Serena Lee // Wellness & Natural Lifestyle Blog // Vegan & Sustainable Lifestyle // London, UK

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I’m Serena and here’s where I share the journey of living more healthily & mindfully. Thanks for stopping by!

4 Best Thrift Shops in London

4 Best Thrift Shops in London

Pottering around second-hand shops is a real past-time for me. It has been since I was in my early teens - at the time, we lived in a sleepy seaside town where one in five shops was a charity shop with as many volunteers as customers under the roof at any given time.

Frinton was, and still is, a retirement town - a place where older folk settle down to enjoy later life by the water. As morbid as what I'm about to say might sound... this means the charity shops are full to the brim with vintage crockery, wooden furniture and beautiful photo frames.

Death is just a part of life, and I'm really happy to give a respectful new home to the well-used possessions of others! It's what I'd like to happen when I pass away, although I hope to not leave much 'stuff' behind.

By the time I moved back to London in 2010, I was a different person, warped by peer pressure and shopping at Primark. It took a good number of years to get back into the swing of thrifting, including a year-long personal challenge to not buy any new clothing, but here I am with a solid mental inventory of where to go for ethical shopping in London - and I thought it was time I started sharing some nuggets of that knowledge here!

So here's a list of four of my favourite shops to buy second-hand clothing in London - outside of the usual charity shops, as I'll save that for another post... There are some specific areas in London that are so good for charity shopping!
Technically, as some of the stores have several branches, this list consists of 19 shops to delve into. I hope you have as much fun as I do disappearing between the clothes rails!

 Jumper from Rokit Vintage in Covent Garden

Jumper from Rokit Vintage in Covent Garden

1. ROKIT

Rokit are upcycling kings & queens. They take Goodwill-donated clothing and breathe new life into it - cropping old jumpers, cutting worn-out jeans into denim shorts and making purses out of battered old bags. This is a great place to pick up a Halloween outfit if you're into costume parties, as you won't be buying brand new material and contributing your money to a wasteful holiday.
There are branches in Camden, Covent Garden and two on Brick Lane. Covent Garden is best for browsing in my opinion, there's a bit more room. The two Brick Lane sites are smaller and the higher rails aren't great for short people like me, and the Camden branch gets so rammed on the weekends with tourists!

Location details

Camden, Covent Garden, Brick Lane.
Store locator here.

2. TRAID

Some of the Traid stores are really diverse with their prints and traditional clothes from different cultures. I've not been to all the stores, but I especially love this about the Dalston store.
You'll find coats, sports luxe items (personally I feel a bit gross wearing second-hand sportswear for sports as it gets so sweaty, so sports luxe it is!), jewellery and more. I've picked up a few great large pieces of material that can be used as throws or picnic blankets too.
Traid actually is a charity shop, but I've listed it here as it has a completely different vibe from a regular charity shop - you'll have to go there to see what I mean! The charity works to reduce waste in the UK by recycling garments and selling them on.

Location details

11 stores across London:
Camden, Dalston, Brixton, Clapham, Kilburn, Hammersmith, Harrow, Shepherd's Bush, Westbourne Grove, Peckham, Wood Green.
Store locator here.

3. BEYOND RETRO

If you shopped an entire outfit from Beyond Retro, you'd come out looking very East London. They carry vintage, reclaimed pieces at high street prices, allowing individuals to style themselves uniquely and sustainably.
If you're wondering how they source all their clothes, see the graphic below - their Treasure Hunters save clothes from landfill by taking it from charitable and recycling organisations and help close the loop on fashion waste in the process.

 Image:  Beyond Retro

Location details

Soho, Dalston, Brick Lane.
Store locator here.

4. EAST END VINTAGE CLOTHING

Underneath the railway arches behind Tower Hamlets Cemetery Park (Mile End area), you'll find rails crammed full of vintage shirts, denim, dresses and lots more thrift-worthy clothing from Europe and the US.

Location details

Mile End.
Store locator here.

Where are your favourite thrift stores in London? I’d love to potter around them all!

Thanks for reading!

Serena

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