Leeds-List: The Best & Most Insightful Guide to Leeds

The Art of Thrift Shopping in Leeds

· Joseph Sheerin · Style

Know how to get the best out of the city’s charity shops.

Martin House Charity Shop in Headingley

Never let a bargain go to waste – Leeds is home to an array of charity shops where you can pick up a ton of absolute gems at wonderful prices.

Pre-loved, second hand – call it what you like, but thrift shopping is the best way to get a bargain in Leeds. The city is awash with brilliant charity shops where you can go rummaging to your heart’s content, but if you’re not sure where to go, we’re here to help.

Let’s start in the city centre – British Heart Foundation has two shops, one opposite the market on New Market Street and one at the back of the Merrion Centre. The former stocks a revolving door of furniture and homeware, so if you want to brighten up your home, it’s a great place to visit. The latter is a more traditional charity shop – think clothes, books and toys.

British Heart Foundation Charity Shop in Headingley

© Copyright Leeds-List 2018 by Joseph Sheerin

Also near the market is PDSA – it’s tucked away on Central Road, but once you’ve found it, you could uncover anything from rare records to new threads. If you want to find something extra special, make a beeline for Cancer Research UK on Lands Lane – the prices are a little more expensive here, as the shop is specially curated to stock the best quality clothes, furniture and ornaments in their collection.

Thrift shopping in Leeds doesn’t get much better than Emmaus on St Mary’s Road. It’s a massive warehouse about 5 minutes walk from The Headrow and you can find absolutely anything here – they have a huge collection of furniture, alongside racks of clothes, books and bric-a-brac. These guys get deliveries every day, so there’s always something new to see, and they even have a cafe for you to drop into when you’re done.

Poverty Aid Leeds

Credit: Barnaby Aldrick

There are even more places to go outside the city centre. One of the most popular is the Poverty Aid in Hyde Park – it’s student central, so it’ll come as little surprise to see local students popping in to deck out their new digs with great finds. The range of second-hand furniture on offer is incredible – you can get everything from wardrobes to dining tables. And that’s just the beginning, because they’ve also got records, books and clothes for an absolute steal.

Headingley is a hotbed for thrift shoppers. There are nine charity shops here alone, all within less than 400 yards of each other. You’ve got an array of traditional stores, such as Mind and Martin House which are particularly good for kids’ clothes and toys, while you can pick up all kinds of second-hand fashion with a trip to the Samaritans of Leeds shop. There’s also another absolutely jam-packed British Heart Foundation store which is great for a good old rummage.

Oxfam Charity Shop in Headingley

There are also a few specialist charity shops here. You can visit Oxfam Books, which as you’ve probably guessed is where you’ll find bargain reads covering any and all genres. The other Oxfam shop is just a few doors up, and it’s particularly good for records, kids’ toys and electronics. Alternatively, head to Sue Ryder Vintage and Retro for all manner of cool finds – they’ve got one of the best selections of vintage clothes in the city, as well a floor dedicated to rare records. And if you fancy a sit down after all that, the Brain Tumour Research and Support shop has a great cafe.

Over in Kirkstall, Revive Leeds has a never-ending collection of bargains – they have new donations coming in every day, and they really are at cheap-as-chips prices, whether you’re buying clothes, books or records. Armley is home to a few familiar names like Cancer Research and British Heart Foundation, but it’s two other shops you need to make a beeline for.

St Luke's Cares

© Copyright Leeds-List 2018 by Ollievision

You can find the perfect piece for your home at The Feel Good Furniture Shop – it’s jam-packed with all kinds of tables, chairs and units, or you can visit St George’s Crypt to give back to the local homeless charity. Their shop is stocked with all kinds of goodies, from mounted antlers to furniture.

If you’re in South Leeds, St Luke’s Cares runs two brilliant charity shops, one in Hunslet and another in Middleton. Every penny they make goes back into supporting great causes in the local community, and you’ll find plenty of gems to pick up to lend them a hand. They’ve got toys, clothes and homeware in Middleton, while their Hunslet home is a huge treasure trove that sells everything from beds to desks, sofas and wardrobes – as well as their own range of up-cycled furniture.

St Gemma's Hospice Vintage Fair

Credit: Mike Lester Photography

There’s one name that will keep popping up everywhere you go thrift shopping in Leeds – St Gemma’s Hospice. They have more shops in the city than any other charity, with 24 in total. It doesn’t matter if you’re in Alwoodley or Yeadon, Beeston or West Park, you can pop in and see what they’ve got on the shelves. Their main shops are the retail hub in Bramley, two big emporiums in Halton and Yeadon and a specialist furniture shop in Chapel Allerton – look out for their car boot sales and vintage fairs too.

Leeds is an absolute dream for bargain hunters, so why not head into the city’s charity shops next time you go shopping? They’re packed-to-bursting with eclectic items at cheap-as-chips prices and each one has something different to offer, whether you’re looking to transform your wardrobe, add to your record collection or spruce up the living room.

© Copyright Leeds-List 2019 by Ollievision