The Thrift Cardiff

The Thrift: Cardiff Edition


Trip To The Thrift: Cardiff Edition

As fans and purveyors of vintage goods, you can often find us exploring the latest thrift shop or charity shop that has opened. Some of the team can be seen down at a car boot sale on the weekend or digging for finds at an antique centre or kilo sale. When we're not in the warehouse, odds are that one of us is out thrifting for pre-loved clothing.

With a team of experienced thrifters in the warehouse, we asked ourselves the question: where is the best place to thrift in Cardiff? Is it the charity shops, thrift stores or even the occasional kilo sale? In this blog post, we run through our best picks in Cardiff, weighing up our favourite options for the capital.

Charity shops

Charity shops are often the first port of call for finding quality vintage and second-hand clothing. Visiting a charity shop is a great way to find vintage pieces and designer items for a fraction of the price. We have spent many hours digging through rails in our favourite charity shops.

Despite charity shops raising their prices in recent years, it remains still significantly cheaper than buying new. In addition to this, any purchases you make are going towards a good cause, supporting a charity close to you or helping the local community.

Which charity shops should you go to in Cardiff?

Well, that's personal preference. Everyone seems to have their favourites and also a regular trusted spot, where they can find vintage gems. Our recommendation is to do some research and visit as many different ones as you can. It is from here you will begin to see which charity shop you gravitate towards and which ones sell items that cater to your particular taste. For instance, some people may like the British Heart Foundation, whereas others prefer Oxfam.

Not sure where to start? Here are some tips

In each city, certain charity shops will be renowned for putting out bargains or premium second-hand clothes. In addition to this, certain neighbourhoods will become well known for their particular charity shops, due to their low prices and quality of stock. Asking around in local forums, such as Reddit or Quora, can help you find expert advice from locals. Inside these online forums, people are often more than willing to help and give advice, offering their local expertise where applicable. Other than this, asking family, friends or colleagues can sometimes bring some insider knowledge of the city in question.

Search on Google and Google Maps for charity shops in your area. Sometimes you will discover charity shops off the beaten path, or in quieter areas of a city, which receive much less footfall. If you have access to a car, often the charity shops in more remote areas will have less competition, versus a charity shop in the city centre. So accessing quieter areas will often work in your favour. For instance, more affluent areas such as Cowbridge, usually have a good selection of vintage clothing and accessories as well as much less footfall than inside Cardiff. Therefore, each charity shop will have less competition and usually higher chances to find quality or vintage clothing.

Once you have found a few charity shops that cater to your specific needs, begin to build a relationship with the staff. Doing so makes the experience much more fun and fulfilling. And you never know, once the staff know what your personal tastes are, they may begin to hold items for you or tell you when new stock is going onto the shop floor.

In Cardiff specifically, there are some areas that have an abundance of charity shops to explore. Albany Road in Roath and Cowbridge Road East in Canton are a hotbed for charity shops and are usually a good starting point. If you wish to go further afield, try Windsor Road in Penarth or Whitchurch/Rhiwbina village.

One final tip from experience is that independent charity shops tend to offer more than the larger charities. With the larger charities, who will have an online e-commerce team, many of the best items end up online with a high valuation. Whereas for smaller independent charity shops, expect more opportunities to find some special items.

 charity shop

Vintage Stores

Vintage shops have continued to boom in recent years, with more and more stores popping up all over the UK. With conscientious buying habits on the rise among consumers, some shoppers are beginning to turn their heads on fast fashion or traditional high street brands. Instead, consumers are flocking to second-hand clothing and pre-loved goods. With this comes the rise of vintage stores.

Today, it seems many shoppers have welcomed vintage shopping with open arms, particularly young people. Across the UK, it seems many shoppers are excited about the vintage explosion, with the demand fastly rising.

In Cardiff specifically, despite not being the biggest of UK cities, the amount of vintage and thrift stores it has available seems also to be on the rise. The city centre seems to offer many options for fans of vintage, ranging from cheap and cheerful, to higher-ticket boutique stores. But which ones specifically are the best to visit?

What are the best vintage shops in Cardiff?

Deciding on what your favourite vintage or thrift shop is, comes down to personal preference of course. Vintage shops come in many forms, ranging from high-end boutiques to cheap and cheerful stores with low price points. Everyone will naturally gravitate to what appeals to them, so bear this in mind.


Flamingos Vintage

Capitol Shopping Centre, NSU 5, Cardiff, CF10 2HQ

For fans of kilo sales. Look no further. Flamingos Vintage offers one big kilo sale in the heart of Cardiff. Located in the Capitol Shopping Centre on Queen Street, Flamingos is in the heart of the city and has been bringing top-quality vintage to Cardiff for a good few years.

The store itself is a vintage lovers' haven. From the bright and quirky decor to the vast range of vintage products stocked, expect to watch the time fly by as you sift through the rails and rails of goods on display.

Many of the Flamingos items in-store are handpicked American vintage, which certainly tells upon entering. The quality of the stock really shines through, whilst still maintaining competitive pricing. The carefully curated selection in-store makes for a top-notch experience, making it difficult to leave empty-handed.

The kilo model certainly makes for a refreshing approach to thrift stores, putting an exciting spin on conventional pricing. However what has us coming back time after time, is the high quality of stock and diversity of products on the rails.

Flamingos Cardiff


Hobo's Vintage Clothing

26 High Street Arcade, Cardiff, CF10 1BB

A staple among students, Hobo's remains one of the oldest vintage clothing stores in the capital, opening its doors way back in 1994. With its 30th anniversary approaching this year, the store remains as popular as ever, continuing to supply each generation of students that passes through the city.

