A guide to Birmingham’s vintage and charity shops
Bringing the best bargains your way
When shopping vintage, we are all looking for a good deal. We are here to give you a rundown of some of the vintage, charity, and second-hand shops in Birmingham so that you know where to look for your next favourite clothing item.
We are Cow
Also known as Cow vintage, this store can be found in Digbeth. You will have probably walked past it on your way to Ghetto golf or The Custard Factory.
The shop has a large selection of pieces and focuses mainly on y2k fashion. It is organised by racks, each one filled with unique items. They don’t only sell clothing as they also have a section at the back of the store where you can also purchase hand-knitted blankets and the store’s merch.
The average prices range from £30-£150. This is a wide price range as the store offers multiple brands including Levi’s and North Face, as well as high-end labels such as Burberry and OFF-WHITE.
You can also shop online through their website where they have an inclusive CURVE section, as well as a SALE section with further discounted items.
Dark Bull Vintage
Just a few doors down from Cow vintage, Dark Bull is a smaller store, but still packed with some iconic and high-quality clothes.
It is divided into sections, each focusing on a specific item of clothing, such as leather jackets, shirts, or denim. This makes it very well organised and even has its own merch line that you can browse on their website.
Price-wise, Dark Bull follows a similar pattern to Cow whereby they have some expensive pieces (such as their leather jackets) that tend to bring the price range up.
Very colourful and retro vibe.
Just five minutes away from the university, Sheanies is situated on Raddlebarn road.
This shop has an impressive selection of graphic tee-shirts and crewnecks, as well as an entire second floor dedicated to coats. They change their storefront once a week and showcase some of their trendiest pieces.
You can also find shoes, mainly sneakers, scattered across the store, and a sunglasses and jewellery display on the counter when you check out.
Their clothes are “handpicked and affordable” which renders true as their prices average between £15-£40. As it is located in a highly student-populated area, it has a trendy and casual style.
If you visit this location and happen to purchase something, you will also be provided with a Sheanies loyalty card. For every £10 you spend, you will receive a stamp. Once you have ten stamps, you will have a £5 discount on your next purchase. A pretty good deal on top of their affordable prices.
From trinkets and nick-nacks to k-pop merch and a selection of independent vintage stores, The Redbrick Market has something for everyone. It also offers a space for small businesses, local artists, and independent traders to settle and expand their clientele.
Just like Cow and Dark Bull, this hidden gem is also situated on the way to the Custard factory. If you are planning on going vintage shopping soon, I suggest you simply take a stroll down Digbeth and check out these stores one after the other. I promise, they do not disappoint.
The warehouse is divided into equal cubicles that are then occupied by an array of different independent sellers creating a market-like environment as its name suggests. Every section is exclusive and completely different from the rest. It is a space that allows you to enjoy, consume and purchase diverse and unusual forms of art all in one place.
The range and broadness of products you can find in this establishment make estimating a price range complicated as it is up to each seller. This being said, the time and energy spent in making, designing, and selecting the unique and beautiful pieces you will find will make every penny worth it.
Cancer Research UK
Up the road from Urban Outfitters on Corporation St, you can find a small Cancer Research store, packed with second-hand clothes, shoes, and purses. It also offers books, DVDs and accessories.
The shop has three square racks in the middle divided by colour, creating a rainbow effect. It is easy to browse if you know what colour you want but the items are not divided by category so you will have to look through the whole rack on the hunt for the piece you are looking for.
This is probably the most affordable one on the list as it is a charity shop rather than vintage, meaning the items might not be as ‘aesthetic’ as one might like, but you can definitely find some gems if you look hard enough.
British Heart Foundation
Situated on Bull St, cornering with Corporation, is the British Heart Foundation. Similar to Cancer Research, this is also a charity shop packed with iconic pieces such as fur and leather coats, as well as a large selection of trousers.
As it is a charity shop, expect to find your fair share of Shein and ASOS clothing items, but don’t be discouraged. You can also find some vintage Adidas and Nike sweaters for great value if you browse enough.
One great thing about the British Heart Foundation is that they ensure to provide a size for every item of clothing they have, even if it did not have one when it was brought in. Each hanger has a number attached to it, correlating with the size the item is estimated to be. No more size guessing and taking ten different pieces to the changing room.
Another charity shop; part of a chain that can be found throughout the UK. The location I am focusing on is in King’s Heath, High Street. This particular spot has much more than just clothes and accessories. One can find anything from furniture to children’s toys, even postcards.
Despite not being very big, it manages to hold a lot of unique pieces. There is, honestly, something for everyone at this particular location and at great prices too. The price range is similar to the British Heart Foundation as they are both charity shops rather than vintage stores, which allows you to be able to find a bargain for way cheaper than other pricier stores mentioned on this list.
The nature of the shop makes it a perfect place to go if you simply want to browse around and don’t really know what you want to buy exactly. It’s so varied you never know what you will walk out with.
If you want to learn more about the Sue Ryder Foundation, you can read about them on their website.
Located in Harborne, High St, Bernardo’s is another charity shop that has much more to offer than simply clothes. Hard to miss, with its signature green.
With both racks on the walls and floor, the distribution maximises the amount of browsing you can do, which is great, yet again if you are aimlessly looking. I find that this particular store has a lot of individual pieces that you can then use to try new styles combining your finds with what you already have.
You can find so many different styles for so cheap, it makes this the perfect store to go to if you want to switch it up, but don’t want to pay a fortune in order to do it.