Charity shopping is one of the best ways to save money, and also do your bit for the planet and the people that inhabit it. I love charity shopping and have done so for the last 10 years or more, so there is nothing I like better than exploring new areas of London through their charity shops.
It’s amazing how the charity shops differ throughout the boroughs, and so I started documenting my finds in these guides- any excuse to go shopping! You can also check out my guide to the best charity shops in West London which takes you through the best charity shops in Richmond, Chiswick, Notting Hill, Chelsea, Fulham and Ealing.
This guide is shining the spotlight on South London, and gives you the low down on the best charity shops in Putney, Wimbledon, Clapham, Balham, Tooting and Brixton. I used to live in Morden myself, and so regularly used to frequent the charity shops in South West London in particular. They are largely affordable, fashionable and easy to get to using the tube.
I’m hoping that this guide will give you an idea of some great areas for London charity shop crawls, the types of brands that you might find in an area, and most importantly, the prices that you might pay! It’s true that London charity shops can be more expensive than other areas of the UK- you’re unlikely to come across £1 stores, but there are still some fantastic bargains to be found and designer pieces a plenty.
If you’re a fellow second-hand clothing lover, catch me @thriftylondoner on Instagram where I document my best thrifty finds from London’s best charity shops.
So without further ado…
The Best Charity Shops in Putney
Putney is quite literally just south of the river, and the area makes for a fab little London charity shop crawl as the shops are all so close together. I scooted around all 6 stores in just over an hour. All of these charity shops had some mid-range high street and designer pieces, and most were priced very reasonably.
Wandsworth Oasis: Putney
This is such a great little charity shop absolutely stuffed to the brim with treasures- from clothing to crockery- and is conveniently only a couple of minutes’ walk from Putney station, the perfect starting point for your South London charity shop crawl.
Everything was very reasonably priced, and I saw Tommy Hilfiger jeans for £12, Hobbs linen trousers for £15, an Armani Jeans blouse for £15, a vintage Topshop crochet top for £6, a wool Jack Wills jumper for £6, and not to mention a ton of other high street brands like ASOS, Dune, Gap and Zara.
There was also some more ‘outdoorsy’ brands to be found in this store, like some Karrimor boots and a North Face jacket. I was also happy to see a half price rail- there was a vintage suede waistcoat for £15 which I almost picked up to turn into a dress, but I didn’t think my sewing machine would be up for the challenge!
Head right out of Putney station and you will see the green Oxfam sign immediately- this is what makes Putney so great, all the shops are in such close proximity.
Oxfam had a lot of ladies dresses, so would be a great place to get something for a special occasion or for a summer’s day. Their extensive dress collection included a Dries Van Noten number for £99. I also saw some Russell and Bromley shoes for £29.99 which were in great condition, along with a number of other high street brands like M&S, Zara, H&M and Oasis.
This little shop also had some vintage crockery, a cabinet with lots of watches and lots of books- just what I love to see in a charity shop.
Royal Trinity Hospice
Right next door to Oxfam is Royal Trinity Hospice. This is a really cosy, lovely shop with floor to ceiling shelving which houses knick knacks and shoes.
I found lots of high street brands here like Gap, Zara, Topshop, White Stuff, Phase Eight, Karen Millen and Mint Velvet. There was a cute & Other Stories blouse for £18, an Oliver Bonas skirt for £18, a Reiss blouse for £25 and a Hobbs dress for £40. Not the cheapest of charity shops but the condition of every item was fantastic.
The store also had a designer clothes rail, a roulette wheel for £65, a huge selection of homeware and books- and even a pair of wooden clogs!
I really loved the clothes that were for sale here- I tried on an early 00’s linen halterneck dress by H&M and loved the fabric but I’m just not ready to bring back the 00’s cuts to my wardrobe!
Here there was a real mixture and again, everything was so well priced. There was an LK Bennett dress for £15, Calvin Klein cardigan for £12, French Connection top for £6, silk DKNY top for £12, and a new Bimba Y Lola top for £15 with tags saying RRP £65!
