Newbury: Your guide to the best charity shops for clothes

Posted by Victoria Lochhead on

Newbury:  Your guide to the best charity shops for clothes

You may have noticed that your local High Street charity shops are getting busier.  The tide may well be turning in favour of pre-loved clothes (yay!) and many are turning to their local shops as a great place to start digging up a bargain.

As a sustainable personal stylist, I often get asked where the best places to go charity shopping are, and I usually say it depends what you're looking for and what your idea of a bargain is.  For me, it's a preloved item from a good quality brand or something in a great fabric and in excellent condition.  Geographically, apart from some of the more affluent boroughs of London, if you can find a group of about half a dozen shops in your local area, it should give you enough choice to get started.  It's handy if you have a market town or city surrounded by affluent villages, so places like Marlow, Henley, Oxford and Bath are some of my favourite spots. 

So, recently I went on a scouting mission round my home town of Newbury to see what bargains I could turn up in under an hour.  Here's my guide to the towns charity shops:

1.  Cancer Research

The Cancer Research Shop in Newbury

The Cancer Research shop in the Market Place is a great start point, and they usually have a few good brand labels in there .  It's well laid out and has a changing room, and on the day I was there it was buzzing with shoppers.  The rails were pretty packed, but I did manage to find a Crew Clothing skirt for £7.50 and a pair of new platform shoes, also £7.50.

A fun pair of shoes from a charity shopA great skirt from a charity shop
2.  British Heart Foundation
British Heart Foundation shop in Newbury
Just along from Cancer Research past the Town Hall is the British Heart Foundation shop.  It could almost do with being a bigger shop, as it's always full of stock, and I often worry I'm going to knock things over as there's not a lot of room to manoeuvre between the rails. This time I spotted a great Seasalt top for £9 and a really pretty Jigsaw top for £8.  The changing rooms were closed, but the staff helpfully explained that they had a returns policy to bring things back that didn't fit.
A top from British Heart foundation charity shop
a top from a charity shop
3.  Salvation Army
From the British Heart Foundation, turn right and then right again over the bridge and on to the High Street, where you will find the rest of the charity shops mentioned here.  For intrepid explorers, there is a charming but tiny Salvation Army charity shop tucked away down Northcroft Lane (on your left beside Cote Brasserie), but it was closed when I visited.  You might want to check their website before visiting as the opening hours are limited.
RSPCA charity shop in Newbury
This charity shop is the first one you see on the High Street and is beautifully laid out with a fantastic window display, you almost don't realise it's a charity shop at all.  They have new and preloved items for sale, and I found a couple of tops; a Maison De Nimes pink top for £6 and a Mary Portas shirt for £6.75 - both in excellent condition.
Maison De Nimes top in a charity shop
Mary Portas top from a charity shop
5.  Oxfam
Oxfam Newbury high street
Further down the street on the corner of the turning to Weavers Walk (and excellent ice creams at Lusso!) is Oxfam; a deceptive shop as it looks small from the High Street, but it goes deep!  You can usually find a couple of fancy brands on the rails, and it's always worth a look as the clothing is always in colour order so it doesn't take long to skim through the rails.  I found a Clock House vintage dress for £9.99 and my daughter spotted some beautiful silver ear-rings also for £9.99.
Vintage dress from Oxfam
Silver earrings from oxfam
6.  Naomi House & Jacksplace
Naomi House Charity Shop
This charity shop is beautiful!  A bit further down the High Street, but worth the walk as it's nearly always got some wonderful bits in it, and is beautifully laid out.  I found a stunning pair of Meher Kakalia designer shoes in excellent condition for just £6 (possibly my bargain of the day!) and a green spotty Ecovero fabric skirt from Gap for £4.50.  If you just go to one shop, go here!!
Designer shoes from a charity shop
A skirt from a charity shop
7.  Scope
Scope Charity Shop in Newbury   
There are two more charity shops worth visiting at this end of the High Street, and the first is Scope which is just past McDonalds.  This is where I once found my dream Abercrombie jeans for £6 that I wore and wore and wore.  It can be hit and miss for quality brands, but there was a lovely Monsoon dress in the window for just £8 and I found a brand new dress with the tags still on from White Stuff for £10.
A dress from a charity shop
A new dress from a charity shop


8.  Dogs Trust

Dogs Trust charity shop 
This charity shop is one of the few in Newbury where you could pull up in the car outside to rapidly unload donations, and as such, the sign outside said they're full.  Indeed, I've been turned away in the past trying to donate here, so it must be a common problem for them and they frequently have a lot of stock to sell.  You'll find it further along on the opposite side of the road to Scope.  It's a bright clean shop inside and is well laid out with lots to look at, and it has changing rooms.  I found a Damsel in a Dress label dress for just £7.50 and a brand new pair of Mademoiselle R suede shoes also for £7.50.

Damsel in a Dress charity shop dress

New shoes from a charity shop

So, that's my guide to the Charity Shops of Newbury if hunting for womens clothing.  If you're coming to the town and love preloved shopping, then don't miss the Clothing Warehouse on Hambridge Lane, which isn't actually a charity shop.  A short drive out of the town the Warehouse is (to the best of my knowledge) the only clothes recycling centre in the country that is open to the public.  It's quite literally an enormous treasure trove of preloved bargains in an old barn building by the river.  The big section near the car park is for mens, womens and childrens clothing, and the shop nearer to the road stocks a wider range of branded ladies wear.  A must visit for preloved fans.

You might also like our own ladies dress agency!  We sell preloved clothes online with the option to collect from us in Newbury, and we run regular Open Day sales.  To find out when they're on go to our Facebook page or sign up to our Newsletter.

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