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The Ottawa Thriftstagram Scene: Supporting Local and Shopping Ethically

Although the 2020 pandemic brought us Joe Exotic, yeast shortages, and homegrown alcoholism, it has compensated, somewhat, by giving us thriftstagrams. As a way to cope with mind-numbing boredom and earn extra income, a number of crafty ladies have created Instagram pages dedicated to selling curated second-hand and vintage items, or as they have come to be known, thriftstagrams. Truly the perfect virtual shopping experience. Curators schedule weekly drops or post items to the main feed at random. Regardless, the online experience amplifies the thrill of the hunt as one obsessively refreshes their feed awaiting a brass bar cart, a mid-century vase, or the perfect basket to complete their boho basket wall. Although things are looking up pandemic-wise, being quarantined for over a year has taught us the importance of making our spaces feel like a home and surrounding ourselves with comfort, joy, and maybe a couple bottles of Merlot (if you’re the legal drinking age, that is). 

Apart from their charm and history, used items are extra amazing because buying them is gentler on the environment than shopping new, since it requires far less resources and produces little emission from production and distribution, leading to a smaller carbon footprint. As an added benefit, thrifting gives you the opportunity to support local entrepreneurs and not Jeff Bezos.

Five Unique Ottawa thrift accounts to support

@saguarovintagefinds

The saguaro (suh-wah-ro) is an iconic cactus tree found in the desert and perfectly captures the bohemian themes and terracotta dreams this brand promotes. Weekly product drops happen Sunday at 7:30pm EST and feature all things wicker and clay as well as some beautiful brass trinkets. Spontaneous clothing drops are also offered and have used brand name clothing at terrific prices.

@oldpinevintagefinds

Old Pine Vintage Finds will ‘help you spark joy in your home,’ with earth tones, household items, and uniquely picked treasures. As a fellow plant mom, the owner sells rustic pottery vases and bamboo pots that often come pre-potted with all your favourite plants. Weekly product drops are Thursdays at 7:30pm EST.

@shop.simplythrifted

This shop is on a mission to bring pre-loved items to a new home: your home. Full of must-haves, collections contain a variety of rich textures – think: wicker, brass, bamboo, and ceramics. There’s always a little something for everyone. Drop details are posted in their bio pending the next date.

@theeclecticshelf

We never refresh our feed faster than we do during an eclectic shelf drop. With a cult-like following, items go fast. Curating a wide range of vintage and second-hand goods – from everything brass, to trendy barware – this shop embraces every style, but especially campy and avant-garde pieces. Drop details are promoted through this page’s story once the date is set.

@frankiedoesthrift

Specializing in vintage boho furniture, rugs, and decor, this account has captured our hearts with its beautiful finds. Pieces and drop dates are promoted on the Instagram page, and all the items are up for grabs on the newly made website: www.frankiedoesthrift.com. Live out your milk vase fantasy while you relax in a rattan chair.

“New stuff doesn’t usually have the character I adore – the rust, the chipped paint, the history.” – homeowner Heather Salazaar

Your home is your sanctuary, so embrace thriftstagram as a cost-friendly and ethical way to invest in it.

Jaz Sodhi

U Ottawa '22

Jaz is a fifth year student at the University of Ottawa studying Biology and History. Digressions include loitering in coffee shops, medical history, and trash tv.