, London, SW3 4TR

Best for homewares

Although only open for nine months, this YMCA flagship store already feels like a neighbourhood stalwart- albeit one slightly incongruous with its swanky Sloaney setting. Set over two large floors with room to expand over another two, this former HMV premises dominates the King's Walk shopping centre, and is the nearest thing the capital has to a charity department store.

Users say

3 comments
J Wilson
J Wilson

Sue Ryder Finchley central is amazing

sue
sue

thanks for your listings, going to have a great day out, browsing these establishments

Genevieve
Genevieve

je veut m'inscrire sur les ventes privées à londre Bien Cordialement.