15 BEST Charity Shops In Central London (Zone 1 Favourites!)

Although Oxford Street at a glance doesn’t seem awash with charity shops, there are certainly some absolute gems when it comes to charity shops in Central London. Whether it’s Oxford Street itself, Marylebone, or even Covent Garden or Soho.

You just need to know where to look! Luckily, that’s where we come in, with this Londoner-approved guide to central London thrift shops. We detail what you can find, what the prices are like, and where to go for the designer bargains. Let’s get into it.

Clothing-rail-in-Mind-Carnaby-street-one-of-the-best-charity-shops-in-central-london
Mind, Carnaby Street

1) Salvation Army, Princes Street

๐Ÿ“ 9 Princes St, London W1B 2LQ

*Temporarily closed*

The Salvation Army charity shop on Princes Street (just off Oxford Street) is well known as the best charity shop in Central London.

Close to the (former) Vogue offices, and nearby other retail Head Office headquarters- it is renowned for affordable designer cast-offs and last season’s clothing. It was certainly known THE place to go thrift shopping in the city.

The store has two floors, specialising in clothing, accessories and shoes. Thereโ€™s definitely a good choice of designer pieces here, but you can also pick up affordable high street pieces that are barely worn. If youโ€™re in the market for high quality designer pieces, then this store is a must-visit.

2) Oxfam, Goodge Street

๐Ÿ“ 52 Goodge St, London W1T 4LZ

Look out for the signature navy blue block walls, with the green sign hanging off the side of the building, and you’ve found Oxfam on Goodge Street. For the non-Londoners reading, Goodge Street runs parallel to Oxford Street. This Oxfam branch is literally a few minutes walk from Oxford Circus Tube station. Exciting!

Unexpectedly, there is actually a downstairs basement level to this store, making it much larger than it appears from the street. The stock is a little quirkier and more unusual than you might usually spot in Oxfam- which is more than likely due to the location.

You’ll find clothing, DVDs, bric a brac and accessories at this store. However, the prices do reflect the prime location of this store. You may not snap up a bargain, but I LOVE the fact that this store adds a second hand shopping dimension to the Oxford Street area of London.

3) Mind, Carnaby Street

๐Ÿ“ 8 Ganton St, Carnaby, London W1F 7QP

Mind in Carnaby is a Central London charity shop with a perfectly pink and pretty exterior. It’s the loveliest place to pop into if you’re having a day out in the city centre. It’s the ideal spot to nip into after lunch, or quickly stop by if you’re in the company of friends or family members who aren’t keen on charity shopping (ahem, my husband!)

The shop is compact, but beautiful. With rails of beautiful clothing shining beneath bright lights. The stock in store is in keeping with the area- the items are certainly higher end brands. And if a piece isn’t designer, it seems to be made from high quality materials. I loved this shop!

Youโ€™ll be sure to find something special here, and although the prices reflect the quality garments, they’re not totally outrageous, considering the prime location.

Mind, Carnaby Street

4) Oxfam, Marylebone

๐Ÿ“ 91 Marylebone High St, London W1U 4RB

Another of Oxfam’s charity shops in Central London, is their store on Marylebone High Street. Marylebone High Street is home to lots of beautiful independent shops, and is well worth a visit.

The charity shops in this area are great for designer and vintage, and this Oxfam store is no exception. The store is surprisingly large, and stocks plenty of clothing, books, vinyl and accessories.

The prices of the designer and specialist clothes are on the more expensive side, but still very much less than the RRP. This store also frequently hold sales and price reductions (including on their designer items). And if you want more designer goodness in the thrift stores, I’d recommend checking out the charity shops in Notting Hill.

5) Barnardo’s, Marylebone

๐Ÿ“ 7 George St, London W1U 3QH

Barnardo’s have more than 600 stores across the UK, with many based in London. As a rule of thumb, Barnardo’s seems to be one of the more affordable chains of charity shops in the UK, but in Central London locations like this store, they are slightly more on the expensive side.

However, there are still lots of bargains to be found, no matter the location! At this store you’ll find a selection of high street and designer clothing, books, shoes, and even some kids items too. Although the designer items are a little more expensive than you might otherwise find in a charity shop, the rest of the pricing is pretty fair.

6) Cancer Research, Marylebone

๐Ÿ“ 24 Marylebone High St, London W1U 4PQ

Our last entry for Marylebone High Street (a great place to go for a charity shop crawl if you want to hit a few thrift stores in Central London all at once). And perhaps we’ve saved the best Marylebone charity shop for last?

