6 Best and Most Affordable Independent Clothing Shops in Manchester
By Katie Bray
Whether you are new to the university or simply haven’t found your way around the fashion scene of Manchester during the pandemic, you may be wondering where to find the most affordable and stylish outlets. With student budgets, clothing can fall pretty far down your list of necessities. However, there are plenty of outlets near you that cater for budgets of any size and will breathe a new lease of life into last year’s wardrobe.
- Blue Rinse vintage: 21 – 23 Oldham Street, Monday-Saturday: 10:30AM-6PM, Sunday: 11AM-5PM.
Have you ever wanted to shop at a store filled with affordable trendy fashion whilst also saving the planet? If the answer is yes, then ‘Blue Rinse’ is the shop for you. This hidden gem offers sustainable vintage clothing, meaning their clothes will be unique and more environmentally friendly than the big brand names. You can also request ‘niche’ hand-made items that will make your wardrobe totally one-of-a-kind. Whilst prices vary, it is still highly likely that you will be paying half the money you would in larger retail stores. If you are into edgy, retro designs with modern days twists then you will love Blue Rinse.
3. Cow Vintage: 61 Church St, Monday-Saturday: 10AM-6PM, Sunday: 11AM-5PM.
Inside Afflecks, this online and in-store brand offers bucket hats, reworked clothes, and totes; featuring fashion from big-name brands. Cow Vintage offers slightly more expensive options than many of the shops on this list, with prices ranging from £17-260 (although most outfits are nowhere near the top estimation). However, the prices seem warranted when considering the range of unique and quality pieces. If you’re hoping to spend less, their frequent discount sales featuring a tonne of great bargains are worth waiting for!
3. The Thrift Shop: 39 Parker St, Monday-Saturday: 10AM-6PM, Sunday: 11AM-5PM.
As a sister store to the Cow Vintage/We are Cow brand, the store unsurprisingly shares the same array of bold colours and styles to suit every taste and budget. The Thrift Shop offers incredibly affordable clothing, with tees costing £6 (the equivalent of most Primark ware), jeans for only £15, and bags for £4. They also provide special discounts on multiple purchases. Their Instagram page also offers an insight into their goals, as supporters of the sustainable fashion movement, which opposes the mass consumption and waste of clothing adding to the world’s pollution levels.
4. Punk’d Image: Afflecks, Oldham St, Monday-Friday: 10:30AM-6PM, Saturday: 10AM-6PM, Sunday: 11AM-5PM
Punk’d Image provides alternate clothing with a range that spans the genres. A gorgeous world of emo, gothic, fantasy, sci-fi, and band-related clothing bursts through the retail store. Most clothing ranges from around £5-50, only occasionally reaching the steep-end. So whether you are into Green Day and Nirvana, or love skeletal designs, the store will most likely take your fancy. Highlights include the Adidas-themed Demogorgon T-shirt and an ‘Evil Friends’ tee featuring cartoony depictions of major horror antagonists.
5. LIEF: Afflecks, Oldham St.
LIEF is an amazing fashion store offering both the traditional shopping experience and a sustainable swap shop running every Saturday. Here you get the opportunity to exchange something old from your wardrobe and get something new from their outlet. LIEF describe themselves as a place “for conscious queens, bargain hunters, and fashion and vintage lovers alike”, where there is “something for everyone, all shapes and sizes, all styles and all ages”. So why not spice up your wardrobe with something different and support a fashion process that will help the environment.
6. AngelMarketplace (Online)
A unique, chic boutique filled to the brim with affordable hidden gems and vibrant edgy fashion. Their designs range mainly around the £20-30 mark meaning you can get stylish halters, cropped or tie-dyed pieces, and more for an affordable price. They describe themselves as a “Y2K Inspired clothing brand. Think satin halter tops, figure-hugging co-ords, mesh dresses and hella cute statement bags. Fun, cute and made to make you feel like the 2000s pop princess you are!”. Their Instagram, Facebook and ASOS page exhibit a wide variety of outfits sure to impress.
Check out the great catalogue by BLINK-SL0W – JADE COOPER, filled with ethical, affordable places to shop for jewellery clothes or a manicure. Stores include ‘Nuclear Planet’, ‘Tiar’ and ‘Not Just Trash’.
Special thanks to suggestions from the Manchester Student Group!