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Bristol’s Best Charity and Thrift Shops

Second Hand September is the Oxfam initiative to encourage shoppers to exclusively buy second hand throughout the month. The initiative has been running for a number of months but the campaign feels more pertinent than ever with rising awareness of the fast fashion industry and its damage to the environment and inhumane work conditions. If you’re keen to get involved with the campaign, why not familiarise yourself with Bristol’s much beloved second-hand and vintage shops. 

Cotham Hill and Whiteladies Road 

Starting with two areas just a stone’s throw away from the university campus, Cotham Hill and Whiteladies Road. Starting with Cotham Hill, which again recently threw its successful annual street party, organised by the Oxfam Bookshop Manager, with the aim of championing the charity shops and independent shops and cafes along the road. The charity shops on Cotham Hill are in close proximity to each other with a Mind, Brandon Trust and two Oxfam’s tucked away on the small street. 

Just around the corner from Cotham Hill is Whiteladies Road with even more charity shops, like the British Heart Foundation Bookshop and a St Peter’s Hospice. 

Gloucester Road

The charity shops on Gloucester Road are slightly further away from the campus and most of the University Halls but are absolutely worth the travel. You can take the up to Gloucester Road and meander your way down via the charity shops. Like Cotham and Whiteladies, Gloucester Road is packed with fantastic charity shops like Marie Curie and Cats Protection. With Gloucester Road being less well scavenged by students, you’re more likely to find hidden gems! 

‘Loot’ in Broadmead and ‘Thrift’ and ‘Uncle Sam’s’ on Park Street

If you’re less inclined to trawl through charity shops, Bristol has a great selection of well-curated vintage shops. Loot in Broadmead is best known for its 90s vintage and reworked vintage pieces. In a similar vein, Thrift on Park Street stocks similar clothes. Its nifty use of colour coded rails which indicate price range make it the perfect thrift shop for the student budget. 

Finally, Uncle Sam’s American Vintage on Park Street is one of the most eclectic vintage shops in the city. They import their hand-picked stock right from California meaning their stock is incredibly unique. The little shop is full to the brim with sportswear, true American denim and leather and is well worth a visit. 

This piece is part of a themed content week focused on getting back to university at Bristol.

Ginny Darke

Bristol '21

Ginny Darke is a student of English Literature at the University of Bristol. She is the Social Media Manager of HC Bristol.