Jul 5, 2022 - Business

The Twin Cities' thriving thrift scene

Illustration of a clothes hanger resembling a recycling icon
Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Twin Cities shoppers looking for savings and sustainability have lots of options thanks to the metro’s thriving thrift store scene.

Why it matters: With inflation on the rise and the climate impact of fast fashion, buying second hand is an easy way to save some money, lower your carbon footprint and shop for unique items.

The state of play: “Thrift store” is a catch-all term but there are several categories to note when searching for a place to shop.

  • Secondhand stores like Goodwill and Salvation Army sell almost anything for cheap.
  • Vintage stores have a higher price point and focus on older clothing, accessories and furniture in good/great condition.
  • Consignment shops sell upscale clothing, housewares and furniture in great condition.

Where to start: Go in with an open mind — it’s unlikely any store will have exactly what you’re looking for. Here are some of our local recommendations.

Tip: If you don’t mind digging through warehouse bins, check out the Goodwill Outlets in St. Paul, Chaska and Brooklyn Park. All items are sold by the pound — typically under $3.

  • And: some thrift stores also give out coupons for your next purchase when you donate items, or have “deal days” with storewide discounts.

Worth noting: Many of these stores will buy your gently used goods, too.

Audrey’s thought bubble: I try not to shop at big thrift chains, and focus on smaller non-profit shops like Hidden Treasures, Old School by Steeple People and Flying Pig Thrift.

  • I've found that the prices are lower, the selection is more unique and the money you spend is going to a local cause.
  • If you ever need a thrift shop recommendation, email me. I’ve been to many of them.
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