I’m gonna pop some tags… Macklemore’s famous lyrics that brought thrift shopping to the mainstream. While vintage shopping has been a thing for a while now (ahem, Girl Boss), full-on thrifting used to be reserved for Halloween costumes and cheap goofy t-shirts. Since August 17th is National Thrift Shop Day, I am sharing my favourite parts of thrifting and my favourite spots in T.O below!
The process of thrift/vintage shopping can be a love/hate situation. I find as long as I’m in search mode and full of energy, it’s more love than hate. Unless you’ve never shopped for preloved items before, you know how long and frustrating the search for something good can get. But, flip that on it’s head, and the search can be a fun activity for an afternoon off! If I’m in a good mood, I can sift through those racks for hours. It’s more involved and less rushed than shopping at a mall, and often a lot more fun. Thrift shopping is one of my favourite activities to do with my sister, and once you’ve found something good, you know the process was well worth the time.
Unique and Rare Pieces
One of the best perks to shopping in thrift and vintage stores is that it is highly unlikely that you’ll run into someone wearing the same thing. Because it’s mostly donation based or curated, you’re not going to find the same run-of-the-mill trendy pieces being sold at all the chain stores. I have found so many items that have been on trend that no one else has, and that makes your version of the trend completely unique to you.
I have also found tons of vintage designer pieces for such a bargain, that it makes thrift shopping almost addictive for me. Back when Goodwill was still a thing (R.I.P) I would hit up the locations in the wealthier parts of the city, and I was able to find Dior, DVF, Guerlain, and Armani for such a steal. Consignment and vintage stores are also really great for finding rare and designer pieces!
Supporting Good Causes
When you shop at a chain store, you’re often contributing to an industry that underpays it’s third world employees, creates a whole bunch of waste from turnover, and a whole lot of other bad things I’m sure.
I wish I was better at avoiding fast-fashion stores for that reason, but due to my budget and love of fashion I find it easiest to pick up a cheap, trendy piece from H&M or Zara (guilty as charged). But when you shop at thrift stores they are often giving proceeds to charities like The Salvation Army, and you’re reusing pieces that would have otherwise ended up in landfills.
Not only are thrift shops better shopping options, but when you buy from vintage stores and consignment stores, you’re also helping local, independent businesses, and that is a huge perk in my mind.
Some of my favourite spots in Toronto for preloved pieces include Value Village (duh), Fashionably Yours, Penny Arcade Vintage, Common Sort and so many more. A great way to find more spots is by participating in the Vintage Crawl, a yearly event where shops stay open later, have snacks/music/sales, and you can just go store to store all night!
Dress: Penny Arcade Vintage
What is your favourite vintage store, online or IRL? Let me know in the comments!