Where to Go Thrifting in Paris

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.

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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.