The interior of Cancer Research Marylebone is more like a boutique. In fact, it was shortlisted for an award for Best Store Interior when it was refurbished in 2019. The selection on offer feels expertly curated, with lots of high quality and designer items for sale. However, the prices do reflect the boutique shopping experience- Fendi Peekaboo bag for ยฃ1,800 anyone?

Be sure to pop into this store if you’re in the area- after all, residents of Marylebone are generally very affluent. But, you may not leave with a bargain. Fancy finding out more? You can follow the store on Twitter @CRUKMarylebone.

7) Choose Love, Carnaby

๐Ÿ“ 15 – 17 Foubert’s Pl, Carnaby St, Carnaby, London W1F 7QB

Choose Love is a charity that was started by Dawn O’Porter and Lliana Bird in 2015. It provides humanitarian aid to, and advocacy for, refugees around the world.

The pop up in Carnaby doesn’t always operate as a charity shop. Day to day, you can go into store and buy real items and life-saving interventions for refugees and displaced people worldwide. Pretty cool, right?

But sometimes, Choose Love will operate the Choose Love Boutique. At the boutique, you’ll be able to purchase designer clothing and accessories donated by celebrities and brands, and curated by the UK’s top stylists. Profits of which all go to Choose Love.

Previous celebrity donators include Paloma Faith, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley and Nicola Coughlan. And brands such as Prada, Miu Miu, Jimmy Choo and Vivienne Westwood (among others) have all donated items to this brilliant cause.

8) Oxfam Bookshop, Bloomsbury

๐Ÿ“ Bloomsbury Plaza, 12 Bloomsbury St, London WC1B 3QA

Another store that’s just a stone’s throw from Oxford Street, the flagship Oxfam Bookshop store. Oxfam Books have stores scattered across London (theyโ€™re now the UKโ€™s largest second hand book seller), but the Bloomsbury branch is something special. It is located in the heart of literary London.

The shop is just minutes away from the British Museum, and some of the stock in store is specialist. From art, to rare and collectable books, academic, fiction, CDs and vinyl. And if you love second hand books? Youโ€™ll want to read our guide to the best charity shops in London for second hand books.

9) Mind, Goodge Street

๐Ÿ“ 37 Goodge St, London W1T 2PU

I have a soft spot for Mind charity shops, it was my go-to charity shop when I lived in Chiswick (I’ve written more about the best charity shops in West London previously).

Mind on Goodge Street is no different. Again, this particular shop is on the street parallel to Oxford Street, so it’s the perfect second hand shopping destination if you’re in the area. The shop is fairly petite, but definitely worth a visit!

You’ll find a mixture of pre-loved designer and high street clothing, accessories and bric and brac at this store. The prices are relatively affordable, with some designer brands donating brand new items to the store to sell. I love it when this happens! For example, previous shoppers have come across a big donation of brand new Kate Spade items listed at 50% off.

10) Fara, Islington

๐Ÿ“ Angel House, 28 Pentonville Rd, London N1 9HJ

Fara Islington is something of a cult favourite among London-based charity shoppers. The store has a big presence on social media thanks to online influencers, and it’s easy to see why this shop is so beloved.

First of all, the shop has real ‘jumble sale’ kind of ‘American thrift store’ kind of vibes. It’s a large store, and you’ll have to visit with the intention of a good rummage (just like the good old days!). It’s a shop that feels like charity shops did 15 years ago- so if you loved that, you’ll love this shop.

The store is only a 5 minute walk from Angel Tube station, which makes it incredibly convenient for anyone visiting Central London. The store stocks everything from clothing, to shoes, accessories and bric a brac. Among the jumble you’ll also find high street items and damaged designer pieces- all sold at very reasonable prices (we’re talking ยฃ2-8, with designer stuff at ยฃ10+). It’s a must-visit for anyone after a bargain!

11) Shop From Crisis, Islington

๐Ÿ“  211 Upper St, London N1 1RL

The Islington branch of Shop From Crisis is another fan favourite. If you’re popping into Fara (above), you’ve got to drop by Shop From Crisis too. It is sure to bring a pocket of joy to your day!

The store is something of an Aladdin’s cave- it goes back SO far despite the fact it looks small from the street. It’s huge! The shop has a great selection of womenswear, menswear, homeware, music, books and even furniture.

The changing rooms are spacious, the prices are lower than other Central London charity shops, and best of all it’s always well stocked. The general consensus from other shoppers? It’s got a great vibe! A disco-friendly playlist, warm and helpful staff, and light, bright layout. Many list this shop as their favourite charity shop in London!

