If you're searching the Internet for the best charity shops, the likelihood is, you know that practising circular fashion has never been so high on the agenda.
Whether it be Second Hand September—the entire month dedicated to celebrating pre-loved and vintage items—or any other month of the year, shopping sustainably will always be in style, which is why we've rounded up the very best charity shops for you to scroll. While they used to have a bit of a bad rep for old clothes, you can often find some barely used designer or high-end clothes at a fraction of the cost. So, it's well worth a trip to your local. Some of them even have a small selection to shop online.
Plus, you're donating money to a great cause, whether it's Cancer Research or the British Heart Foundation.
With that in mind, keep reading for our guide to the best charity shops. Don't forget to scroll through our charity shopping hacks for some great pointers on how to bag the best fashion bargains, while you're at it.
Best charity shops: 11 to visit for designer clothes and vintage steals
1. TRAID Westbourne Grove
Where: 61 Westbourne Grove, London, W2 4UA and online on Depop
What: Although there are TRAID shops all around London, the Westbourne Grove brand is known for the designer and high-end cast-offs of its well-heeled clientèle, so it's definitely worth a rummage. They also have a Depop store for those who can't travel. TRAID aims to put a stop to throwaway fashion by diverting clothes from landfill to stores, and proceeds go to global projects improving conditions and working practices in the textile industry.
2. The British Heart Foundation
What: Although there are many great British Heart Foundation stores, such as Reigate, Balham and Oxford where you can find some high-end fashion and furniture, the online shop has some great rare gems too. Proceeds go towards funding research cures and treatments for heart and circulatory diseases.
Where: Oxfam online
What: There are so many great finds on the Oxfam online store. It's great for high street finds you might have missed from Zara and Topshop, but also for more affordable styles from JOSEPH, Whistles, Jigsaw, Ted Baker and REISS. If you're getting married, there are also plenty of wedding dresses, from vintage styles to new ones with tags still on. Proceeds go towards ending poverty worldwide.
4. Mary's Living and Giving Primrose Hill
What: Statement fashion pieces and high-end finds, donated by the Primrose Hill crew. The East Dulwich and Bristol stores are also said to be great for high-end bargains. Proceeds go to Save The Children around the world.
Where: Various locations across London - head to the FARA website to find your nearest.
What: After reasonably priced vintage and secondhand bargains? Then you'll love FARA. With 41 charity shops across 27 London communities, if you're London based, there's bound to be one near you. Money goes towards helping vulnerable children and adults with learning disabilities and at-risk youths.
6. Retromania London
What: Part of the FARA Charity (which helps vulnerable and disadvantaged children and young people in Romania), this speciality shop focuses on everything a vintage lover might want, including hats, bags, scarves, dresses, menswear and memorabilia as well as iconic designer items.
7. Cancer Research UK
What: Depending on what you're after, all three online stores are well stocked. The eBay one is great for high street finds from the likes of Whistles, Ghost and Karen Millen, while the Depop and Vestiaire shops are a treasure trove of designer items. Currently on Vestiaire are a lust-worthy Celine bag, Manolo Blahnik heels and a Dolce & Gabbana jacket. Proceeds go towards funding research to beat cancer.
Where: Online on eBay
What: Although you can shop literally anything on its eBay store, from homeware to toys, the clothing is where it's at. There are Dr Marten's boots, Cos and Calvin Klein coats and an L.K.Bennett dress amongst the hundreds of items you can shop online now. Proceeds go towards helping vulnerable children, young people and families in the UK.
9. British Red Cross
Where: Various locations across the UK, check out their locations on the British Red Cross website.
What: Selling everything from pre-loved clothes, to secondhand furniture, to books, vinyls, accessories and more, the British Red Cross has long supported the millions of people in the UK and around the world who find themselves in need when crisis strikes. FYI, they also sell online, so check out what they've got stocked on eBay, ASOS, or their online gift shop.
10. Shop From Crisis
Where: Various locations around London, check out the Shop From Crisis website to find your nearest.
What: Crisis is the UK national charity for people experiencing homelessness. Shopping at Shop from Crisis means you'll be helping homeless people not just financially: their stores offer training and employment opportunities for homeless people keen to work in retail, too.
11. Salvation Army
Where: Various locations across the UK - they have over 400 shops across the country, two charity superstores and 13 donation centres. Head to the Salvation Army website for more information.
What: Fun fact for you - the Salvation Army were one of the first charities to open a shop back in the 19th century. Then, they offered affordable clothes to people who otherwise wouldn't have the means, and in the 150 years since they first opened, their main aim hasn't changed that much. Head in-store to pick up some secondhand bargains and support those in need, while you're at it.
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Penny Goldstone is the Digital Fashion Editor at Marie Claire, covering everything from catwalk trends to royal fashion and the latest high street and Instagram must-haves.
Penny grew up in France and studied languages and law at the Sorbonne Nouvelle University in Paris before moving to the UK for her MA in multimedia journalism at Bournemouth University. She moved to the UK permanently and has never looked back (though she does go back regularly to stock up on cheese and wine).
Although she's always loved fashion - she used to create scrapbooks of her favourite trends and looks, including Sienna Miller and Kate Moss' boho phase - her first job was at MoneySavingExpert.com, sourcing the best deals for everything from restaurants to designer sales.
However she quit after two years to follow her true passion, fashion journalism, and after many years of internships and freelance stints at magazines including Red, Cosmopolitan, Stylist and Good Housekeeping, landed her dream job as the Digital Fashion Editor at Marie Claire UK.
Her favourite part of the job is discovering new brands and meeting designers, and travelling the world to attend events and fashion shows. Seeing her first Chanel runway IRL at Paris Fashion Week was a true pinch-me moment.
- Zoe AnastasiouFashion Editor
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