Also spotted were some Gucci heels for £18, some Jimmy Choo heels for £20 and Versace jeans for £10- real designer bargains!
British Heart Foundation
This store is quite tricky to get around if it’s busy, but you’re sure to find a bargain. At the time of visiting they had a half-price sale on summer clothes and shoes which was brilliant.
I spotted a The White Company dress for £10.99, a French Connection dress for £4.99, an LK Bennett cardigan for £3.99, two Lacoste polo shirts for £5.99 each, and a Ralph Lauren shirt for £14.99.
You can also find a lot of high street items here, there’s also a good kids and menswear section, and tons of books too.
Royal Trinity Hospice
In Putney, you are spoiled by not just one, but two Royal Trinity Hospice shops! This one really close by to Putney Bridge, and is filled with furniture and homeware.
There were hundreds of cups and saucers for 50p a piece, along with all sorts of crockery and everything else you might need to fill a home with.
Furniture included a rattan dressing table with mirror and stool for £215, sofas from around £150, a cocktail cabinet for £180, tables, chairs, dressers, beds, cots and everything else you could possibly think of!
If you live in the area and are moving into a new home, this is a brilliant place where you could find everything you need at a snip of the brand new price.
The best charity shops in Wimbledon
Wimbledon is a great place in south west London to go on a London charity shop crawl as all of the shops are in close proximity and within easy walking distance from the mainline railway station or South Wimbledon tube line which is served by the Northern Line. Wimbledon Village is also nearby and is home to many a millionaire, the shops in Wimbledon Village are pricey but that reflects the high quality brands that can be found there- it’s just a short walk up the hill from the main high street.
British Heart Foundation
This store is right next to Wimbledon station, you can’t miss it! Like most BHF stores everything is very reasonably priced for the area. Whilst in this store I found a gorgeous vintage serving tray for £4 which I left behind (damn!), lots of occasion dresses and the usual bric-a-brac.
The store was really busy when I went, which is always a good sign! I saw Adidas trainers for £15, a Mango blouse for £5.99 alongside lots of high street clothing brands like Gap and Zara. The store also had lots of autumn clothing, with an absolute ton of knitwear and coats. All of the rails were immaculately kept in this store- and they even had a £1 basket full of clothes!
NIAS Charity Shop
This store is an old school charity shop- my favourite! This shop is large and has a mixture of just about everything-prepare to have a rummage. There was everything from furniture to football boots, as well as a half price rail.
Some high end brands that I spotted here included some LK Bennett shoes and Dolce and Gabbana heels. There was also lots of well-priced high street pieces like a cardigan from Monsoon for £4.50, a Phase Eight cardigan for £3, a Monsoon kaftan for £4, a Weekday coat for £9, Reiss trousers for £8 and a Seasalt dress for £15.
When I visited this store it already had some of the cutest Christmas decorations on display! I resisted and instead picked up some amazing wide leg linen trousers from M&S for £4.99.
There wasn’t a whole lot of clothing here, but I spotted some Birkenstock sandals here for £4.99, a Ted Baker top for £6.99, a Phase Eight skirt for £5.99, alongside other items from Topshop, Fat Face, and Oasis.
I found some fab embroidered jeans here for £6, and also a black turtle neck top for winter which I had on my ‘to find’ list on my phone. Just like with most Cancer Research stores, the prices were very reasonable here.
I saw lots of great quality shoe brands here, like Hobbs heels for £6.95, LK Bennett shoes for £16.85, as well as some more comfortable brands like Converse, Geox and Ecco. There was also some cute vintage bags here alongside lots of knitwear and jackets for the winter.
I was surprised to see school uniforms in abundance for sale here too which was absolutely great to see. Other brands spotted here included Pepe Jeans, Whistles, Hush, Boden and Monki.
This store was very reasonably priced for the area- I even spotted an LK Bennett cardigan for just £4! There was also Hobbs shoes for £8.50, a Ted Baker skirt for £8, some vintage suede trousers and a whole lot of bric a brac.
I also saw Zara, ASOS, Jigsaw, Next, and an Oliver Bonas blouse for £5. There was a huge rail of dresses here, so this would be a great store to check out if you’re in need of a party dress.