Want to hear more? Follow them on Instagram @shopfromcrisisislington

12) RSPCA, Caledonian Road

๐Ÿ“ 285 Caledonian Rd, London N1 1EF

This is the central branch of RSPCA’s collection of charity shops across the UK. This store isn’t quite as fancy as some of the others on this list, but that means you’re more likely to find a bargain! It’s definitely worth popping in if you’re in the area.

You can expect to find clothes, shoes and accessories, with a good selection of homeware too. It’s a fairly small charity shop, but it’s your typical original style charity shop- you’ll want to have a good rummage here (which personally, I love!)

The prices here are super affordable for a thrift shop in Central London, and stock rotates quickly- a double bonus if you’re a Londoner living in any of the nearby neighbourhoods.

13) Age UK Boutique, Chancery Lane

๐Ÿ“ 53 Leather Ln, London EC1N 7TJ

This boutique store is right in the middle of Chancery Lane station, and Farringdon station. In an area otherwise known as Hatton Garden- that’s right, the fine jewellery capital of London. You might not be finding diamonds in the Age UK Boutique, but you might certainly find some other gems…

After a grand reopening in January 2024, the store is something special. You can find an array of clothing, haberdashery, accessories and more at this site on the iconic Leather Lane. The store also hosts seasonal events, and it’s also used as a venue for their Digital Inclusion sessions, and Information & Advice service.

You’ll find designer pieces, vintage pieces, and special, high quality items at this store. The prices are reasonable, but reflect the location and the upmarket donations that are sold at this location. There’s a real community spirit at this store- and you won’t regret stopping by.

But be warned- the opening hours are 10am-3pm, and they are closed at the weekend, so plan your visit ahead to avoid disappointment.

14) Royal Trinity Hospice, Pimlico

๐Ÿ“ 85 Wilton Rd, Pimlico, London SW1V 1DN

If you’re visiting London, you MUST visit a Royal Trinity Hospice shop. This particular branch in Pimlico (just around the corner from Victoria station), is a beautiful boutique style charity shop.

You’ll find womenswear, menswear, and accessories. The store has a dedicated ‘luxe edit’ where designer items and vintage are sold in a special area of the store. Expect to find high quality items, at reasonable prices. Previous shoppers have found the likes of a Hermes scarf, brand new designer items, and a curated jewellery selection.

15) Retromania, Victoria

๐Ÿ“ 6 Upper Tachbrook Street, Victoria, London, SW1V 1SH

Retromania is actually a specialist vintage thrift shop created by the charity, Fara. All of the gorgeous retro and vintage items that are donated to the Fara charity shops are sold here at this one-of-a-kind store.

This charity shops mainly specialises in vintage pieces, but youโ€™ll also find a few gorgeous designer pieces here. The prices at this store are reasonable, considering the location. You can expect to find clothing from 60s, 70s and 80s.

The store even has a whole rack of vintage wedding dresses! If you haven’t already guessed, this charity shop is a huge Thrifty Londoner favourite. Itโ€™s a must-visit for anyone in the Victoria area.

Top tips for charity shopping in Central London

The early bird catches the worm

As you may already be aware, Central London gets pretty packed with shoppers every day of the week. That’s especially true on weekends.

Many charity shops will put out new items for the weekend (or will put out items all weekend!), and so to be in with the best chance of finding something fabulous, head out to the shops early. A lot of Central London shops don’t open until 10am, so check opening times ahead of your journey to avoid disappointment.

Compare prices on resale sites

As I have alluded to in this post, a lot of items for sale in Central London charity shops are on the more expensive side due to the location. If you see something you love, check resale sites like eBay or Vinted before purchasing, to make sure that you can’t get the item much cheaper elsewhere (if you’re not from the UK- you can ignore this point!).

Some shoppers have mentioned that they’ve found the pricing in Central London charity shops disappointing, as they’ve later found the same item listed online for a quarter of the price paid in the charity shop.

However, if you’d rather give your money to charity, that’s totally fair. Plus, the convenience of being able to inspect an item in person before you buy is another clear advantage. Which leads me onto my next point…

Check over items for imperfections

Check any items carefully in bright lights if you can, to make sure that you spot any imperfections. Sometimes the staff won’t have noticed an imperfection, and it slips the net.

I learned this the hard way when I bought a beautiful white beaded silk gown, only to find that in a certain light it had a huge red wine stain down the front! I didn’t notice in store, and had to go back to the store to return it. If you’re visiting London, you may not be able to return items unless you’re coming back to the city soon. So be cautious and do your quality checks!

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