Guide to second hand shopping in Boston

By Kaie Quigley & Emma Ingenohl – Features Editor & 1851 Staff

The first consignment store is local to Lasell. Global Thrift on Moody Street a brief 30 minute walk or seven minute drive away in Waltham. It has become a recent hotspot for fashion enthusiasts at Lasell over the past couple of years, however the priorities of the founders do not lay solely in impressing the trend-focused youth.

Since its establishment in 1995 by Cindy and Mark Pochesci, Global Thrift has begun working with local shelters to provide clothing for members of the community. It has adopted a recycling program that collects items on the rack or shelf for over a month and outsources them to factories where they are made into new materials.

Inside the store is a wide array of clothing for all ages, sizes and genders, as well as furniture, toys and other houseware making it applicable to nearly everyone.

Vivant Vintage is a highly-curated vintage shop located in Allston featuring authentic pieces from all over the world. The store was established in 2014, however, owner and founder Justin has been traveling the world buying and selling vintage clothing since 2011. He and his team handpick Vivant’s entire inventory, making it a one-of-a-kind experience.

Garment District in Cambridge has been hit harder by the pandemic than most second-hand stores. This is because one of their highly-favored elements, “the pile,” is no longer available. The pile was made up from inventory overflow and was marketed at two dollars a pound. Shoppers would dig through the merchandise to find hidden gems, which is what makes it unsafe for the current times. However, the upstairs is a vintage dream with clothing ranging from the 40s to the early 2000s. They also feature a costume store where customers can buy and rent costume items.

Buffalo Exchange has two locations, one in Somerville, and one recently opened in Brookline on Coolidge Corner. This store gives the option for customers to bring in their own clothes to be exchanged for either cash or in-store credit. It may be picky in terms of the items it accepts, as the store maintains an aesthetic mix of vintage name brand and trendy streetwear pieces, but the opportunity is taken advantage of by many shoppers nonetheless.

Two locations means twice the opportunity to find something you like, however, each store is a reasonable distance from campus—about a 30 minute drive or hour long T-ride to either location, so access could be considered limited for some students.

Rick Walker’s rounds off the list of best thrift stores in the area. This staple rock’n’roll and cowboy shop has been around for over 85 years, and specializes in classic western wear—offering a wide variety of cowboy boots, hats, leather and denim jackets and pants, flashy belt buckles, and more. The store also provides a niche selection of vintage concert T-shirts from classic bands like Metallica and Aerosmith. This store stands out, as it strays away from trends and is far from a typical thrift shop. The store is easily recognized by it’s longhorn sign and vintage displays, and is certainly a spot worth seeing on Newbury Street.

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