Royal Trinity Hospice
Whilst visiting this store I spotted some lovely vintage items at some great prices which is often a rarity in London- there was even beautiful vintage homeware.
Everything is arranged so well in this store- I will definitely be heading back in the future! I also spotted dresses from Zara, Monki and ASOS for £7 each, a Cos top for £9, and an Oliver Bonas blouse for £7. There was even a wedding dress hung up, and a 90s dress which very much felt like something that Rachel from ‘Friends’ would wear- kind of wishing I’d picked that up myself!
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The Best Charity Shops in Clapham
Clapham is a hugely popular residential area for young people, and its trendiness attracts young professionals from all around the world. This means that the charity shops always seem to be stuffed to the brim with donations, and the clothing brands and styles are usually a little ‘younger’ than in some other areas of London.
Clapham is a pretty large area. I’ve focussed here on the best charity shops in Clapham Junction, but there are also little clusters of charity shops on Clapham High Street (aka near Clapham North and Clapham Common on the tube).
Royal Trinity Hospice
If you’re ever near Clapham Junction, you are lucky enough to have not one, but two Royal Trinity Hospices within close proximity to one another. I visited both stores and they are each quite different so have split my findings by each shop.
This store is the smaller of the two. I made my visit to this store in October and spotted lots of knitwear. I would say that October seems like a really great time to swoop in and grab the best knitwear around before it starts to get seriously chilly.
I found a Mango cable knit jumper for £12, a new with tags Uniqlo jumper for £18 and a cashmere jaeger jumper for £24. There was also a couple more vintage bits including a Whistles velvet shirt for £11 and some vintage jackets. Other great spots included a Vivienne Westwood coat for £60, a Cos dress for £20 and an Anya Hindmarch bag for £220. There was also a lot of general high street labels such as Warehouse, H&M, & Other Stories, French Connection and Zara.
The second store is a little further from the station (but not by much!) and had loads more clothes than other Royal Trinity Hospice. The window display was also stunning!
There was lots of coats here from a variety of brands like Ted Baker, £90 and Zara, £30. When I visited this store in early October it already had Christmas jumpers out- so now is the time to snap one up cheaply for the inevitable ‘Christmas Jumper Day’ at the office!
Some high street brands included a Boden cardigan for £14, a Patagonia jumper for £12, and other items from Cos, H&M, Hush, Oasis, Gap, Jigsaw and Next. Some fancier finds included some sparkly LK Bennett party shoes for £30, some nearly-new leather boots for £25, a Sandro dress for £25, Armani pumps for £35 and some D&G sunglasses for £20- bargain!
Traid was probably my favourite of the charity shops I visited in Clapham, it was huge and the rails were stuffed with clothing which meant you really had to roll your sleeves up and get stuck in- my favourite kind of charity shop.
The hangers don’t have sizes on, and the store isn’t ordered in sizes either which does make things a little trickier, but also means that you are automatically looking through every size in the shop. There is a dedicated vintage section within the store which is great, but I also spotted a few vintage Laura Ashley and St Michael items which had ended up with the rest of the stock.
At the time of visiting there were tons of coats and sports clothing, along with a selection of shoes which were all in fantastic condition. There was also a lot of men’s clothing and stuff for kids too. My favourite finds were an American Apparel blouse for £9.99, Levi’s shirt for £14.99, an APC skirt for £14.99, and a brand new Maje dress for £49.99.
This store had a fairly small amount of clothing, but as always you can’t beat their amazing prices. Coats started from £10 which is absolutely amazing. There were also a few vintage pieces at this store, like a hand knitted jumper for £4.50, and a Christmas jumper for £7. Other great finds included an & Other Stories jumper for £4.50, a real suede skirt from Oasis for £14, and an Armani jacket for £20.
Other brands spotted here were Stradivarius, Miss Selfridge, Laura Ashley, Cos, Topshop, Mango and a fab pair of Superga pumps for £12 (seriously, they almost looked brand new!)
