Thrifting has become a trendy, fun, and sustainable way to shop. Rather than buying new, opting for pre-loved items reduces waste and extends the lifespan of goods. For those in the Chicago area, the city boasts an array of thrift stores offering a wide variety of items, from vintage clothing and furniture to one-of-a-kind knick-knacks. This article will guide you through some of the best thrift stores in the Windy City.
The Brown Elephant
Part of the Howard Brown Health non-profit organization, The Brown Elephant has two locations – one in Andersonville and the other in Lakeview. Both locations have a reputation for their extensive selection of high-quality items. The inventory spans a broad range of categories including clothing, furniture, books, kitchenware, and even vinyl records. Additionally, the revenue generated by this thrift store is used to fund healthcare for the LGBTQ community and other underserved groups. Thus, shopping at The Brown Elephant not only provides unique finds but also supports a great cause.
Address: 5404 N Clark St, Chicago, IL 60640, United States
Salvation Army Family Store
Located in Lincoln Park, this Salvation Army outpost is among the best in Chicago. It’s a vast, well-organized space featuring everything from clothing and accessories to furniture and home goods. It is particularly famed for its ‘half-off days’, where shoppers can snag some incredible bargains. The money raised goes towards funding the Salvation Army’s Adult Rehabilitation Centers, so shoppers can feel good about their purchases.
Address: 536 W 46th St, New York, NY 10036, United States
Village Discount Outlet – Various Locations
Village Discount Outlet has multiple locations across Chicago and offers some of the most affordable prices on used goods in the city. Regular turnover ensures fresh stock, and their color tag system makes it easy for shoppers to identify discounted items. On Sundays, certain color tags denote 50% off the marked price. With items ranging from vintage clothing to home decor and electronics, this thrift chain is a must-visit for all budget-conscious thrifters.
Address: 4027 N Kedzie Ave Chicago, IL, US 60618
Unique, with several locations in the city, is aptly named for the range of distinctive items it carries. This thrift store chain stands out for its commitment to sustainability. By re-selling donated goods, Unique diverts over 20 million pounds of goods from landfills annually. Shoppers can find a wide range of items here, from clothing and shoes to furniture, toys, and books.
Address: 3748 N Elston Ave, Chicago, IL 60618, United States
Crossroads Trading is a well-known resale shop with locations in Wicker Park and Lakeview. They buy, sell, and trade contemporary and vintage clothing, providing a great opportunity for fashion-forward individuals to recycle their wardrobes while finding new pieces. The selection is carefully curated to reflect current trends, making Crossroads an ideal spot for style-savvy shoppers.
Address: 1519 N Milwaukee Ave, Chicago, IL 60622, United States
Ragstock is a favorite for affordable vintage and recycled clothing. Their store in Wicker Park offers a well-organized, clean shopping environment and a diverse selection. Particularly popular among younger shoppers and students, Ragstock offers both unique vintage pieces and a selection of new clothing and accessories.
Address: 1459 N Milwaukee Ave, Chicago, IL 60622, United States
Thrift & Thrive
Located in Portage Park, Thrift & Thrive is a community-focused thrift store selling a broad range of goods from clothing and furniture to books, music, and home goods. The store has a cozy, welcoming atmosphere and is dedicated to providing quality items at fair prices. It’s also well-loved in the community for its events like “BYOB (Bring Your Own Bag)” sales.
Address: 6025 W Irving Park Rd Chicago, IL 60634
Whether you’re a thrift veteran or new to secondhand shopping, Chicago has an impressive selection of thrift stores that cater to a variety of tastes and budgets. So, prepare for treasure hunting, and remember, patience is key when it comes to thrifting – you never know what gems you might unearth.