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The first time I moved to London in 2019, I lived around Mile End and Bethnal Green. I used to live near all the best charity shops in Bethnal Green I’ll mention today since some were right at the corner of my street. It seems fair that, as a serial shopper of anything from stationery to botanical candles, I would visit the charity shops in East London at some point.
And I’ve come across quite a fair few, in which I’ve found clothes, second-hand books, and jewelry that proved to be the best things to buy in London (at least until you’ve got to move abroad).
Today, I want to tell you about the best charity shops in Bethnal Green and East London, including Brick Lane, Roman Road, and Whitechapel. There are not a lot of good charity shops on Brick Lane, which focuses mainly on vintage shops and delicious food like hot chocolate at Dark Sugars and the best bagels in London at Beigel Shop Brick Lane.
But there are a lot of charity shops in Bethnal Green and Whitechapel, so hopefully, you’ll find your new favorite charity shops in East London here today.
If you’d like to find amazing things to shop in the best charity shops in London, here are a few guides I’ve written for you:
- the best charity shops in Chelsea London
- the best charity shops in North Finchley
- the ultimate best charity shops in London
10 Best Charity Shops in Bethnal Green London + Map 
For starters, there are lots of good charity shops in London. If you’re not sure where to start, some of the most famous charity shops in the UK include Oxfam shops (and Oxfam bookshops), the British Heart Foundation, Cancer Research, Age UK, the RSPCA, Mind, and the Spitalfields Crypt Trust.
And if you’re looking for the best charity shops in Bethnal Green, you’ll see – a lot of the aforementioned charities are among the cheapest charity shops in London. It’s no secret that East London is not one of the richest areas in London (that’s where you’ll find some of the most affordable halal restaurants in London); as such, if you’re looking for the cheapest and best things to buy in London, Bethnal Green and Whitechapel should be your next destination.
Some of these charity shops open on Sunday, as well, so if you’re bored someday and looking for nontouristy things to do alone in London, visiting some good charity shops in London is definitely something I love doing. Without further ado, let’s get on with the best charity shops in Bethnal Green!
And if you’d like to locate all the best charity shops in Bethnal Green London a bit better, take a look at the map below:
Best Charity Shops in Bethnal Green: Ayoka
Ayoka on Old Ford Road is one of the independent, best charity shops in Bethnal Green. Since Old Ford Road is located a bit off Bethnal Green Road, there are way fewer people passing by there – which makes the Ayoka charity shop a quiet place to shop for some great second hand clothes, used books, homeware, and antiques.
Old Ford Road, in my opinion, is one of the best hidden gems in London; you’ll find lots of really cute coffee shops there, and if you walk a bit more toward Roman Road Market, you’ll come across Cafe East, which offers some of the best halal Full English breakfast in London.
Ayoka is probably one of the smallest charity shops in East London, yet the selection there is clean, and often brand new. Tied to St Margaret’s House, a beating heart of the community work in Bethnal Green, Ayoka makes vintage shopping a happy moment. One of the best charity shops in Bethnal Green for good secondhand clothes – you never know when you’ll come across secondhand designer labels.
Best Charity Shops in Bethnal Green: Spitalfields Crypt Trust
I used to live on a street right off Bethnal Green Road, and the Spitalfields Crypt Trust makes almost the corner. It’s safe to say I visited it a lot, and consider it one of the cheapest charity shops in London. I got quite a few good pieces of secondhand clothes there, and there’s anything you might wish for in there, from used books to clothes, shoes, and even a bit of home decor (no scented candles there, sadly).
When purchasing from the Spitalfields Crypt Trust, you’ll helping the charity provide for people in need, from poverty to mental health issues. One of the best charity shops in Bethnal Green, the Spitalfields Crypt Trust on Bethnal Green Road offers all kinds of clothes for men, women, and kids, and most of the brands I’ve found were from high-street shops.
Best Charity Shops in Bethnal Green: Salvation Army
The Salvation Army on Cambridge Heath Road is one of the East London charity shops you’ll have to walk a bit to reach. Just a few minutes on foot from Bethnal Green station, the Salvation Army has an amazing selection of clothes, jewelry, accessories, and shoes for men and women, as well as some clothes for kids too.
This is one of the charity shops in East London that you’ll want to visit first if you’re around Hackney and the Mare Street Market, that I’ve mentioned in my guide to the best cafes to work in London for freelancers. The Salvation Army isn’t the biggest charity shop in Bethnal Green, but it’s always nice to rummage among the racks to find a piece of secondhand clothing to love.
Best Charity Shops in Bethnal Green: Jambala Bookshop
If you’re exclusively looking for charity bookshops, I’ll probably write a guide to the best charity bookshops in London soon. Actually, I’ve already written something about the best secondhand bookshops in London, if you’re an avid reader and can’t wait for this new guide to be published.
In the meantime, we’ve got Jambala Bookshop, located on Globe Road. It takes just a few minutes from Bethnal Green station to reach Jambala Bookshop, and the London Buddhist Centre-owned charity shop is filled to the brim with captivating books.
Jambala Bookshop has a great advantage, and it’s the fact that aside from being one of the best charity shops in Bethnal Green, it’s located round the corner from Quarantacinque, a cute Italian cafe that offers the best Italian breakfast in London and strong coffee.
It’s a colorful charity in East London that promotes books to anyone willing to discover new titles, and you’ll find at Jambala used and new books alike. One of the most underrated charity shops in Bethnal Green, and a must-visit.
Best Charity Shops in London: Islamic Relief
Like the Spitalfields Crypt Trust, the Islamic Relief is a charity shop located on Whitechapel Road. It’s not too far from Grounded, where you can get the best breakfast in London (no joke), and the Whitechapel Gallery, one of the free galleries in London where art is ever-changing.