British Heart Foundation
British Heart Foundation stores always seem to be full to the brim with donations which is amazing- but it can mean that if there are already quite a few customers in a store, it can be difficult to move around. But don’t be put off! There’s a reason why people come flocking.
This store had a real mixture of items, from a £16.99 ladies vintage Ralph Lauren shirt that wouldn’t have looked out of place on Princess Diana in the 80s, to tartan Doc Martens for £39.99. There was also quite a few reduction rails which had mostly summer clothing- a great time to snap up a jaw dropping bargain.
There was also lots and lots of books, vintage jumpers, and other brands such as Armani, New Look, M&S, French Connection, Warehouse, Mango & Other Stories and Topshop.
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The Best Charity Shops in Brixton
Brixton itself doesn’t have many charity shops on its high street, but the quality of the charity shops that it does have more than makes up for this. I would fully recommend a visit to Brixton just to go to their Barnardo’s and Traid stores (and perhaps to get yourself some amazing food too!)
This is a big store with lots of good quality clothing at great prices. There was lots of kids stuff, including Halloween costumes, Christmas jumpers and toys, and a great menswear section too.
I almost came away with a few things- I picked up some Whistles jeans for £6, and a barely worn H&M pleated skirt but neither were quite the right size so they didn’t come home with me. I also spotted a brand new Topshop skirt which had an RRP of £60 on the tag and was being sold for £20 in the store, a gorgeous American Apparel midi skirt for £4, an & Other Stories dress for £8 and some shorts for £4.
Other high street brands included an M&S cardigan for £4.50, Gap, an Oliver Bonas jumper for £6, Next, Uniqlo, Old Navy, H&M, Cos, Zara and Jigsaw.
This is another fantastic charity shop with a dedicated vintage section (can you tell I love vintage clothing?!) There were lots of vintage dresses, including a gorgeous prairie dress for £29.99, a 70s maxi dress for £24.99, and a mini dress for £9.99. Also spotted in the vintage section was a suede waistcoat for £28.89 and a Dorothy Perkins jumper from days gone by for £12.99. My favourite piece of all though was a gorgeous vintage pleated slip dress for £34.99 that someone needs to scoop up for a Christmas party asap.
There was also lots of autumnal accessories here, and a large selection of shoes including some Russell and Bromley loafers for £19.95 which were in fantastic condition.
British Heart Foundation- Furniture
New furniture can be a massive expense when you move to a new home, and checking out furniture-specific charity shops like this one can really save you a ton of money.
At the time of visiting there was a 50% off sale on some items. The store had everything you could need for a home- sofas, beds, tables, chest of drawers, fridges, freezers and cabinets. I saw a sofa for £120, table and chairs for four people at £129, a vintage round table for £45, a brand new jute rug (which had been sold so not sure on the price) and a wicker sofa and chair set for £85.
The Best Charity Shops in Balham
I’d never ventured to Balham before embarking on my ‘best charity shops in South London’ research, but if the charity shops are anything to go by- I’ll definitely be making a return. There are a lots of shops pretty close to one another, which makes it the perfect area for a London charity shop crawl.
British Heart Foundation
Again, this store had lots of knitwear, including some 100% wool items from Cos and United Colours of Benetton- both £12.99. I know wearing wool can be a little divisive- but my own preference in jumpers is for 100% wool where possible as I find it longer lasting and better quality. Many of my jumpers are pure wool and were handed down to me by my mum- if you look after them they can last for two generations!
This store also had an ‘under £5 rail’ which is great as finding something for under a fiver can sometimes be a rarity in London. On this rail they had a Boden dress and an Oliver Bonas dress- both £4.
Other items included some LK Bennett loafers for £17.99, a borg coat, an Oakley ski jacket for £24.99, a silk All Saints dress for £19.99 and also items from high street stores such as Gap, Topshop, M&S and Urban Outfitters.
This Cancer Research store had a £5 rail full of coats including a Topshop faux leather jacket, a Karrimor jacket, a men’s Gap jacket and a mac from Zara.
