Ok, I’ll admit it. I’m a sucker for thrift stores. Given the choice of shopping at the mall or sifting through racks of vintage clothing I’ll take the old stuff any day. Now I realize they’re not for everyone—but I also know I’m in good company. Secondhand stores are widely popular these days and people of all ages, demographics and income levels proudly frequent them in search of hidden treasures.
There used to be a sort of stigma attached to thrift stores, but thankfully any negative label is long gone. Somewhere along the lines it became cool to shop secondhand. And that’s a good thing.
For starters, thrift stores are economical. You can find designer jeans for $8, beautiful coats for a fraction of the original cost, kids clothing in like-new condition, inexpensive furniture and plenty of household items. For students, families on a budget or anyone who likes a good deal a thrift stores is the perfect place to start.
Additionally, buying used (“pre-owned,” “secondhand” or whatever your preferred term) is better for the environment. The statistics on the amount of energy, chemicals and water that goes into making new clothes—not to mention filling landfills with old ones—is significant. Reusing clothes reduces that.
Another huge benefit is that thrift stores support the local economy. Many are associated with a nonprofit that benefits directly from the proceeds. Others provide stable jobs in the community.
Finally, thrift store shopping is just plain fun. For me it’s the thrill of the hunt, because you never know what you’ll find. You may come across a hidden gem sandwiched between a Chaps polo and a Big Dogs t-shirt, or score a pair of vintage cowboy boots in just the right size.
You’re not always lucky, but when it happens it’s that great “shopper’s high” feeling. I once bought a signed watercolor from Goodwill for $6.99. It was in perfect condition and I could tell it was a nice piece. I got home, Googled it and was thrilled to find similar paintings by the same artist going for over $300. Score! I know that’s nothing like the stories you hear of people finding Van Goghs in their attic, but it definitely perked up my day.
There are tons of great thrift and vintage stores in Austin, but you don’t have to go to South Congress to find them. Some of my favorite thrift/resale shops are right here in the Lake Travis area. So whether you’re shopping for economic, environmental or whatever reason you can visit one of these nearby:
Goodwill –This national chain on 620 is hard to miss. They have a wide variety of inventory that changes regularly, so you never know what you’re going to find. Goodwill supports the community by providing job training, employment placement and other services to people who have disabilities, lack education or job experience, or face employment challenges.
1901 RR 620 South Lakeway, TX 78734
Lake Travis Thrift Shop – Run entirely by volunteers, this thrift shop full of clothing, household items, children’s gear and more supports local nonprofits in the Lake Travis area.
1508 RR 620 South Lakeway, TX 78734
Restyle Lakeway – With an original location on Burnet Road, the recently opened Lakeway consignment store offers stylish, upscale clothing at affordable prices. Locally owned and operated by women, they support local charitable organizations that assist local women in need.
Restyle Lakeway 900 RR 620 South
Sweetpeas – This upscale maternity and children’s consignment store specializes in top designer brand clothing, shoes, gifts, gear, and more in both new and nearly-new items.
2300 Lohman’s Spur Road #162 Lakeway, TX 78734
Did we miss your favorite? Let us know in the comments so we can add it to the list.