London seems to be lined with charity shops these days. From Kensington to Kensal Green, you are guaranteed to find second-hand shops thriving as a result of the recession – and the more the better I say!
Whether you’re looking for vintage picture frames, recycled records or mismatched ’90s get-up – you can’t beat the feeling of rummaging through second-hand goods. Yes, you may have to handle some suspiciously stained shirts or some odd smelling coats before you find something you want to buy, but it’s all worth it when you purchase an item that no-one else has (or wants). Especially when it’s under a fiver.
For a true bargain head down to Deptford High Street – the Salvation Army store is like no other and the shops around the area are really good value. If you’re looking for budget designer goods, Upper Richmond Road in Barnes is a great place to go and a little less known then other well-heeled areas like Chelsea. My personal favourites though are the charity in shops in Highgate. With a whole huddle right outside the station, you won’t come away empty handed.
In case you’re new to this business, don’t be put off by smells or stains – there’s nothing a super hot wash can’t fix. Make sure you look outside of your usual size range – some of the items will be from a long time ago when sizing was different and you’ll be surprised at how you can make something fit. Also, don’t be afraid to cut and customise things (once you’ve bought them obviously). Sounds simple, but if you’ve only paid a couple of quid, you can afford to take the risk. And hey, if you give it a whirl and it’s not your thing, you can always take your item to another charity shop for someone else to find… Alice Rhodes