Welcome to my favourite Christchurch thrift stores, stocked with second-hand affordable treasures.
Christchurch is home to an absolute trove of second-hand stores spread widely across the city. If you’re willing to dedicate some time visiting these rag houses, you can come across some ethical and affordable treasures without breaking the bank.
We begin our journey at St. Vincent DePaulin Bishopdale. This is one of my most frequently visited charity stores mainly due to the friendly staff and cheap prices. Every item of clothing in store is $2 except for one ‘branded’ rack in the centre of the store, so there are some definite steals to be found if you’re willing to search the racks.
The store is quite small with a reasonably sized section for ‘men’ and the rest dedicated to ‘women’s’ goods. I have, however, found that garments sometimes get mixed up in the sorting process and mistakenly end up in the wrong section, so I like to explore all parts of the store.
Although you do get the odd glare from veteran charity shop grannies, it’s usually worth it if you find something good.
Location:You can find Vinnies Bishopdale located at 17c Bishopdale Court, Bishopdale Mall.
Second on my list is on the other side of town in Ferrymead. The$3 Clothing Warehouse is a well-known recycled clothing warehouse and sorting facility that is perhaps the most popular op-shop in Christchurch. It smells like a musty Ocean Alley gig and at times feels like a 300 square meter refrigerator, but it does contain some absolute fire garments nonetheless.
Taking your time is key in this emporium. Sifting through the many racks of used clothing for legitimate finds can require a heck of a lot of patience and a keen eye to spot potential acquisitions to take home with you.
Location:$3 Clothing Warehouse, 1026 Ferry Road, Woolston.
Thirdly, we have my personal favourite on the list. The Nurse Maude Hospice shops have provided me with some great pieces that I wear on a weekly basis, including some Tommy Hilfiger and Ralph Lauren.
You do tend to pay slightly higher prices for their clothing ($10-$25), but the lovely ladies that volunteer are easily charmed and with some good manners and a bit of friendly chat you might even get yourself a humble price reduction. In saying that, Nurse Maude is a charity store so don’t push your luck by bargaining like you’re at the Grand Bazaar.
Location:Stores are located around Christchurch, you can find your local Nurse Maude.
Recycle Boutique comes in at number four on the list. A popular consignment store, you can find one located at The Tannery in Woolston or check out the new store in Central Christchurch.
This consignment chain is unique as it buys, sells and trades its inventory directly with customers.
They carry a mix of designer-label and vintage clothing, shoes, and accessories all priced much lower than normal retail cost. With a curated vintage section featuring brands such as Ralph Lauren, Carhartt WIP, Guess and many more it provides access to pre-loved, high demand branded garments from overseas that aren’t readily available in Christchurch.
Locations: The Tannery, 3 Garlands Road, Woolston and 255 St Asaph Street, Christchurch City, www.recycleboutique.co.nz.
Now Vintage Vintageis not your traditional second-hand retail store. These guys have found their niche amongst their competitors selling a mix of vintage gear, hyped sneakers and streetwear, and popular workwear brands such as Carhartt and Dickies.
Up until recently there was a spot in Riccarton mall that housed a Vintage Vintagepop-up. You could often find the store filled with teens searching for their first ‘hype’ purchase from the popular streetwear brand Supreme, whose t-shirts can fetch upwards of $400. Following the closure of the Christchurch store it seems they must have their sights on another temporary spot around the country, with its location yet to be announced.
If you are able to land in one of their physical stores you’ll find it fits its purpose of bridging the gap between the American streetwear culture and the New Zealand consumer nicely. It is a great place to shop around if you are into the culture and have deep pockets, but I know I’ll be forever faithful to the old gals down at Nurse Maude.
Location: You can shop at all hours of the night online at www.vintagevintage.net, or if you find yourself booking a trip to Auckland, pop in to their North Shore store at Glenfield Mall (Shop 346). Otherwise, keep an eye out for the location of the next pop-up.