Our top 5 picks for thrifting in London

11 June 2022

How we style ourselves is an integral part of self-expression. And in honour of London Fashion Week starting this Saturday 11th June, we’ve picked out our favourite places in London for clothes shopping. We let flat-shares across and outside Central London, so you’re always near your next fashion destination!

1. TRAID - various locations 

TRAID is one of the biggest charity shops in London. TRAID’s acronym stands for; Textile Recycling for Aid and International Development. Focusing on the environmental impact of the textiles industry and fighting global poverty, this organisation not only collects and resells previously owned clothing, but also owns textile recycling banks and promotes education on textile reuse and environmental impact consciousness. There is something for everyone at TRAID. With large shops dotted around London (Brixton, Camden, Peckham, and more), men’s and women’s clothing and accessories are plentiful. Moderately priced and often up-cycled materials, you can be sure to find something totally unique at a fair price. 

2. ATIKA - Brick Lane 

It’s no surprise that a Brick Lane clothing store makes its way onto the list. Although there are a variety of different shops within this area worth checking out (and we recommend that you take a walk down to Brick Lane to see for yourself!), AKITA takes the spotlight. The biggest vintage shop in London with 5 rooms across 2 floors, it’s easy to spend a good hour or two browsing. Despite being priced a little on the higher end, the quality of independent artists showcased and the up-cycled and carefully curated vintage fashion is worth the price tag. Imagine if someone went through every London resident’s wardrobe, found a couple of damaged vintage gems that don’t see the light of day anymore, and carefully restored the item whilst keeping in mind current fashion trends - and you have ATIKA. 

3. East End Thrift Store - Mile Lane 

Dubbed as the “Legendary Cult Vintage Store” by Vogue, this one is definitely worth checking out. Similar to our previous picks, East End Thrift Store specialises in curated and up-cycled unwanted clothing. From vintage rarities to big name brands, you will be spoiled for choice. East End is also regarded as one of the more moderately priced vintage shops. Furthermore, this shop is well-known for its ‘Fill-A-Bag’ events. Customers who shop at East End on these days pay £10 for a medium, or £20 for a large, -sized plastic bag. Any clothes you manage to fit into said bag is included in the price! They also frequently feature ‘£1 Sale’ racks if you are not able to make it to one of the ‘Fill-A-Bag’ events. Definitely one to visit if you are more money-conscious but still want to keep up to date on big labels and fashion trends.

4. Octavia Foundation - Various Locations 

Octavia Foundation is another charity shop well-known amongst Londoners. Run by an organisation that supports those affected by ill health, social isolation, low income, or unemployment in Central and West London, the organisation partially fundraises through its reselling of donated items. What sets this charity shop apart from others is its reputation for being able to source vintage or designer label donations at a very reasonable price. Although you can find their iconic red-banner shops in various locations around Central and West London (Kentish Town, Fulham, Tooting), we recommend checking out their Kensington and Victoria branches if second-hand designer is what you’re after. 

5. Pennies Vintage - Islington 

This one is specifically for pre-1960s fashion-lovers. Its stock is more evening-wear than streetwear. With gorgeous and unique gowns and even wedding dresses, this is where you go to get a one-of-a-kind showstopper dress. Eccentric handbags/purses, veils, jewellery, and other vintage accessories are also available to create a well-rounded look. Pennies Vintage gained notoriety when one of its beautifully beaded 1920s wedding dresses featured on an episode of Downton Abbey, worn by Lily James. So whether you’re looking for a timeless but reasonably priced wedding dress, a flapper costume, or adding to your vintage collection - be sure to head down to Islington and pay Pennies a visit. 

Although these are our favourite picks for second hand sustainable shopping in London, this doesn’t even scratch the surface. Living in the capital, there are so many opportunities to discover new clothing shops and fashion subcultures. This is one of the many reasons relocating to London is a popular choice for so many. If you are looking to rent a room in Central or Greater London, Myrooms has a variety of flat-shares available to suit a variety of needs. We hope you enjoy London Fashion Week over the weekend, and stay stylish.