The Best Charity Shops UK Second Hand Shoppers Will (Pre) Love

Do you enjoy finding pre-loved treasures and sustainable secondhand bargains? Check out pebble's guide to the best charity shops in the UK as revealed by our readers.

Do you enjoy finding pre-loved treasures and sustainable second hand bargains?

We certainly do, because buying pre-loved is one of the best things you can do for the environment—not to mention your wallet.

And when it comes to primo choices of charity shopping, UK cities do it right.

Plus, the best charity shops in the UK take it a step beyond the fun of vintage clothing online, because each purchase also helps give back to various causes and the community at large.

A Quick Rifle Through The Hangars Of The Best UK Charity Shops

If you’re wondering, “What is the most popular charity shop in the UK?,” that would probably be Oxfam. With numerous locations UK-wide, they’re the best place to go for preloved clothing and items like food, coffee, and handmade homewares from ethical and fair trade brands. 

British Heart Foundation is one of the best UK charity shops for affordably-priced, second hand furniture. Find everything here, from tables to beds. 

On a mission to fight fashion waste, TRAID sources top-quality vintage and designwear. Shop online or find high-street stores across London.

That’s just the start of our list of the best UK charity shops where you can both buy and donate items.

We’ve come up with more second hand and sustainable beauties, some of which might already be your faves, and some of which you might not know about!

Many beloved high-street stores now have online marketplaces, so if you don’t have a particular organisation near you, have a look at their website or places like eBay and Depop. 

Read on to find our favourite charity shops in the UK that help you embrace your second hand style.

1. British Heart Foundation

Charity Shops UK by British Heart Foundation
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British Heart Foundation’s UK & Online Charity Shop

British Heart Foundation is a UK charity shop chain committed to lifesaving cardiovascular research. 

They have charity shops across the country that sell a huge range of books, clothes for men, women, and children, plus accessories and household items. 

You can typically find second hand garments as well as new, end-of-season clothes from high-street brands like M&S. 

BHF also has some of the best charity shops in the UK for furniture. They are a real goldmine for affordable, second hand beds, sofas, tables, and chairs. They’ll even deliver to your home for free.

If you don’t have a local shop near you, have a look at their online charity shop or browse their eBay and Depop stores.

2. Age UK

Charity Shops UK by Age UK
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Age UK’s Charity Shops

Age UK works to raise awareness of the challenges facing older people in the UK. You can find their brick-and-mortar charity shops across the UK and shop online on their eBay store

Age UK Coventry and Warwickshire have also opened online stores on Depop to help fight fast fashion. 

Your local Age UK is the place to go for a huge range of preloved clothing, homewares, books, handy accessories like picture frames, bric-a-brac, and kitchenware.

One of our readers, Julie in North Yorkshire, thinks Age UK in Guisborough is one of the best UK charity shops for vintage finds:

“The Vintage Room is always an amazing experience – it’s like rummaging through fashion history.”

Their going-out-of-season goods are especially thrifty. For instance, stop by in September to snag a vintage St Michaels high-waisted bikini for a mere £2.

3. Mind

Charity Shops UK by Mind
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Mind’s Charity Shops UK

Mind is a mental health charity in England, Wales, and the Channel Islands. They have over 160 high-street charity shops across England and Wales, which raise vital funds for those suffering from mental health issues. 

They also have a small online shop where you can buy everything from birthday cards to sunflower seed wedding favours and Kate Spade bags. 

A wider selection of high-end vintage designer fashion and preloved accessories can be found in their eBay shop. 

Come here for vintage Dr Marten boots, women’s blue cashmere overcoats at absolute steals, Marc Jacobs handbags, and more. 


Charity Shops UK by TRAID
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TRAID’s Charity Shops

TRAID is a charity dedicated to fighting fast fashion and preventing clothes from being thrown away. 

They turn unwanted clothes into preloved gems to increase clothes reuse across the UK and reduce waste, carbon emissions, and over-consumption.

TRAID has over 700 clothing banks around the country. Unwanted garments are sorted in their warehouse and sent to their charity shops in London.

Currently, TRAID’s 12 shops are only based in London, but they also have online shops on Depop and eBay.

You can find fabulous vintage and designer pieces from Dolce & Gabbana dresses to those UK-essential Barbour jackets, available both online and in-store. 

Unsurprisingly, prices are a little more high-end than your average charity shop, but you’ll still be saving loads of money off retail prices.

5. Oxfam

Charity Shops UK by Oxfam
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Oxfam’s UK Charity Shops 

Oxfam is a British-founded confederation of international charities that aim to alleviate global poverty and provide disaster relief to communities around the world.

Oxfam GB has over 500 UK charity shops alongside festival popups, specialist Oxfam boutiques, and vintage clothing stores. They also have a large online shop selling everything from homewares to clothing.

Oxfam isn’t just an average charity shop filled with donations. Their ‘Sourced by Oxfam’ range is a collection of new products from ethical, sustainable, vegan, and Fairtrade brands. Find everything from Fairtrade coffee to handmade recycled cotton throws here.

If you’re interested in high-end boutiques that provide big savings on luxury and designer items—like an eco-chic Prada polka dot peacoat perfect for a stroll through Kew Gardens—Oxfam Boutique Westbourne Grove should be on your list.

This Oxfam shop is ranked among the 50 Best Boutiques in London.

6. British Red Cross

Charity Shops UK by British Red Cross
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British Red Cross’ Charity Shops UK

The British Red Cross is the UK body of the International Red Cross network, which gives neutral and impartial humanitarian aid to those suffering from war and natural disasters.

They have charity shops in all the UK’s major cities, including London, Leeds, Bristol, Glasgow, and more. 

