Thrift shopping is having its moment in the spotlight. In the era of mass trends and fast fashion, more and more people are buying pre-loved (for a good reason). Not only is it a great way to develop a unique, vintage sense of style for too-good-to-be-true prices but, by buying secondhand, we're also keeping clothes and homeware out of the landfill. Plus, who doesn't love the thrill of an exciting thrift-shop find?
From vintage lamps to affordable knick-knacks, tracking down one-of-a-kind items for next to nothing feels so good. Plus, vintage pieces have a way of jazzing up your home and wardrobe in ways that big department store pieces simply can't.
Best of all, nabbing these thrift finds is easy. With an array of thrift shopping options both in-store and online, we can now shop secondhand as easily as we've always shopped new. No matter which Goodwill you're closest to, you can score some vintage flair for your wardrobe or apartment without breaking the bank. Plus at not-for-profit thrift stores like Goodwill, you’re also not paying any GST!
In the name of style on a budget, here are 13 vintage treasures you can find at your local Canadian thrift stores.
1. Terracotta Vases & Plant Pots
Give your place an effortless homey feel with terracotta plant pots, vases, and other accessories. The not-quite-red, not-quite-orange, shade of baked clay has become one of the hottest trends of 2020.
2. Murano Mushroom Lamps
Available from anywhere between $100-$700 in big-name department stores, the highly sought after Murano mushroom lamp is one of those inexpensive thrift-shop finds you'll think about for years to come. There have been reports of people finding lamps like these at Goodwill for as little as $15.
3. Rattan Furniture
Light fixtures, peacock chairs, wicker lamps — the trend is popping up everywhere from Instagram to big-name stores, but you don't have to dig deep into your pockets to add it to your home. Rattan furniture can be found at pretty much any thrift store in Canada; and, best of all, it'll instantly turn your space into a Tahitian beach resort for practically nothing.
4. Vintage Books
Is your coffee table looking a little uninspiring? Give it some pizazz with a few vintage cookbooks and magazines from your nearest Goodwill store.
5. Copper & Brass Everything
If you feel like your home is missing some warmth, incorporate some copper into your rooms with vintage mugs, plant pots, or lampshades. You'll find eye-catching copper and brass everything at nearly every thrift store.
6. Trendy Vintage Picture Frames
Embrace your inner Pinterest by mixing and matching different vintage picture frames. Check out a few different thrift stores to get a variety of frames and hang them in your living room for stunning decor that'll leave your guests in awe.
7. Vintage Chairs
Complete that mid-century modern look you're going for with a pair of vintage Wassily chairs or a stand-out antique loveseat you can use as your statement piece. There's nothing quite like a gorgeous chair with character.
8. Depression Glassware
A green translucent wine glass, an amber-hued bowl with intricate patterns, a pale yellow dinner plate — this is the vintage glassware you're seeing all over Instagram. And no, it doesn't cost a fortune; you can buy it in your local Goodwill for cheap! Plus, it'll make your apartment look trés cool.
9. Vintage Clothes
It's a well-known fact that the fashion industry is one of the biggest polluters in modern society. By purchasing vintage clothes at your local thrift store, you're helping to reduce the chemical pollution and water waste associated with today's fashion production methods. Plus, you'll look chic while doing it.
10. Woven Accessories
Summer 2020 has been the year of woven accessories. From rattan handbags to bamboo purses, this ubiquitous trend can be found in almost every high-street store, but did you know you can nab this at your local Goodwill for at least half the price?
11. Vintage Lamps
The perfect addition to any room, vintage lamps give your space that warm, homey feel that can be hard to create with pieces from big department stores. Best of all, you can get them on great deals — sometimes for $5 or less.
12. Sports Memorabilia
Thrift stores are a great place for sports buffs to visit too; people are constantly donating used jerseys, autographed pictures, cards, and hockey sticks. Why pay top dollar for a vintage Wayne Gretzky Edmonton Oilers jersey, or a Theo Fleury jersey from the 1989 Stanley Cup-winning Calgary Flames, when you could possibly find it secondhand at a fraction of the cost?
13. One-Of-A-Kind Gems
You can literally find anything at Goodwill; after all, one person's memory can be another person's treasure. It's all about the hunt, and sometimes the hunt can lead you to a seriously unique item — like a sealskin parka that was donated to an Edmonton Goodwill this past year.
Whether you're someone who frequents your local second-hand store often or you only get thrifty to assemble the perfect Halloween costume every year, thrift shopping is definitely worth more than the twice-yearly trip to your local Goodwill.
Not only can you find great quality items at incredible prices, but when you shop or donate at Goodwill, you create employment opportunities for individuals with disabilities. In fact, 89 cents of every dollar spent goes towards their mission of helping Albertans with disabilities to find and gain meaningful employment. You also successfully divert items from the landfill, thanks to their Sustainability Action Plan. Last, but certainly not least, here’s the most important factor when it comes to your wallet: you don't pay any GST on used items!
The next time you're looking for a trendy lamp, chic accessory, or special picture frame, head to Goodwill first. They're a major recycler of a growing range of donated items, so no matter what you're looking for, you'll likely find it at Goodwill — and so much more!