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Best Places to Thrift in Bristol: Tips and Tricks

Akosua discusses the best places to thrift shop in Bristol as well as giving us some tips and tricks!

Finally! After a tumultuous year of shops closing and opening again due to Covid-19, the charity shops are permanently open. And considering the increasing threat of global-warming, Bristol’s young people are consciously moving away from fast-fashion and are getting the latest renaissance of  90’s and Y2K  clothing trends alternatively. This article explores the best places to thrift around the city that transcends the obvious Gloucester Road.

Nevertheless, when looking at the city centre, it would be impossible not to mention the aforementioned location and Whiteladies road, as the best places to go if you’re there as they are consecutively lined with charity shops. In particular, the St Peter’s Hospice on Gloucester Road and The Salvation Army are good recommendations as I have found amazing cashmere/ athleisure jumpers and joggers as well as, (presumably faux) fur coats and corsets from there. As well as this, the streets are dotted with independent coffee shops and bookstores, resulting in the perfect day to spend your leisurely Sunday afternoon. Personally, I would avoid anything that is called a “thrift shop” rather than a charity shop, such as the ones scattered on Park Street, as they are often fairly overpriced and tend to consist of an array of lumberjack flannels and cringe Christmas jumpers.

Advancing from the centre, only a few minutes away is the glorious Vintage Market in Stokes Croft. This marvellous warehouse is filled with funky thrift clothes, retro bric-a-brac, and nostalgic vinyl. The staff are incredibly friendly, and I have been informed that they are having a big rebrand and bringing in more stock soon, so I would definitely recommend visiting considering its promising development. As well as this, Stokes Croft is embellished with graffiti all along the central road and includes prolific artists such as Banksy and is home to the Black Lives Matter Jen Reid mural which is definitely a must-see whilst you are down there.

For those who want to venture beyond the central area, I would suggest the Sue Ryder store in Fishponds as it is a large-scale charity shop, meaning you will be more likely to find something. Their best asset would have to be their coats and their bags as twice now I have got two authentic Guess mini handbags from there, one being only £2! Where else could you get such quality attire for so cheap? Although they do have a few other charity shops, along Fishponds Road, I would have to say that that is probably the best one.

Similarly, East-street in Bedminster has an array of them. However, it could be argued that it can be a bit hit or miss. Although I have got quite a few pieces of diverse costume jewellery from there and it is more affordable than those in the centre. Neighbouring this, Knowle would have to be the underdog when considering the prime place for charity shopping as they are most likely to have the best quality (and branded clothes if you like), for the lowest price. I have found quite a few pieces such as Ralph Lauren, a pair of authentic True Religion jeans and quality argyle sweaters which have all been under £10! Furthermore, the St Peter’s Hospice on the Wells road tends to have good quality pieces.

Additionally, the car boot sale in Clifton that takes place every Sunday (check their Facebook for more opening times), up until 1pm, is a great opportunity to get cheap and unique items.

I would say, however, it is dependent on how dedicated you are to looking and possessing the imagination to up-cycle/ alter your new thrifted items, which will ensure you get the best clothes! In essence, this is undoubtedly a great treasure finding and eco-friendly past-time that also donates to the causes you care about. A win-win really.

Where are your favourite places to thrift in Bristol? Let us know!