This store also had lots of party dresses so is the perfect place to pick up something ‘new’ for the festive period. There was a Whistles dress for £12 and a Hush dress for £12.50- both of which would be perfect for any Christmas party.
Again, there was lots of knitwear to be found here including a 100% wool cardigan from Cos for £5.50 (which I almost picked up!) a Gap jumper for £6.50, and a United Colours of Benetton jumper for £5, & Other Stories funnel neck jumper for £5, a lightweight Reiss jumper for £8, and finally some novelty Christmas jumpers for £5.
Next door to Cancer Research you will find an Oxfam Books which looked delightful but I didn’t stop to browse.
Top tip- Fara hang their best stuff on the walls. So always look up if you fancy a designer bargain. In this store there was a brand new striped cashmere jumper hanging up for £39.
Prices were a little more expensive here than some of the neighbouring stores, but I think that could be due to the brands that were on sale here. I spotted an All Saints coat for £45, a Ted Baker dress for £27, a DVF wrap dress for £25 and a Hobbs dress for £28.
Other high street brands included Mango, H&M, Topshop, & Other Stories, Uniqlo and ASOS. There were a few reduced items also which is always a bonus.
Just opposite there is also a Fara Kids store. In the window they were advertising 3 for 2 books for autumn which I thought was lovely. Inside there was a rocking horse, other toys, maternity clothing and Halloween costumes.
Royal Trinity Hospice
This store had the nicest autumnal window display with gorgeous colours and a great pair of Cos trousers for £22.
There was a real mix of brands here, there were some high end items like a pair of Prada heels for £80, a pair of Anya Hindmarch shoes for £85, and a vintage Oscar de la Renta velvet and silk skirt for £50. But there was also brands like Zara, Next, Phase Eight, Topshop, Warehouse and Banana Republic.
Also spotted were quite a few maternity pieces mixed in on the rails, and lots of pleated midi skirts which are still perfect for a warmer autumn day.
I hadn’t heard of the Ace charity shops before- they are a charity that supports the homeless and have two stores in Balham and in Clapham. You can’t miss them- the Balham store had some fun Pop Art window paintings which I’m sure draws in many inquisitive customers.
The best part about this store is that they had gone all out for Halloween- with fancy dress, horror films and props for sale! But should you visit at another time of the year, you will be amazed by their prices. At the time of visiting they had a flash sale with 25% off their clothing items.
This store had a £1 basket which is always great to see, alongside an ASOS blouse for £1.50, a Therapy dress for £12, and vintage silk scarves for £4. Other brands spotted also include Urban Outfitters, Monsoon, Whistles, Nike and Brandy Melville.
Wandsworth Oasis: Balham
This was a large store with so much stuff for kids- everything from cots and highchairs, to toys and clothing. However due to the size there was also lots of room for adult clothing too. The clothing isn’t arranged in size order and there are no sizes on the hangers, so it’s a real treasure hunt which I love (but I know this isn’t to everyone’s taste!)
The prices in this store varied quite a lot, with a vintage dress coming in at £3, a Cos jumper at £4 and a Bershka dress coming in at £7. There were lots of evening dresses and ball gowns here which would be perfect for party season. There was also a big variety of brands that I hadn’t seen so much in other Balham charity shops such as Joe Browns, Eastex, Peekaboo Vintage, Jaeger, Laura Ashley, American Apparel and Equipment.
The Best Charity Shops in Tooting
I lived in Morden when I first moved to London, and I would often go to Tooting if I ever fancied a trip to their amazing haberdashery shop. It’s an easy area to get around on foot which makes it a great place to do a bit of charity shopping.
Little Lives UK
Little Lives UK is another charity that I had not heard of until I went researching in Tooting- they are a London based charity that provide support and opportunities for disabled or disadvantaged children. They have 3 stores in Tooting, Fulham Broadway and Raynes Park.
I LOVED this charity shop as they had the best knitwear selection I’ve ever seen. I mentioned this to the shop assistant and she said that they had recently received lots of knitwear samples from a brand which were never put into production! Exciting stuff. I came away with two cashmere jumpers, one was £14.99 and the other £16.99.
