From Pre-Loved Clothes to Cobblers – This is the Secret to Shopping Sustainably

· Andrew Porter-Emery · Shopping

Retail therapy with a side of recycling.

British Heart Foundation Shop

Packed with household names, cool indies and foodie delights, Merrion Centre is also one of Leeds' most sustainable shopping centres, with lots of retailers and services who can help you do your bit for the environment. Check it out.

Care about sustainability? Don’t believe in fast fashion? Reduce your carbon footprint at the Merrion Centre!

You’ll find loads of places with a wholehearted commitment to sustainability at The Merrion Centre. From pre-loved clothes, books and furniture to cobblers and repair shops who can fix up your favourites in a jiffy, this is your chance to say goodbye to disposable culture and hello to recycled, reusable and rewarding shopping. It’s good for you, it’s good for the planet and it’s good for some really worthwhile causes too.

Leeds Hospitals Charity Shop

Leeds Hospitals Charity Shop

© Copyright Leeds-List 2022 by Ellie Hodgson

They say one person’s trash is another’s treasure, and you can find some real gems in the Leeds Hospitals Charity Shop. This Aladdin’s cave has racks of clothing for adults and kids, alongside homeware, toys and a bounty of books. You can sniff out a bargain, all while supporting a charity that makes healthcare better for everyone. And it’s not just about shopping – you can donate your unwanted goods as well, with free city centre parking for 30 minutes courtesy of Morrisons if you’re dropping stuff at the shop.

KILO

Kilo Merrion Centre

KILO pioneered the ‘shop by weight’ model for vintage clothing, and their Leeds flagship does a roaring trade in sustainable clothing. Instead of landfill, unwanted clothes head to the racks of this pre-loved haven before finding a new home. A big hit with students, you can pile into the shop and get rummaging for vintage denim, forgotten labels and looks that once disappeared but soon came back into fashion. Give your wardrobe an affordable refresh with a kilo or two of cut-price couture.

Phone Surgery

Phone Surgery Merrion Centre

© Copyright Leeds-List 2022 by Ellie Hodgson

Lost your iPhone cable? Need a phone cover to protect against your pre-caffeine clumsiness? Got a cracked screen like every other person in the universe? Phone Surgery is your friend. They can repair phones, tablets, laptops or even games consoles – and they also buy and sell gadgets and accessories, including cases and screen protectors. No more adding your phone to landfill or selling it online for a pittance because they can breathe new life into all your ailing gadgets.

British Heart Foundation

British Heart Foundation Shop

© Copyright Leeds-List 2022 by Ellie Hodgson

Supporting a worthwhile charity while rehoming a piece of clothing or a lightly-thumbed book is what sustainable shopping at the Merrion Centre is all about. The British Heart Foundation shop is a bargain-stacked repository of pre-loved goodness, with everything from clothes to shoes, ornaments to china. They sift through all the donations to ensure you get good-quality items and, if you have some stuff of your own to donate, they have a free collection service.

Natural Born Cobblers

Natural Born Cobblers

Credit: Joan Russell

This much-loved mainstay of the Merrion Centre has been there for over 25 years, resoling, fixing and extending the life of the city’s footwear for a quarter of a century. Their expert staff can rescue and repair all sorts, from torn trainers through to Doc Martens that have seen better days. They love a challenge – what might appear unfixable and unwearable for you is the kind of stuff that keeps them going. They’re not one trick ponies either – they also do engraving, leather care, keys and locks.

St. Gemma’s

St Gemmas Hospice Merrion Centre

© Copyright Leeds-List 2022 by Ellie Hodgson

St. Gemma’s Hospice is renowned for the excellent care it offers, but none of that would be possible without its chain of charity shops because they’re its biggest source of income. The Merrion Centre branch is was their first in the city centre, and their volunteers do a a great job of stocking a wide array of high-quality vintage and second-hand items. You can offer a new home to handbags, clothes, bric-a-brac, games and more. Intrepid bargain hunters will be rewarded, and you’ll be supporting a really special charity.

Leeds Phone Hub

Leeds Phone Hub

Credit: Richard Walker

You’ll find Leeds Phone Hub in two locations in the Merrion Centre, with a main store that’s all about repairs, and a separate stand that sells a wide array of accessories from phone cases to screen covers and headphones. Rather than fork out for an upgrade, bring in your mobile when it’s playing up and they’ll sort it out for you. Whether it’s a charging problem or a cracked screen, they’ll work their magic. Got an old phone festering away in a drawer somewhere at home? They’ll offer you a fair price for that too.

Watch Hospital

Watch Hospital Merrion Centre

© Copyright Leeds-List 2022 by Ellie Hodgson

With cobblers, phone repair shops and now The Watch Hospital, it’s clear that the Merrion Centre is the place to go when you’ve got stuff in need of a little TLC. They can do the basic jobs that every watch owner needs from time to time – strap repair, replacing those fiddly batteries – but they’ll also undertake larger repairs when watches have been damaged or broken. They know their way around all the major brands and they’ll fix your jewellery too!