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The 9 best London charity shops for designer fashion buys

Designer fashion fans must visit these London charity shops

A picture of a women looking through a colourful rack of clothes
Orin Carlin
Content Writer
Updated: April 9, 2024
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Whether you're a seasoned charity shopper or a recent convert, London has a brilliant selection of shops offering you the chance to simultaneously bag some designer buys and vote with your wallet. With the current shift towards ethical fashion, so many of us are thinking more about the origin of our clothing – and for good reason.

Plus, if you're interested in taking the plunge and fully immersing yourself into the world of second-hand style, know you'll be in excellent company. Celebrity fans of pre-loved pieces include the likes of Bella Hadid, Sienna Miller, and fashion extraordinaire Kate Moss.

Best parts of London for charity shops 

If it's luxe designer pieces you're after, it's hard to go wrong with a trip to west London. Specifically, Marylebone High Street, the King's Road as well as Fulham and Chelsea more generally are great as their local donors have some amazing pieces in their wardrobes that you can pick up for a fraction of their retail price.

However, if the retro vibe is more up your street, east London is fantastic, with Hackney, Dalston and Bethnal Green boasting some of the capital's best charity shops for vintage clothing. If you're headed that way, be sure to check out the likes of Mare Street and Kingsland High Street for some of the most fruitful treasure troves.

The best London charity shops for designer clothing: 

Shop from Crisis, Camden

A display inside Camden's Shop for Crisis
A display inside Camden's Shop for Crisis

Camden's Shop from Crisis is full of unexpected treasures. Situated on the busy corner of Parkway, its bustling interior echoes the buzz of the high street. 

Orin Carlin wearing a silky black kimono dress © Orin Carlin
I fell head over heels for this silky kimono jacket which I think would work well as an alternative LBD

Price-wise, it is more affordable than some of the more upmarket west London haunts, but that's not to say that its offerings are lacking. When perusing its rails I came across a Bella Freud slogan tee for just a tenner next to one of Diane von Fürstenberg's signature jersey wrap dresses (£30.00). 

Where: 22-24 Parkway, NW1 7HL

Mary's Living and Giving, Primrose Hill

Mary's Living and Giving, Primrose Hill © Orin Carlin
Mary's Living and Giving, Primrose Hill

Set up by fashion retail guru Mary Portas, there are Living and Giving charity shops dotted all over London and beyond. (Special mention to my beloved MLAG Teddington boutique situated on the outskirts of London. Exceptional customer service and attention to detail.) But if you're in the capital and on the hunt for occasion wear, the Primrose Hill shop ought to be your first port of call. The boutique, elevated approach means that prices are definitely on the more expensive end of the spectrum, although I did spot some pairs of jeans by Frame and Citizens of Humanity at just beyond the £10.00 mark. Other highlights include Gucci tinted shades and non-traditional Burberry trenches.

Where: 109 Regent's Park Road, NW1 8UR

Traid, Westbourne Grove

Inside Traid charity shop© Instagram / @traid
Traid is filled with hidden gems

Committed to tackling problems related to clothing overconsumption, Traid donates its proceeds to "global projects improving conditions and working practices in the textile industry". If you're not in the capital, it even has a handy Depop account to satisfy your fashion fix, otherwise its Westbourne Grove branch is a great shout, well-known for its stylish donors.

Where: 61 Westbourne Grove, W2 4UA

Shelter, Primrose Hill

Shelter, Primrose Hill © Orin Carlin
Shelter, Primrose Hill

Shelter's Primrose Hill boutique has you covered for labels on the upper end of the high street, Cos, Equipment, Reiss and the like. 

Orin Carlin wearing a rich navy slip-style maxi © Orin Carlin
I loved the silhouette of this rich navy slip-style maxi

But it clearly boasts a diverse donor base, because on closer inspection it is also home to a handful of killer Y2K gems - Juicy Couture tracksuits and utilitarian Diesel separates. I even spotted a very glamorous pair of vintage Prada gold wedges, sadly not my size or I would have been all over them.

Where: 158 Regent's Park Road, NW1 8XN

Royal Trinity Hospice, Chelsea

The accessories isle at one of the London stores© Instagram / @royaltrinityhospice_london
The accessories isle at one of the London stores

Situated a stone's throw away from the river, Chelsea's Royal Trinity Hospice shop gets donations from some of the capital's most fashionable people. It has a great selection of clothes, shoes and accessories by major labels – a day spent here rummaging will not be in vain.

An unexpected wardrobe favourite for me came in the form of a men's shirt by British tailoring stalwart Charles Tyrwhitt. In a flattering sky blue with a subtle pinstripe, the oversized silhouette looks great layered over straight-leg jeans and was a total steal for just £12.00. 

Where: 389 King's Rd, SW10 0LR

Octavia Foundation, Kensington

Octavia Stores always have fun window displays© Instagram / @octaviastores
Octavia Stores always have fun window displays

Supporting people affected by health issues, low incomes and unemployment, Octavia's Kensington branch is home to some major accessories. From crystal-encrusted Dolce & Gabbana pumps to vintage It-bags, an hour spent rummaging will not disappoint. Plus, the high street store is super near other Octavia branches, Bute Street, Brompton Road and Fulham Road, if you're thinking of making a day of it.

Where: 266 Kensington High Street, W8 6ND

Retromania, Pimlico

A dainty vintage find from Retro Mania© Instagram / @retromanialondon
A dainty vintage find from Retro Mania

Supporting disadvantaged children, this FARA shop is a must-visit for the vintage fashion fan. Located super near Victoria station, Retromania even has an extensive collection of wedding dresses if you fancy injecting your big day with a splash of vintage glamour. Plus, it has some great homeware picks if you're in the mood to spruce up your house with some quirky ornaments.

Where: 6 Upper Tachbrook St, Pimlico, SW1V 1SH

Cancer Research, Islington

A clothes rack at one of the Cancer Research stores© Instagram / @crukshops
A dreamy rack at one of the Cancer Research stores

The world's leading independent cancer charity has retail branches up and down the nation, but its Islington shop is arguably a cut above the rest. In a joint venture with its St Johns Wood location, it even provides Instagram outfit inspiration, curated from a selection of recent donations. The current objects of our charity shop lust? Wide-leg Acne jeans, Saint Laurent polka dot platforms and a Jacquemus mohair cropped cardigan. Swoon.

Where: 34 Upper St, Islington, N1 0PN

British Red Cross, Notting Hill 

Inside one of the Red Cross stores in London© Instagram / @redcrossretail
Spring has sprung inside the Red Cross stores

Located in on Portobello Road, Notting Hill's British Red Cross is an excellent starting point if you're planning a spot of charity shop hopping, situated within a cluster of similarly well-stocked treasure troves. From Saint Laurent shades to former heirloom jewels, you'll be hard-pressed to find a shop with a more stylish donor base. 

Where: 164 Portobello Rd, Notting Hill, W11 2EB

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