The thrift store's cosy size mixed with its bright unique interior, feels like a step back in time. Despite its modest size, the shop makes up for it in its offerings. Across two floors, the store offers a wide range of vintage categories with something for everyone.

The upper floor typically offers clothing for the warmer months, such as t-shirts, sweatshirts, shorts and shirts. The lower floor tends to be for the colder months with jackets, knitwear and denim. However one thing is for certain, come rain or shine you can expect to find a vintage steal.

Hobo's Vintage


Sobeys Vintage Clothing

31 Royal Arcade, Cardiff, CF10 1AE

Tucked neatly away in Royal Arcade, Sobey's Vintage has been a mainstay in the Cardiff vintage scene for a few years now. With a focus on reworks, Sobey's has become the go-to in Cardiff for reworked vintage clothing. Think upcycled Carhartt jackets, repurposed denim jackets or cropped vintage t-shirts. Reworked clothing breathes new life into old or damaged vintage pieces, that may have been taken to landfill. So when buying reworked clothing, you are both getting a unique item and also helping with the circular economy.

As far as thrift stores go, Sobey's offers a solid range of vintage clothes and accessories with something for everyone. If you are looking for a unique outfit or one-of-a-kind vintage item, Sobey's will definitely have something for you.

Sobey's Vintage


Beyond Retro

20 The Hayes, St Davids Centre, Cardiff, CF10 1GA

The newest kid on the block and one of the largest vintage retailers in the UK, Beyond Retro opened up an impressive-sized vintage store on the Hayes a few years back. With more than 17 stores across the UK and Europe, Beyond Retro has established itself in the vintage scene, dating back to 2002.

This huge storefront in the heart of the city centre is certainly the largest in Cardiff, so you can be sure to find something upon each visit. The store certainly covers all bases, with thousands of items packed inside, over two floors. Beyond Retro also does a good job of covering varying price points, ranging from affordable items all the way up to exclusive high-ticket options.

As one of the leading thrift stores in the country, Beyond Retro certainly has made its mark in the capital, giving fans of vintage a whole new offering to get lost in and explore.

Beyond Retro Cardiff

Kilo sales

Kilo sales have become a mainstay in the world of vintage in recent years, with hundreds, if not thousands of events taking place across the country each year. Kilo sales represent a fresh take on thrifting and generally offer the chance to find rare or one-off pieces for a fraction of the price.

What is a kilo sale?

A kilo sale is an event whereby shoppers have the opportunity to purchase items based on their weight, per kilo. So instead of paying a set price for a vintage t-shirt, you would pay based on the weight.

Every kilo sale event will set its own rules and pricing, but usually, you can expect to pay £15-£20 per kilo. As an example, a vintage Ralph Lauren or Tommy Hilfiger shirt may typically weigh 0.2kg, so on this basis you could get five shirts for a kilo. You would then just pay the price per kilo for the shirts.

Kilo sales have become very popular due to their pricing, with customers typically getting much more for their money when attending one. Another benefit of a kilo sale is the fun of not knowing exactly what you are going to find on the rails. Items are constantly being replenished, so you may get lucky and find your next favourite piece of clothing at any given moment, and for a fraction of the price you would pay in a shop.

What are the best kilo sales in Cardiff?

Over the years we have seen many vintage kilo sale events come and go in Cardiff. Some national kilo sale companies often go from city to city, so you can expect to see them come around once every few months.

At Vintage Wholesale Store we are proud to offer the largest kilo sale event Cardiff has to offer. We consistently run events throughout the year, typically once a month.

If you are interested in attending one of our kilo sales or want to learn more about what a kilo sale is, please see here for more information.

Vintage Kilo Sale Cardiff 

Vintage Clothing Wholesalers

Last but not least, for those who may be looking to buy vintage clothing in bulk, or even begin their journey into the world of selling, vintage wholesalers offer the perfect opportunity to get started.

What is a vintage clothing wholesaler?

A vintage clothing wholesaler has the same principle as a wholesaler, selling items in bulk quantities at a cost that is lower than the retail pricing. This translates into vintage clothing. At a vintage wholesaler, you can purchase bulk quantities of vintage clothing and accessories, for a much cheaper price. Vintage stores or online stores typically use this method.

Where is the best vintage clothing wholesaler in Cardiff?

At Vintage Wholesale Store we have been one of the leading vintage clothing wholesalers in the UK for over a decade. Over the years we have supplied thousands of customers with vintage clothing and accessories, ranging from first-time sellers to the largest retailers in the UK.

We offer handpick appointments, both in-person and via Facetime. Handpick appointments allow you to personally handpick your stock, so you know exactly what you are getting. Our stock list has hundreds of categories, so we can guarantee we will do our best to supply you with what you need.

If you are interested in booking a handpick appointment or seeing more information on how our handpicks work, please see here.

In addition to this, we sell many of our products and categories online. If you are looking for a particular product in bulk, we may just have what you are looking for.

If you are interested in purchasing high-quality vintage clothing in bulk, please browse our product list.

Vintage wholesale clothing 


We hope you have enjoyed our "Trip to the Thrift: Cardiff Edition" guide. If you have any questions for us or would like us to cover another city in particular, please do so via the contact page. One of our team will be in contact with a reply.

Keep your eyes peeled for the next edition of "Trip to the Thrift" coming soon!

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