10 of the best undiscovered charity shops in London

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The fashion industry is one of the most polluting on the planet, producing 10 per cent of the world’s carbon emissions – that’s a bigger chunk than all international flights, for example. And while there has been an upsurge in sustainable fashion brands creating eco-friendly pieces that don’t sacrifice on style, one of the most effective ways to go guilt-free shopping is by buying vintage. Opting for secondhand clothes doesn’t even mean that you can’t tackle the latest trends – because fashion is so cyclical, the chances are that if something is currently en vogue, it’s been around before. But what if you could help good causes at the same time as adding to your wardrobe more sustainably? Well, happily, the slew of brilliant charity shops in London means that you can do just that.

  • 10 of the best undiscovered charity shops in London

    Royal Trinity Hospice

    The oldest hospice in the UK, Royal Trinity Hospice in Clapham has been providing end of life care since 1891. The charity has 32 shops dotted all across the capital, which helped to pull in £5.6 million last year to support the charity’s work offering free palliative care to people in the local area. It’s this West London outpost where you’re almost guaranteed to find well cared for designer pieces from the likes of Celine and Burberry.

  • 10 of the best undiscovered charity shops in London

    Salvation Army

    Smack-bang in the heart of central London, this branch of the Salvation Army’s charity shops is one of the worst-kept shopping secrets in London. Its Mayfair site is just around the corner from plenty of art galleries, designer boutiques and, of course, Vogue House, which means that it receives regular donations from some of the best-dressed people in the city. And the money you spend on those designer cast-offs will be put towards helping lonely older, homeless and disadvantaged young people.

    Address: 9 Princes Street, Mayfair, London W1B 2LQ


    Telephone: +44207 493 1909


    Website: salvationarmy.org.uk

  • 10 of the best undiscovered charity shops in London

    Mary’s Living & Giving Shop for Save the Children

    The Save the Children Fund was established in the UK in 1919 with the aim of improving the lives of children across the globe. It has hundreds of stores scattered all across the country, but its Mary’s Living & Giving Shops require the least rummaging. Set up by retail legend Mary Portas, the shops have been specifically designed to feel like a boutique, with a carefully curated stock of desirable clothes and accessories. Leafy Blackheath is home to the 17th Mary’s Living & Giving shop – one of the best outposts.

    Address: 10 Montpelier Vale, Blackheath, London SE3 0TA


    Telephone: +4420 8463 9266


    Website: savethechildren.org.uk

    Oxfam

    Surrounded by well-to-do neighbourhoods, this Oxfam shop is perfectly placed to receive donation bags that are full of barely worn pieces. Its shelves might not be groaning under the weight of designer handbags but it’s the kind of place where you’ll be able to easily source a timeless Cos top, possibly even with the tags still on. And the money that you spend will go towards the charity’s aim of alleviating global poverty.

    Address: 20 Half Moon Lane, Dulwich, London SE24 9HU


    Website: oxfam.org.uk

    British Heart Foundation

    Heart disease is one of the biggest killers in the world and the British Heart Foundation aims to eradicate it through a combination of research and education. Its charity shops are all over the country, and there’s a particularly well-stocked eBay shop if you prefer shopping from the comfort of your sofa. But the Balham store is well worth a visit, with lots of pieces from the kind of labels loved by the local yummy mummy brigade.

    Address: 184 Balham High Road, Balham, London SW12 9BW


    Telephone: +4420 8675 5401


    Website: bhf.org.uk

  • 10 of the best undiscovered charity shops in London

    Traid

    Established in 1999, Traid is a modern charity that, rather than just happening to provide a more sustainable way of shopping by virtue of its second-hand stores, was actually founded to tackle the environmental impact of the textiles industry. Working towards a world where clothes shopping doesn’t cause harm to either people or the planet, it makes charity-shop shopping a pleasure. Pop into its Brixton branch and don’t be surprised if you end up sashaying out in a pair of Manolos.

    Address: 2 Acre Lane, Brixton, London SW2 5SG


    Telephone: +4420 7326 4330


    Website: traid.org.uk

    Oxfam Boutique

    Located just off the vintage Valhalla that is Portobello Road, this Oxfam outpost is full of rails that are never shy of a designer piece, or three. It’s branded as a boutique for good reason, and there are seriously great pieces to be found in here, so there’s every chance you’ll turn up Miu Miu shoes or jackets by huge labels such as Gucci or Dior.

    Address: 245 Westbourne Grove, Notting Hill, London W11 2SE


    Telephone: +4420 7229 5000


    Website: oxfam.org.uk

  • 10 of the best undiscovered charity shops in London

    Boutique by Shelter

    Designed by Red or Dead founder Wayne Hemmingway, who also established the popular Classic Car Boot Sale, this store has a well-curated selection of designer and premium high-street pieces donated by Hampstead’s well-dressed residents. The proceeds of your plush purchases will be put towards Shelter’s efforts to end the country’s endemic homelessness crisis.

    Address: 57 South End Road, Hampstead Heath, London NW3 2QB


    Telephone: +4420 7794 4780


    Website: shelter.org.uk

    Cancer Research UK

    Founded in 2002, Cancer Research UK is the world’s largest independent funder of cancer research and its focus is on raising awareness of cancer and finding out more about both the prevention and cure of the disease. Despite the impressive labels that the store carries – thanks to its West London location – it keeps its prices relatively low, so you’re almost guaranteed to walk out with a real bargain. Keep your eyes peeled for that Moschino bag.

    Address: 183 Portobello Road, Notting Hill, London W11 2ED


    Telephone: +4420 7243 1413


    Website: cancerresearchuk.org

    Retromania

    Pimlico’s Retromania is run by FARA, a charity that cares for Romania’s most disadvantaged and vulnerable people, having been established in 1991 in response to the neglect and abuse that the country’s abandoned children were subjected to. Not just a good charity shop but one of the best vintage stores in the city, Retromania is home to the pick of the vintage threads that the charity receives. There’s a truly eclectic selection to rummage through, so expect to make more than a couple of purchases.

    Address: 6 Upper Tachbrook Street, Victoria, London SW1V 1SH


    Telephone: +4420 7630 7406


    Website: faracharityshops.org

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