Alongside the fabulous knitwear samples there was also a J Crew fairisle jumper for £12.99, a United Colours of Benetton cardigan for £9.99, a Laura Ashley cardigan for £6.99, a Whistles jumper for £5.99 and a brand new J Crew jumper for £32.99.
There was also a large £1 basket, and some more expensive designer pieces too like some Jimmy Choo heels for £159.99, 3 pairs of Ugg boots for £59.99 each (which I think were brand new) and a Mulberry clutch bag for £99.99.
Octavia is one of my favourite ‘chains’ of charity shops here in London, and this one in Tooting did not disappoint. There was a huge ‘from £2’ sale rail which was mostly summer clothing that had been unsold.
Brands included Warehouse, Zara, Oasis, Monsoon, Ted Baker and ASOS. Some top finds included a pair of vintage linen trousers for £5, a DAY silk blouse for £3 (due to needing some repairs), a Free People coat for £8 (due to needing a dry clean) and also a small section of wedding dresses.
This store is about a 5 minute walk from Tooting Broadway station and is very reasonably priced considering its location. I spotted lots of high street labels and sizes went up to a size 22 at the time of visiting.
There were lots of dresses including a Diesel dress for £12, a Topshop dress for £6.99 and a White Stuff dress also for £6.99. The skirts were really well priced with a vintage skirt for £3.99 and a Reiss skirt for £5.99. The store also had lots of kids fancy dress costumes and a good selection of bric a brac.
Paws Charity Shop
I hadn’t been to a Paws Charity Shop before, but they are a charity that raises funds for the PAWS dog shelter. They also have a store in Battersea, and another just up the road from this store near Tooting Bec tube station.
This store was about half menswear, half ladieswear which is often a rarity in charity shops. There was a real mixture of stock from vintage 80s jumpers and suede waistcoats, to designer bargains, to high street pieces.
Some designer spots included some Michael Kors heels for £25 and some Guess shoes for £15. There was also lots of clothing from the likes of River Island, New Look and Monki with most skirts coming in at £5, and brand new tailored trousers from Next for £8. Other great finds included some & Other Stories culottes for £6 and a brand new Mango dress with an RRP of £69.99 for £15.
So that concludes the best charity shops in South London! As you can see, the prices can vary quite a bit between stores, and seem to be considerably lower than prices found in the best charity shops in West London. I asked on Instagram what you most wanted to know about charity shopping in London, and one question that came up quite a bit were questions like ‘which shops are the cheapest?’ or ‘which area is the cheapest?’ and I think the answer is that it really depends.
There is a definite correlation between the price of a charity shop and your proximity to central London. If you head to the outskirts of London you are much likely to find cheaper prices. But that said, I do find certain stores to usually be cheaper than others- Cancer Research, for example, always seem to have very reasonable prices no matter where you go in London. Their store was noticeably cheaper than other stores in Notting Hill- you can read what I found when I visited here.
Another question was ‘what is the best time to go to a charity shop?’ Charity shops really vary, but most will now rotate the type of stock in their store seasonally like you would see in high street stores. So for example, the charity will store up their wintery donations like jumpers, coats and Christmas decorations until perhaps October when they will display them in stores.
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If you want to get your hands on the newest winter wear, I would start visiting around early-mid October to grab the best things, but alternatively, if it’s a real bargain you are looking for, wait until the end of the season to snap up some reduced items. Now is a great time to get some summer clothes super cheaply.
Ultimately though, the sure-fire way to get the beautiful finds you see other people humble-bragging about is to go visit your local stores often and to pop into charity shops whenever you are in a new town. All too often people tell me ‘I can never find anything good in charity shops!’ The answer to this is that you have to go frequently to find the best things. Often I will go charity shopping and find nothing, and other times I will find several things- it really is luck of the draw.
Stores will also vary the times that they put their new stock out, for some they will put out new things every day, some it will be a Saturday morning, and for some they won’t have an item on the store floor for more than a month. Get to know the store assistants in your local shops and you will soon find out the insider knowledge- they may even show you new things that aren’t on the shop floor yet if they know you as a regular!
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