Thrifting is one of the most sustainable ways to shop, as wearing a secondhand piece has arguably the lowest carbon impact on the environment. And New York City is a terrific place for thrifting. However, it does take patience for the occasional serendipitous find in this treasure hunt. So we have done some research to spare you the hassle. Here are some of our favorite places:
With many locations scattered around the city and Brooklyn, Housing Works was founded in 1990 with an initiative to provide housing for all people living with HIV/AIDS. Relentless advocacy, as the organization says, is what keeps this community strong even decades later. Along with housing, they also have a retail component. Although their bookstore and cafe remain closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, their thrift shops are open again for in-store shopping. Our favorite locations: Chelsea, Gramercy, and Upper East.
Beacon’s Closet is the holy grail for thrifting. They are a “100% Brooklyn based, female founded company that embraces sustainability and ethical business practices.” Their four locations, three in Brooklyn and one in Manhattan, all reopened recently. Expect an exciting shoe collection and rare designer finds from them!
These two shops have accessible prices and easy-to-wear pieces. L Train has a delicious selection of vintage Levi’s and Hawaiian shirts. If you happen to be wandering around in the East Village, make sure you stop by both. They are open now and are only a couple blocks from each other.
Less well known but definitely worth mentioning, Tokio 7 is a Japanese-owned consignment located on E 7th in the East Village. The store sells pre-owned designer clothing and accessories—Alexander Wang jeans, Marc Jacobs dresses, Acne Studios jackets, etc. Unfortunately the store is currently only open to consignors. But if you are a fan of quality clothing and cutting-edge design, make sure you pay a visit when it reopens to all, and grab a coffee at the super cute coffee shop next door, Abraço.
Shopping secondhand is a great way to make original, one-of-a-kind fashion statements and give a hand to the future of our planet. So get secondhand shopping today!