Best places to shop vintage and second-hand

Robecca Leyden of Sans Pareil looks at some of the best places to shop vintage and second-hand in Aotearoa.

The stigma around second-hand clothes – that they are unclean or unfashionable – has subsided over the past two decades. The rise of thrifting took the mid-naughties by storm and high-end designer re-sell has seen celebrities such as Rhianna and Ariana Grande dip their toes in. The second-hand clothes market offers many benefits, including: environmental impact, affordability and of course, individual style. Now would be a great time to look at some local re-sell, vintage and second-hand shops where you can get some very cool pieces from.

Curated Curves is (from what I can find) New Zealand’s only exclusively size 14+ online second-hand shop. Dealing in brands such as City Chic, Pagani and 17 Sundays, the as-new price point is considerably lower than the majority on this list. This is a particularly great website if you’re curvy and want something a little more bright and curated than what’s available in the shops.

Encore Designer Recycle has two stores: Ponsonby (Auckland) and Greytown. The shop has been around for more than 40 years and has a great selection of high quality New Zealand, Australian and international designers in the mix.

I love Labels based in Raumati Beach Village on the Kapiti Coast is an incredibly charming destination shop, owned and operated by Coral Mclean. Coral has been in the fashion industry for years and has curated a one-of-a-kind collection of second-hand designer clothes and accessories. You can also sell at this shop on consignment so if you have a fabulous Louis Vuitton bag collecting dust, drop in! The shop often stocks brands like Trelise Cooper, Gucci, Michael Kors, Coach and Zambesi, so you never know what piece of designer vintage you might just get lucky enough to find. Plus, you can check out the stunning local beach and scenery!

To Be Continued is based in Christchurch and also serves as a destination shop. The owner, Amanda, and her two employees all have extensive knowledge of the fashion and textile industry. You can expect to find a delightful mix of designers from Aotearoa and around the world.

I couldn’t make a list of vintage and second-hand shops without including Recycle Boutique. This shop has been in the Auckland lexicon for more than 15 years. I remember browsing the overcrowded racks, searching for that hidden treasure piece (pretty sure I came away with an Avril Lavigne inspired Polo shirt at least once), while still in High School. Recycle Boutique now boasts over 12 stores across the country while holding true to their ethos of ‘reuse and recycle’. They have an impressive for sale collection online however I still prefer to head to one of their shops and browse the racks for treasure.

Re-generate started out as a small children’s market in Tititrangi. Now they have grown to regularly run the re:generate Kids Market and the re:generate Fashion Market in venues all around Auckland and have a super strong social media presence. You can also buy directly off their website in between markets (or if you prefer shopping online in general).

Painted Bird Vintage is run by stylist Stephanie King and is predominately online (although she is known to do pop-ups). Stephanie is a vintage expert and mainly deals in clothes from the 50s through to 80s, although you never will quite know what amazing gem you might find. Painted Bird is a favorite of New Zealand magazines, stylists and bloggers. Plus the website is gorgeous and very easy to spend hours on.

Tatty’s has also been part of the Auckland landscape for over a decade. Tatty’s (owner/operator: Amiee Egdell) is another shop that boasts an impressive collection, ranging from Moschino and Celine all the way to exclusive Korean Vintage. Very much worth checking out.

You will probably have heard of Trade Me. A lot of people disregard it because it does take some effort and patience to scroll. However if you know what you’re looking for, or what designer or style you’re after you can set up alerts to notify you. Plus, it’s still my favorite way to sell clothes I no longer want.

These are just some of the awesome places where you can find second-hand treasure in New Zealand. It pays to check out your local charity shops and the growing vintage/ thrift avenues online. Happy shopping!

If you enjoyed this guide and would like to follow Robecca on her vintage/sustainable journey head over to Instagram.

Photos supplied: I Love Labels
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