If there isn’t a brick-and-mortar charity shop near you, check out their online shop. They have a section dedicated to preloved clothing and accessories for a reasonable price. 

The charity shop also partners with small ethical businesses and social enterprises to sell new products that make a positive difference, such as Trashy Bags made from upcycled drinking water sachets in Ghana or Christmas baubles painted by refugees. 

7. Salvation Army

Charity Shops UK by Salvation Army
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Salvation Army’s Charity Shops UK

The Salvation Army is a worldwide Christian church and charity that offers practical support to those in need, whether that’s debt advice or fighting homelessness.

Since it opened its first charity shops in the 19th century in London, The Salvation Army has provided affordable clothing to those who couldn’t otherwise afford them, and it continues to do so. 

Today, they boast over 400 charity shops across the UK, each selling good quality clothing, homewares, collectibles, shoes, vintage wear, and designer brands at bargain prices. 

You may find anything from an antique writing desk to a trendy, ruffle sleeved blouse to wear to that upcoming dream job interview.

Any items that don’t get sold are sold for reuse overseas to avoid waste going to landfill.


Charity Shops UK by FARA
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FARA’s Charity Shops

If you’re a London resident, FARA should be on your charity shop radar. The charity supports disadvantaged children and adults in Romania, with 40 shops across 26 neighbourhoods. 

FARA is well-known for having the best collection of eclectic fashion and vintage pieces. Check out their Retromania shop in Pimlico for items like second hand ski gear, rollerblades, period costumes, and retro wear. 

FARA Islington, Angel, Portobello Road, and Fulham are goldmines for second hand designer wear, like high-end tweed coats with elbow patches, if you’re going for that classic Oxford scholar look.

They also have 15 London charity shops dedicated to second hand kidswear and toys, which is a sustainable way to keep preloved items in circulation. 

Good news if you don’t live in London. You can still get a taste of FARA in their eBay online shop. 

9. Crisis

Charity Shops UK by Crisis
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Crisis Charity Shops UK

Crisis is a national charity that supports those experiencing homelessness. Their high-street charity shops are concentrated around Greater London, including Brick Lane and Camden.

A reader favourite is the Crisis shop in Finsbury Park. Karen thinks, “Their window displays are incredible, enticing you in…I’ve found brand new designer dresses with labels, fantastic knitwear, and stationery.

“There’s even a café which competes with all the artisan coffee shops hands down. Plus, you know the money raised is going to a good cause.”

If you’re outside the London belt, you can find preloved womenswear, menswear, new ethical homewares, and handmade seasonal decorations, on their online store.

Another great place for vintage finds, 90s, Y2K fashion, and a surprising amount of tie-dye is their Depop shop.

10. Cancer Research

Charity Shops UK by Cancer Research
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Cancer Research’s Charity Shops

Cancer Research UK is the world’s largest independent cancer research organisation. They have over 600 charity shops across the UK, from high-street shops to superstores selling everything from clothing to furniture. 

They also have prolific online UK charity shops if there isn’t one local to you. Visit their online shop for cards, candles, and seasonal decorations. 

For preloved finds, head to their eBay shop, which has second hand clothing, vintage jewellery, and second hand toys. More Y2K-style clothing can be found on Depop, including vintage designerwear. 

They even have an ASOS Marketplace with handpicked goodies such as Gucci handbags and two-tone pink Jimmy Choo heels for a more premium price. 

11. Save The Children

Charity Shops UK by Save The Children
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Save The Children’s Charity Shops

Save The Children is a charity that fights to protect children’s rights both in the UK and globally. 

The charity has high-street shops all over the UK, a small online shop, and a Depop store with unique and vintage clothes. 

Where else will you find a purple Nessy sequined jumpsuit for less than half of retail price?

They’ve also partnered with retail expert Mary Portas to create a selection of boutique shops in London, Bristol, and Edinburgh. These sell high-end, quality clothes, books, homewares, and unique vintage finds. 

Mary’s Living and Giving in Primrose Hill is ranked among the best in Save The Children’s collection.

Why Shop At The Best Charity Shops In The UK?

For their legions of devotees, nothing beats a good hunt among a charity shop’s racks—and it is big business.

“These unsung heroes of the high street contributed £330 million to their parent charities in 2018-19,” says the Charity Retail Association.

With 82% of that income coming from donated goods, charity stores also facilitate the reuse of used clothing and other goods. This reduces the amount of perfectly good second hand items from ending up as landfill and helps you shop sustainably. 

So how do charity shops work in the UK?

Many charity organisations accept preloved donations either via donation banks, in-store, or through a collection. 

Items get sorted based on season and saleability. To limit items going to landfill, anything that isn’t sold is usually sold for reuse overseas to give them another chance at staying in circulation. 

Another reason to shop at charity shops? 

You’re helping to raise money for causes you care about!

Closing Thoughts On The Best UK Charity Shops

Some of the UK’s biggest charities are Cancer Research, British Foundation, and Oxfam, but since each high-street charity shop depends on donations, the best ones aren’t necessarily organisation-specific. 

Charity shops most likely to have designer bargains tend to be in affluent areas like Fulham and Chiswick in London or Edinburgh’s Raeburn Place. Cool, vintage finds can be found in Manchester’s Northern Quarter and Brick Lane in London. 

Some charity shops are also breaking away from bargain finds in favour of a more boutique shopping experience, like Oxfam Boutiques, FARA, TRAID, Shelter, and Save The Children. 

The best way to find second hand treasures is to pop into your local charity shops and root around. You’ll soon find your favourites. 

Failing that, we’re thrilled to see the rise in charities having online shops on Depop and eBay, making charity shopping in the UK even easier. 

Have a friend who loves a sustainable, second hand bargain?

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