The best charity shops in London

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

Shopping, Vintage shops

All Aboard

icon-location-pin West Hampstead

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.

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Rob Greig
Shopping, Vintage shops

Barnardo's

icon-location-pin Stockwell

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.

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BritishHeartFoundation.jpg
Rob Greig
Shopping, Charity shops

British Heart Foundation

icon-location-pin Balham

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.

BritHeartFoundElectric.jpg
Rob Greig
Shopping, Home decor

British Heart Foundation Furniture and Electrical

icon-location-pin Brixton

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.

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Shopping, Charity shops

British Red Cross

icon-location-pin St James's Park

22-24 Buckingham Palace Road, London, SW1W 0QP

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.

Shopping, Womenswear

British Red Cross Chelsea

icon-location-pin 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.

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Rob Greig
Shopping, Womenswear

Cancer Research UK

icon-location-pin Marylebone

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.

Shopping, Home decor

Crusaid

icon-location-pin Pimlico

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.

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Rob Greig
Shopping, Vintage shops

Fara Kids

icon-location-pin Pimlico

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.

Shopping, Charity shops

Octavia Foundation

icon-location-pin Brompton

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.

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See our full guide to London's best shops
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