As the cost of living crisis continues to create misery for millions of people, it’s not just energy, food and fuel that are rising and driving pounds out of people’s pockets. The price of clothing and footwear increased by 6.3% between January 2021 and 2022, outpacing the general increase in consumer prices, according to the Office for National Statistics.
As a result, if this continues, a family with two children would have to pay £148 more in clothes over a year. Labor analysis revealed. Buying new clothes may soon be a luxury that many people cannot afford.
We’ve rounded up some of the best thrift stores in Manchester – where designer items can be had at a fraction of the original price and where real gems can be found on a budget. Buying second-hand can be an economical alternative to rising prices if you shop in the right places and means designer items don’t have to be a passing dream.
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From milk bottles hanging to its assortment of chic vintage clothing and accessories, Cow Vintage by Northern Quarter is unique and prides itself on offering pieces ethically sourced from around the world. As an independent establishment offering a sustainable alternative to fast fashion, you can find unique gems here, ranging from the 60s to the nostalgic 00s.
Where to find it: 61 Church St, Manchester M4 1PD
As the name suggests, Thrift Shop offers the best high-end vintage and used pieces that stray from the standards of fast fashion brands. Located in the City Tower of Piccadilly, this store is very popular with the public. Part of the Cow Family but being a slightly smaller establishment than the Northern Quarter store, there are plenty of eclectic pieces on offer here.
Where to find: 39 Parker St, Manchester M1 4AJ
Not a hairdresser for the elderly as the name suggests – this store specializes in vintage, reworked and thrifty clothing. From baggy flannel shirts to classic denim, this North End spot is a vintage junkie’s dream. As a proud northern vintage clothing company, Blue Rinse also has a boutique located in Leeds.
Where to find: 29-31 Oldham St, Manchester M1 1JG
Having opened in 1994, Pop Boutique has been a long-standing vintage clothing boutique in the city – and it’s still hugely popular to this day. Part of the iconic Afflecks Palace, this establishment is full of the best original vintage clothing and furniture, and also offers a variety of upcycled pop merchandise and the pop shop’s own brand.
Where to find: 34 – 36 Oldham St, Manchester M1 1JN
It’s a well-known fact that Oxfam on Oldham Street isn’t just an ordinary charity shop – it’s a cool, retro Oxfam. The philosophy of this charity shop is to sell “original clothes for original people”.
With its carefully selected stock to reflect high street trends, as well as original retro and design labels. There are also plenty of accessories, vinyls, books, CDs and a whole collection of other goodies for those looking to please themselves or their loved ones.
Where to find it: Unit 8, Smithfield Buildings, 51 Oldham St, Manchester M1 1JR
The British Heart Foundation
It’s also worth checking out the incredible collection of deeply discounted Pretty Little Thing bargains on sale at the British Heart Foundation store, close to the fashion giant’s offices.
The Piccadilly House store is full of PLT products including jackets, tops, leggings, denim shorts, socks as well as bedding, pillows and accessories.
The busy boutique receives weekly deliveries from the fashion chain and the samples are constantly changing. And savvy shoppers can be confident their bargain is helping save lives and prevent clothing waste.
Customers can buy dresses for as little as £4, hot denim pants for ten or less and jackets for around £15. Tops cost just £5 while new bedding costs around £15. There are also shelves of jeans in all sizes and discounted leggings and sportswear – all around £10-£15.
Where to find it: 49 Piccadilly, Manchester Greater Manchester M1 2AP, UK