If you’re looking for the best charity shops in East London, then Islamic Relief has got some really good secondhand clothes for both men and women. I’ve also found lots of amazing used books there, and if I remember well, there were also toys, homeware, and accessories at the Islamic Relief.
In any case, if you’re passing by Brick Lane, Bethnal Green, and Whitechapel, that’s a must-visit. Visiting the best free views in London might be awesome, but in my opinion, nothing beats going charity shopping.
Best Charity Shops in London: U.CLO
U.Clo is located on Brick Lane, not too far from Beigel Shop that I told you about some time ago. This is one of the most underrated charity shops in East London, and depending on the time of the year, you can make some of the best discoveries there. Also, you’ve got the Common Press, one of the best bookshop cafes in London at the end of the road, which is perfect if you want to have some great cakes and coffee.
Looking for almost new secondhand clothes? That’s the place. There are lots of really good charity shops in London, but vintage shops are usually especially expensive. Not the case at U.Clo, one of the best charity shops near Bethnal Green, and Knead a Little Love, a cute little bakery that offers vegan doughnuts.
You can often find really discounted sections at U.Clo, and vintage clothes at less than £5. The only other place I know that makes vintage clothes so cheap is the Porta Portese Market in Rome, but it’s all the way across Europe, isn’t it?
So if you’re looking for the best charity shops in Bethnal Green and are willing to walk for ten minutes down Bethnal Green Road toward Costa Coffee, you’ll most likely find amazing vintage clothes for just a handful of pounds at U.Clo.
Best Charity Shops in Bethnal Green: Oxfam Bethnal Green Road
I have something with Oxfam shops, I swear. One of the best charity shops in Bethnal Green is the Oxfam shop, probably one of the biggest Oxfam shops in the city, by the way. I used to live on Canrobert Street, and just like the Spitalfields Crypt Trust, Oxfam Bethnal Green makes the corner of that street. That just goes to show just how many charities there are in East London!
Oxfam shops are some of the first charity shops I visited in London, starting with this one in Bethnal Green, and the Oxfam Bookshop on Bloomsbury Street, near Tottenham Court Road, Oxford Street, and Soho. This one is especially clean and well-ordered, with clothes sorted by color rather than size.
Some of the best things to buy in this Oxfam shop are definitely secondhand clothes, jewelry, and homeware, although they also sell small artisan-made skincare and body care that you should defo take a look at. Not only is this Oxfam one of the best charities in Bethnal Green, but it’s also one of the best charity shops in London in its entirety.
Also, if you walk just a bit down the road, you’ll find Fcukoffee, one of the best cafes to work in East London if you need a place to write, read, or even just chill.
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Best Charity Shops in Bethnal Green: Lama’s Pyjamas Roman Road
Located on Roman Road in Globe Town, Lama’s Pyjamas is one of the funkiest charity shops in East London. Just like the Jambala Bookshop, Lama’s Pyjamas is owned by the London Buddhist Centre, and it’s safe to say it is one of the cleanest – and best charity shops in Bethnal Green.
There are not a lot of charity shops in London that have this funky, fun vibe that Lama’s Pyjamas boasts inside their tiny yet well-furnished charity shop.
At Lama’s Pyjamas, you’ll come across secondhand clothes and accessories that defy the most famous vintage shops in Brick Lane – honestly. This is a very small charity shop, but the quality and aesthetic of the items you’ll find there make it worthwhile to travel to Bethnal Green, even if you don’t live close.
Best Charity Shops in London: Spitalfields Crypt Trust Whitechapel
The Spitalfields Crypt Trust on Whitechapel Road is one of the most underrated charity shops in East London. Since most people pass by on the bus to go back home from working in Central London, I’ve found it’s pretty rare to find queues of people at Spitalfields Crypt Trust. However, if you’re down to visit, you’ll find that’s one of the cheapest and best charity shops in London.
Lots of branded secondhand clothes, new books, homeware, and accessories are to be found in the Whitechapel charity shop. Okay, it’s not one of the best charity shops in Bethnal Green, but if you’re down to walk just a little bit from one to the other, you’ll thank yourself. Plus, nearby, you’ve got Dulce Coffee, one of the best halal cafes in London for a great Full English Breakfast. Can’t miss that.
Best Charity Shops in Bethnal Green: London Rainbow Fashion
I discovered the London Rainbow Fashion shop just a few days ago, and I really wanted to tell you about it as soon as I passed the threshold. Even from the outside, the window shop is so colorful that it immediately attracts attention. Bethnal Green has been missing a good vintage shop, but London Rainbow Fashion has got something more.
A mix between vintage shopping and charity shopping, with clothes that cost on average £3 to £5. Colorful, clean, vintage clothes that look brand new? Yes, please. If you’re looking for the best charity shops in Bethnal Green and you want to build a new style for yourself, or just make your wardrobe fuller, London Rainbow Fashion is a vintage slash charity shop you need to visit.
10 Best Charity Shops in Bethnal Green London + Map 
There you have them, the best charity shops in Bethnal Green and East London. I wanted to include some of the charity shops in Whitechapel and Brick Lane as well, especially because I feel like these are areas in London we never hear too much about. Especially Brick Lane, which is more famous for its street food and vintage shops.
You’re bound to find some really cool secondhand books and almost-new clothes in those East London charity shops. Do make it a point to visit the Oxfam shop, the Spitalfields Crypt Trust, Islamic Relief, and that new London Rainbow Fashion shop that opened less than a year ago. There, you’ll not only find secondhand clothes but also lots of vintage bits and bobs that are really worth both your time and your budget!
Until next time!
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