Like in any city, thrifting in Paris is an adventure. There are stores full of cheap, lower quality goods, shops with only the finest vintage, and boutiques that up-cycled thrifted items (and elevated price tags) to create more unique pieces.
Because a guidebook doesn’t always provide the kinds details you might want to know for an afternoon of good thrifting — do the clothes smell, is the boutique well organized, how new are the shoes, is it mostly stiff t-shirts or does vintage dominate — we turn to Damon and Jo from the vlog Shut Up and Go.
Damon and a friend cross the city, hitting up Damon’s favorite thrifting hot spots. From Kiliwatch to Mad Vintage, the duo explain what to look for at a thrift store, mull over how to wear a scarf in a better way (because there’s always a plethora of cool scarves), and list a few thrift stores to go to if you want to spend hardly any money at all.
The video is surprisingly insightful on one topic in particular: fast fashion (i.e., companies that make a lot of cheap clothing using a labor force that works in unsafe conditions and for low pay). Damon explains that thrift shopping lets you shop at a low cost without supporting the fast fashion industry. Thrifting is more environmentally friendly since you’re reusing instead of incentivizing companies to make more clothing; if the goods are leather then the purchase doesn’t support slaughter farms, it supports local businesses; and it’s more ethical since underage children and underpaid laborers didn’t make your garment. Finally, the economic argument for thrift stores: because fast fashion is poorly made and wears down quickly, you’ll ultimately spend more buying a new fast fashion-made coat every winter than you will buying a used Burberry trench coat for 75 euros that’ll last you a decade.
On your next trip to Paris, hit up some thrift stores: the environment wins, local businesses win, and your closet wins.
Check out Frenchly’s list of favorite places to thrift in Paris for more low-cost shopping ideas.