The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
One of the biggest trends in the last decade that has shifted how we shop, possibly forever, is thrifting. In these recent years, thrifting has been noticed as the most ethical way to get your clothes, with the extra appeal being the low prices and “one of a kind” items one can now own. No more worrying about someone on the street wearing the same cheaply made polyester Forever21 top as you, because now you’re finding vintage Guess pieces for eight dollars.
The question is though, where do you start? Where are the places you should be going that will really make sifting through used clothes – that may or may not have rips, tears, and stains on them – for hours worth it? Now, as much as I’d like to gatekeep, I know how much thrifting has improved my personal style and saved my wallet, and who would I be if I were so cruel to deprive anyone of such a feeling?
Community thrift is the first place I think of when I hear “thrifting in Charleston.” As a giant warehouse, the store has everything from furniture to leather coats. A true “thrift” store that has rows and rows of endless clothes that they update daily, I have never had a bad trip to this location. I’ve found jeans that retail for $200 normally, but only ended up paying $6 for them. If you want to find some true good vintage pieces or even furniture for your new apartment, this is the place for you.
Location: 5300 Rivers Ave
Now, this may not be the place for thrifting beginners, and here’s why. There are no racks of clothes, per say, but bins of clothes. If you are on TikTok and follow any thrifter, you know what I’m talking about. The way this “store” works, is that in a giant warehouse, huge rolling bins full of clothes, shoes, purses – you name it – are all piled up. You go to each bin, and basically dig through the piles and look for items you want. Depending on the location or day of the week, the bins will get changed out hourly to keep product moving. Basically, this is the final place these clothes can be grabbed before they head over to the landfill, so the employees are trying to get rid of things as fast as possible. Yes, you may find some things a little gross, or may touch something you really did not want to, so that’s why I recommend having gloves and/or using hand sanitizer. While all that most likely doesn’t seem appealing, and rightfully so, these bins are my number one place to thrift, and here’s why. Because it is the last place they go, the clothes are weighed by the pound at the end of your trip, and each pound of clothes costs less than a dollar. Yes, I am serious. I have filled the entirety of the backseat of my car with clothes and paid less than $20 for all of it. Not only that, but I find the best pieces in my collection here. Louis Vuitton and Prada purses. Apple bottom jeans. Doc Martens. Need I continue?
Location: 6603 Rivers Ave
A more pricier option, but fantastic nonetheless. Owned by the nicest couple, Exchange Factor is the ultimate location to find quirky, one of a kind vintage items. They offer home decor, costume pieces, pristine quality period piece dresses, vintage Doc Martens, and almost any sort of random collection piece you would be intrigued by. Due to the true, well sourced vintage items, you will most likely not be paying two dollars, but that does not mean you won’t find reasonable prices that won’t kill your bank account entirely. If you don’t have the patience to sift through some pretty bad 2013 tee-shirts for that one perfect top, this is the place to go.
Location: 5128 Rivers Ave
Animal helpers re-tail resale store
Now, I’ve only been to this location one time, but I’m eager to go back for more. What I’ve found is that the best thrifting spots are usually charity shops. Why? Because they are typically non-profit and price their items extremely low. I’m talking $1 for a sterling silver watch and $2 for a pair of jeans. The jewelry at this location had me in a trance, and the amount of sick knick-knacks that would easily be priced at over fifty dollars anywhere else were, at max, five dollars. Plus, the money you spend here goes towards the animal shelter. What more could you want, really?
Location: 1903 Savannah Hwy
Red rose Vintage
Any thrifting veteran in Charleston knows of Red Rose. For about a decade, the owner has been curating, with her team, some of the best vintage pieces I’ve seen sold in the city. Again, with curated vintage, you’re going to be spending some big girl money, but even with Red Rose, the prices are not like the ones you see on Depop (you will not be paying $300 for a band tee!) Red Rose focuses on most decades, so whether you wanna party like the 80s or frolic in a field like the 70s, this store has you covered. Now the kicker is the location itself. Once a month, at 84Flea (a Charleston vintage market), Red Rose Vintage works out of an old Airstream van! Even better? There is a website to buy items online too!
Website : https://www.redrosevintage.com/
There, of course, are many other places to thrift in the city. There are hidden gems everywhere! But for me, these are my absolute must have locations. Ever since I switched from fast fashion companies, which are everywhere, and started shopping ethically, I feel like I finally found my style and I don’t have to work three jobs to do it. So, go! Get out there and shop!