Here’s the ultimate guide of how and where to shop ethically in Edinburgh

Say yes to saving the planet

By now we should’ve all heard of the undeniably negative effects of fast fashion.

While it is hard to stop purchasing from such shops completely, we should all be responsible enough to cut back on our shopping. It’s undeniable that second-hand clothes are the answer to sustainable fashion as it helps reduce the number of items dumped into landfill. It’s a simple change we can all implement – shopping second hand! Have a shop and help save our planet.

No idea where to start? Don’t worry. If you ever have the overarching need to go on a shopping spree, here are some ethical alternatives to fast fashion that can be found in our very own Edinburgh:


Location: Grassmarket, Teviot Place and Clerk St

Price ranking: 7/10 – can find some good deals; not quite charity shop prices

Clothes ranking: 8/10 – high-quality vintage pieces; sometimes full of random t-shirts

Everyone’s favourite vintage clothing shop is on the very top of our list.

With its three locations across the city, one can have a look here whether they are having curly fries at the Library Bar, walking back to Pollock or giving their parents a tour of Old Town. It’s the place to be for ethical fashion gems.

Even time for a quick selfie!


Location: West Port

Price ranking: 9/10 – including a 15 per cent student discount using UniDays!

Clothes ranking: 7/10 – handpicked pieces; almost too edgy

Every fashion-loving, edgy Edi girl should be able to find something in this funky place.

You can find just about anything here, from special designs from independent designers to one-off vintage pieces. With prices being quite so cheap, it doesn’t only benefit our planet but also our wallets and wardrobes.

Herman Brown

Location: West Port

Price ranking: 9/10 – kind to student budgets

Clothes ranking: 10/10 – high quality, unique

This shop is all about quality over quantity. With vintage items having been tracked down around the world, iconic pieces from literally any decade can be picked up here. If you ever feel like getting your 24947th leopard print coat, look no further.

My wallet is weeping but it’s worth it


Location: Bread Street

Price Ranking: 5/10 – be prepared to spend more than you should

Clothes Ranking: 7/10 – you’ve got to love it or leave it

This shop is more high-end than the others, offering pieces from the Victorian era to the 1990’s. Although this means items are a little more pricey, you can expect to find clothes from any era you desire. Whether it is the Gatsby 20’s or the funky 80’s: you name it, they’ve got it.

Martha’s Attik

Location: Portobello

Price ranking: 9/10 – amazing deals

Clothes ranking: 9/10 – funky and different, stunning colours

If you love colours and patterns, this is just the place for you. Located close to Portobello beach, it is never too late to come in for a browse after a cold swim. I can guarantee that everything you can find here is absolutely unique and the perfect place if you like to distinguish yourself from the Edi style.

Cosy and second hand – what more could you want?

Charity shops

Location: Stockbridge, Nicolson Street

Price Ranking: 10/10 – what cheaper clothes could you possibly find?

Clothes Ranking: 5/10 – you either walk in and find your dream top or you find everything hideous

Charity shops seem like the most obvious place to shop ethically and sustainably. However, with the incredible amount of charity shops in Edi, it may be difficult to find a good one.

A favourite area amongst many deal-hunting shoppers is Stockbridge. Basically being a BTEC version of Brick Lane, charity shops here receive high-quality donations due to their location in a prestigious area.

Everyone who has walked from Pollock to George Square over a thousand times in first year will also be aware of the great range of charity shops that can be found on Nicolson Street. We might have walked past them so often we’re sick of seeing them, but if you take time to really engage with them, you’re very likely to find some great pieces.

It’s a big yes from me

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