When the words “thrift shop” most people think about the 2012 hit by Macklemore, well sadly for those people this article is not about that.

thrift shopping

To thrift or not to thrift

Thrifting is a unique experience. It is the ultimate example of one person’s trash being another person’s treasure. Over the past few years thrifting really lost its stigma and became a popular fashion trend worldwide.

Subject to contrary belief thrifting is not just for people with a smaller tax bracket. Thrifting really attracts people from all demographics. There is no typical customer when it comes to thrifting. A lot of celebrities enjoy thrift shopping. This list includes the talented R&B singer Miguel.

There’s a difference

There is a difference between thrift stores and vintage stores. Vintage stores are generally more expensive than thrift stores and they only have vintage items that are timeless. On the other hand thrift stores focus on the second-hand items, but that doesn’t mean you cannot find some cool vintage pieces in a thrift store.

thrift shopping
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The Prices

Thrift stores are cheap, but unfortunately for South Africans that’s not the case. Searching for thrift stores in Cape Town we noticed that most of the stores are extremely overpriced. Despite selling second-hand items, thrift stores in Cape Town are not cheap. This could be due to the fact that the city is visited by tourists almost year round. Prices are hiked to meet the tourist market and not to allow people from Cape Town to shop at these stores. Well Capetonians, we are not doomed. If you find the prices of thrift stores in town to be more than what you are willing to pay for second hand clothing we suggest you try a hospice. Hospices are extremely cheap and the proceeds go to supporting the sick and elderly.

Let’s talk finance

Thrifting, believe it or not, is actually a huge contributor to the economy. Goodwill industries were responsible for generating more than $5 billion in sales in the year 2014 alone. In America, the thrifting industry had a growing rate of roughly 7% in a year. Worldwide, 80% of people buy, use and wear second-hand items.

Thrifting is more than just a cost-effective way to get timeless clothing items that make for a more interesting outfit. Thrifting is green and helps lift some of the strain the fashion industry puts on the Earth.

thrift shopping
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Although thrifting is considered a good thing there are some negatives that go with it. One of them being the lack of hygiene. As you know the items in a thrift store are second-hand so the chance of there being a stain or an odd smell here and there is pretty big. When talking to a thrift store employee, she mentioned that most of the thrift stores do not clean the clothes. So when buying something from a thrift store it is crucial to wash every item.

A few local shops

If this is your vibe, or if you would like to explore the previously-loved clothing industry – here are some brands you can explore in Cape Town:

  • Asseblief Vintage
  • Not A Fashion Label
  • Dreamland Vintage
  • Babette Clothing
  • Oh So Retro
  • Better Half the Store
  • Portobello Road

(These stores do not all specialize in thrifting – but they do have some incredible items which match the look you might be going for. Vintage / thrifting / New clothing)

Despite the negative, thrifting is something we would recommend to everyone. Happy thrifting and may the odds be forever in your favour.

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