Did you know that the UK is the fourth largest producer of textile waste in Europe? Each Briton throws away about 3.1kg of textiles every year.
It's a difficult issue to tackle because clothing has enormous power to enhance our mood, our well-being, and our daily performance. Fashion and style can influence how you will be perceived and treated.
Our throw-away culture, however, fails to educate consumers on garment aftercare, meaning well-made pieces are wasted if consumers cannot care for them.
It has been refreshing, therefore, to see the second-hand clothes market grow rapidly. According to Fashion United, British consumers are leading the way for change, topping the global leaderboard, scoring 117 percent more second-hand sales in 2020 than shoppers in the US!
What used to be smelly and disorganised shops, second-hand charity clothes shops are now revamped and transformed into fashion boutiques, with window displays competing with the best high street brands. You can often find some barely used designer or high-end clothes at a fraction of the cost, and some of them even have a small selection to shop online.
To celebrate the September Second-Hand Campaign, an entire month dedicated to celebrating pre-loved and vintage items – we’ve rounded up the very best second-hand fashion shops for you to scroll.
BEST SECOND-HAND FASHION STORES IN LONDON
1- SIGN OF THE TIMES
Sign of the Times is a pioneer and icon in the second-hand fashion market in London. It opened its doors in Chelsea in 1976 and was originally conceived to sell clothes belonging to celebrities of the day.
The store soon became a go-to for clients arriving from far and wide to shop their edit.
They exclusively sell luxury items and have a robust authentification process. You can contact them via Whats App to send pictures of the items you wish to sell.
They take approx 50% commission on the final sale of the item.
2- ONE SCOOP STORE
Founded in 2017 by Holly Watkins, what was originally an Instagram account became one of the best stores in London for second-hand fashion.
You can sell items by sending pictures to email@example.com.
Her curated collection is available to buy online or in-store.
3- ROYAL TRINITY HOSPICE
A classic example of how an old charity shop can become an inviting fashion boutique.
Royal Trinity Hospice is the oldest hospice in the United Kingdom, founded in 1891 by a member of the Hoare banking family.
Trinity has 21 shops across central and South-West London selling new and pre-used goods, that help generate over £5.6 million towards free palliative and end-of-life care every year.
One of the most established charity shops in London, you can find a variety of women's and men's clothing and accessories, preloved high-quality high-street finds, and a Luxe Edit featuring designer and vintage pieces.
Oxfam has been leading the way in campaigning to extend the life of used clothing with sustainable shopping and fighting fast fashion.
Second Hand September has inspired thousands of people to shop in a way that is kinder to people and the planet.
They have dozens of shops across the UK, and you can shop their edits online.
BEST SECOND-HAND FASHION SHOPS FOR KIDS
1- FARA KIDS
These are the go-to shops for all parents. Fara has 40 shops in London.
FARA’s services include support activities for vulnerable children and adults with learning disabilities, youth at risk, and community-based programmes tackling poverty through education for Romania’s poorest families.
Second-hand clothes for children should be the way forward for all families. You can find gems and really good quality clothes. They also have opened Fara Books shops for kids, with books for all ages and languages.
2- TOT SWAP
With a beautifully curated collection, North London-based Tot Swap is a hidden gem for pre-loved and vintage clothes for children and mums-to-be.
Mum of two Emma opened Tot Swap in 2020 where parents can buy, swap & sell their children's outgrown clothes.
They offer to buy cash upfront, easy peasy.
BEST ONLINE SHOPS FOR SECOND-HAND CLOTHES
Cudoni is a platform for second-hand luxury fashion only.
They will book a free collection to authenticate and evaluate your items. They will then give you the option to buy cash upfront or sell the item on your behalf.
They charge a minimum of 40% commission or a £15 minimum fee.
4- HEWI (HARDLY EVER WORN IT)
They described themselves as the destination for luxury re-commerce.
Co-founder Tatiana Wolter-Ferguson created the platform in 2012 to pioneer and pave the way for pre-owned fashion.
With what started as a family affair, the business has become a global brand, recently collaborating with Sotheby's to create its first-ever luxury handbag and accessories auction; and partnering with Vogue to host a sale of items from the wardrobes of 23 supermodels including Kate Moss and Gigi Hadid with proceeds going to charity.
We offer sellers two selling services: Private Selling and VIP.
They offer a wide range of luxury second-hand goods, from jewelry to shoes, however, they don't have a robust authenticity process, as may other marketplaces and shops.
BEST MOBILE APPS FOR SECOND-HAND CLOTHES
1- VESTIAIRE COLLECTIVE
Vestiaire Collective is the leading online marketplace to buy and sell authenticated pre-owned luxury fashion.
It's not cheap to sell on their platform though.
All items priced between £90 and £14,000 have a selling fee of 14%.
Items below £90 have a fixed selling fee of £12.
All items priced above £14,000 will have a fixed selling fee of £2000.
They also charged a payment processing fee of 3%, with a minimum of £3 charge.
They do offer a consignment service, which can be very handy if you don't have the time to do it yourself.
Founded by a co-founder of PIG magazine and RETROSUPERFUTURE sunglasses, Simon Beckerman, Simon envisioned the app as a mobile space where you can see what your friends and the people you’re inspired by are liking, buying, and selling.
In 2021, Depop became a wholly-owned subsidiary of Etsy.
Depop today counts more than 30 million users.
Founded by Milda and Justas in 2008, Vinted is the largest online international consumer-to-consumer marketplace in Europe dedicated to second-hand fashion.
Selling on Vinted is free, with zero selling fees.
Buyers can pay a fee to buy their 'Buyer Protection' insurance, which will cover services like customer support, insurance, and tracked shipping.
Videdressing is a French platform specialising in the buying and reselling of fashion and luxury items.
They take a fixed of 15% on the item sale for every item sold €150 and above, with a minimum amount of 3€a and a maximum of 300€.
They also charge a €1 commission every time you transfer your earnings to your bank account.