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Recycled Vintage Clothing Stores South West London

January 9, 2024

Where are the best recycled vintage clothing stores South West London? Whether you are looking to drop off clothes, or going on a shopping spree, we show you some shops to make you gleeful.


Firstly, we have to mention our own store, Blue17 Vintage Clothing. A family-run business, we have been in existence since 1985. We’ve learned a thing or two about what people want and need from vintage clothes. We have a huge stock of vintage pieces, and also a huge background knowledge. And perhaps best of all, during this cost of living crisis, we are not expensive. It’s nice to know that you can find stylish, good quality clothes in good condition that no-one else has – or surely, very few! For not a great amount of money. You can completely refresh your wardrobe.


Although we are not in SW, but in North London, we are very close to the Highbury and Islington tube, train and overground station and thus easy to get to from most locations. We recommend travelling to get to the best vintage boutique!

Recycled Vintage Clothing Stores South West London

570px - Recycled Vintage Clothing Stores South West London - Blue17 interior

Blue17 interior

The advantages of shopping for vintage clothing are several:

The environment

Do you know how much wastage is created with the culture of buying new clothes every time? A lot, that’s how much. When brand new clothing is created it starts all the way from growing the cotton, to spinning it, knitting or weaving that into cloth, dying the cloth, cutting it up, sewing it, finishing it with special washes, embroidery, etc. Then shipping, unpacking, steaming, displaying it in the store… Plus several steps I’ve probably missed.


Wouldn’t it be nice to skip at least a few of these processes? No need to pollute rivers with the run-off from dyes when jeans are made, nor choke factory workers with the dust from the cutting room, as fibres fly around in the air. There isn’t a need to send clothing all around the world and make sure it arrives at speed before consumers get bored of it. There is no problem with overstocking items just in case people want a lot of the same design. If you buy vintage items, there is most likely just one of it in the shop, so if you want it and don’t get it, there isn’t another chance!

Recycled Vintage Clothing Stores South West London – Uniqueness

Vintage clothing store interior

Vintage clothing store interior.
Photo credit: Blondinrikard Fröberg  licensed under CC-BY.

This is partly covered in my point above. Granted, in all vintage stores there will be a few of a very popular style around, such as Levi 501 jeans or something like a plain black tee. But even each individual garment will look different since they wear in different ways. For the most part, you just don’t know what you will get! And don’t rely on the website either. No vintage store will be able to photograph and upload all its stock, and that includes us. It’s always better to come in person and see what else we have!


Just as today, there are many variations on a term such as “1980s skirt”. Let’s see, in the 1980s they had bubble skirts, pencil skirts, ra-ra skirts, midi skirts and still some maxi skirts from the 70s hanging on. And of course, they all come in different materials, colours, prints and varying shapes and sizes. So we’d be very surprised if your friend turned up in exactly the same one at a party!


You can also find a colour or shape that particularly suits you that doesn’t seem to to be in the fast fashion shops at the moment. For example, when every high street store only seemed to stock cropped trousers, and you hated having cold ankles, you could have looked in a vintage shop for some sensible full length ones. Or if you look hot in low rise jeans, and can only get jeans up to your ribs in the other shops? Seek out vintage design pieces.


Mannequin, seqinned and beaded costume photo

Mannequin, seqinned and beaded costume photo

For an extra bit of uniqueness to your finds from recycled vintage clothing stores South West London, or your finds from car boot sales, charity shop, market stalls, or Camden Market, you can also customise them. Because vintage fashion is usually cheaper than high street, it’s easy to feel more free with them. You don’t need to worry about spoiling something expensive if you want to try out a new craft technique.


So feel free to tie-dye, embroider and paint on your vintage finds. If they have holes, mend them. You can use visible or invisible techniques. Invisible techniques are things like sewing on a button that looks the same as all the other buttons, using matching thread. Visible would be finding a completely different button in a fun contrast, and sewing it on using a completely different colour of thread, to highlight the change.


You can also try a spot of darning – visible or not. Darning is an excellent project as the areas are usually very small. You can focus on weaving a very neat and even little grid. It’s quite meditative. It’s possible only you will notice it, but you’ll be secretly happy to see your work. Mending clothes and giving good quality items a new life can be very satisfying. (King Charles thinks so too, as there are often stories in the paper about him wearing clothes that have been mended). Often things turn up in vintage shops that were very expensive when they were first made. They can be in very good condition too.

Recycled Vintage Clothing Stores South West London For Costumes

Vintage clothing store interior photo

Vintage clothing store interior photo

If you are a film maker or theatre producer looking to costume your production, you could either make the costumes from scratch, hire them, or come to Recycled Vintage Clothing Stores South West London. There are a lot of considerations about choosing the costumes for your characters. You’d start with the era that the piece is set. Will you choose the same date that it was written, for example, the 1970s? Or even if it was written in the 1970s, do you want to costume it in modern day clothes? Or perhaps your 1970s writer actually set it in the 1950s?


You also want to see what the character would have worn. Is she rich or poor, neat and tidy or a bit messy, conventional or wild? Do you want clothing in very good condition or is it ok that it is a bit worn looking? Remember, you can always get something that looks pristine and add your own tears or dirt to suit.


Explore Covent Garden, Brick Lane, East London, Serotonin Vintage, Nordic Poetry, and Paper Dress Vintage. You may find something from Vivienne Westwood!

Giving Old Clothes Extra Life

People sometimes say it seems a shame to wear clothes that may be fifty or even eighty years old. In many cases older than the actor wearing them. And sometimes the process of performing the play or filming the piece does destroy them, as fabric becomes fragile over the years.


But I think it’s better that these clothes get an extra bit of life, and are fulfilling their purpose. And actually, theatre and film clothes are very often repaired by a dedicated team, in ways that clothes bought by and for an individual aren’t. Torn hems are put back up, broken zippers replaced by poppers, old hats are steamed and brushed back into shape. They are lovingly kept and worn over and over again by different people. Of course, you can do all this at home, too. The fact is that the archives of fashion museums are overflowing with good old clothes. They often refuse donations. Even those in extremely good condition, by a known designer. They already have enough. So enjoy the ones in offer at the vintage shop. Wear them, act in them, enjoy them.