The spending money was gifted by Hotels.com, but all views are my own.
Kensington is one of the best places to visit in London. I love Kensington Gardens, The Victoria and Albert museum is my favourite place to be in town, there’s the Design Museum, the Natural History museum, lots of nice places to eat and sit down for a coffee, the hotels in Kensington and the afternoon teas.
Many people associates Kensington with high end properties and expensive shops – and whilst it does have a lot of places to spend money, I invite you to take a tour with me: the charity shops of Kensington are probably the poshest ones in the world. A lot of them have a large selection of designer items, fantastic vintage clothing and even pieces of arts. As you know, I always promote “second hand first” and this year I also pledged not to buy any new clothes. Which isn’t hard at all, especially that the UK and London has fantastic charity shops. Shopping in charity shops you don’t just buy a cheap peace of clothing item. You support a good cause, that relies on charity shop sales: hospices, foundations, research institutes. You support circular economy. You save clothes and shoes ending up in landfill. And you get to go on a treasure hunt, which is the best part of it!
Now, Kensington of course has a few charity shops like The Royal Trinity Hospice’s charity shops that have a fabulous selection of designer clothes and vintage designer items. But all the others seem to have a high proportion of high end goods too. Rumour says it, that certain charity shops circulate the items amongst their outlets so that they can maximise profits. Meaning that they send the expensive, designer stuff to Kensington for example. Maybe true, maybe it isn’t, but certainly the charity shops in Kensington are a great day out for a sustainable fashion treasure hunt.
Here’s the list of ones that are in a short walking distance from Kensington high street and some real treasures I found during my recent treasure hunt.
Royal Trinity Hospice (Kensington Womens)
Located on Kensington Church Street, this shop is filled to the brim with beautiful shoes, high-end designer pieces and unique accessories.
27 Kensington Church Street W8 4LL
Royal Trinity Hospice (Notting Hill)
Great women’s and men’s wear, homeware and other unusual and quirky treasures and books.
20a Notting Hill Gate W11 3JE
Oxfam Notting Hill Gate
Thanks to the generous local donors (as they say on the home page), they sell an outstanding variety of on trend clothing for men and women from well known designers. As a result, Oxfam Notting Hill Gate is known for both chic contemporary and vintage fashion. They also have a wide range of publications on offer, from antiquarian books to foreign language comics.
144 Notting Hill Gate, Notting Hill, London, W11 3QG
Oxfam Kensington Hight Street
A variety of donated clothes, accessories and homewares. They also offer Fairtrade food and greetings cards. Alongside these they specialise in jewellery and vintage collectables and receive regular visits from a qualified valuer.
202b Kensington High Street, Kensington, London, W8 7RG
Cancer Research Charity Shop Kensington
I didn’t find too many things I liked in there – but as ever, it worth a try.
219 Kensington High Street, Kensington London, W8 6BD
Octavia Foundation Charity Shop
A leisurely stroll from Holland park this light and airy charity shop is full of pre-loved vintage and designer pieces. A hang out for Kensington vintage mavens, a recent peek at the rails revealed a vintage tailored 1950’s virgin wool shift-dress and designer work wear separates by DKNY and Dolce & Gabbana. The shop also boasts fun and stylish brand new gift items and homewares and a generous space dedicated to books.
266 High Street, Kensington London, W8 6ND
Vision Foundation Kensington Charity Shop
This one was probably the weakest in terms of treasure finding possibilities, but still spotted a lovely Lindy Bop skirt.
269 Kensington High St, Kensington London, W8 6NA
So have fun next time you’re around and make sure to check these out.
And if you’re about to collapse after hours of tiring treasure hunting, pop into a quick lunch to Whole Foods, I’ve had a . yummy vegan bowl and the lady kindly put my food into a china bowl instead of plastic after I requested it. The food was also delicious. So I also decided to pick up some fresh pasta for dinner – who wants to cook after a hard day of charity shop raid?