Five places to get vintage clothing without invading the commercialized thrifting market

Getting that trendy 90s look can be possible while still being sustainable

Many shops on this list announce deals on their social media, so I’d recommend following all of them. PHOTO: Gudrun Wai-Gunnarsson / The Peak

By: Juztin Bello, Copy Editor

As a fashion trend that has taken off in the past year, the hunt for vintage clothing to replicate looks of the 80s and 90s has people flocking to thrift stores all over, with one of the most popular destinations being Value Village. But while many want to hop on the vintage trend, some take issue with consumers clogging the secondhand market, resulting in the increased price range of thrifted clothing and an overhaul of middle-class consumers claiming goods intended for lower-income individuals. For people looking to put that retro flare into their wardrobes without contributing to the gentrification of thrift stores, here are five stores in the Metro Vancouver area to satisfy your vintage needs.

READ MORE: “Why we should be moving towards mindful thrifting

What’sGood? Vintage Apparel

Location: 815 12th St, New Westminster, BC
Hours: Thursday–Sunday 12 p.m.–6 p.m.
Instagram: @whatsgood_vintage

Perhaps my most visited on this list, WhatsGood? Is a small shop in New Westminster that boasts a small but ever-circulating collection of vintage clothing. Their collection of vintage hats, pullovers, brand-name pants (such as Levi’s and Carhartt), and their collection of handmade face masks help them stick out on this list. While only open four days a week, they compensate by doing daily restocks to ensure new products come in and out as quickly as possible. Because they’re open on fewer days, I’d suggest following them on Instagram since they allow online shopping through their page (with both shipping and pick-up) and update followers with their best and newest drops. 

Fun little anecdote: last time I went (donning a mask, of course) the two owners had gotten married the weekend before, and it was heartening to hear about their intimate ceremony during these socially distant times. 

Mintage Thrift

Location: 22780 Dewdney Trunk Rd, Maple Ridge, BC
Hours: Sunday 11 a.m.–5 p.m., Monday–Saturday 11 a.m.–6 p.m.
Instagram: @mintagethrift

Although there are three Mintage locations (Broadway, Commercial Drive, and Maple Ridge), the one I tend to find the most success with is the Maple Ridge location. Whether it’s because the store itself is the largest or because it’s further away and therefore less crowded is unclear, but ultimately their enormous collection of vintage t-shirts is what pulls me in. They also have a vast selection of vinyl records for as cheap as $5 for any of you vinyl record collectors. What’s more, I’ve found Mintage Thrift to be on the cheaper side compared to some of the other stores I’ve frequented —  plus, their custom tote bag is really cute, so I’d suggest picking up one of those while you’re there. 

F as in Frank Vintage Clothing

Location: 2425 Main St, Vancouver, BC
Hours: Sunday–Thursday 11 a.m.–7 p.m., Friday–Saturday 11 a.m.–8 p.m.
Instagram: @fasinfrankvancouver

F as in Frank? How about F as in fire, because the vintage clothing this store has to offer is absolute heat. Found along Main Street, this store features everything from Sailor Moon bags, to old school racing tees, to an abundance of Polo Ralph Lauren. For shoppers with a go-big-or-go-home approach to hunting vintage clothing and like a gamble, their website advertises wholesale options for buying in bundles, such as wholesale vintage t-shirt mystery boxes (up to $500 USD) and sports t-shirt bundles ($180 USD). If you’re like me and can’t commit to shopping like that, no sweat. Just take a trip down Main Street, grab some food at any of the great restaurants along the strip, and then pop right into F as in Frank — make a day of it. 

The Archive Apparel

Location: 10202 152 St #116, Surrey, BC
Hours: Tuesday–Sunday 12 p.m.–6 p.m.
Instagram: @thearchivebc 

Although this is one I’ve checked out less consistently than the rest, The Archive does not fail to grab my attention with the drips they share on their Instagram. Probably my favourite shopping spot in Surrey, this store, while small, delivers some of the freshest jackets and jerseys on the market. One notable aspect of The Archive is that they feature more footwear than I usually see at vintage clothing stores, with some really clean Jordans and (on a few occasions) Yeezys (which aren’t vintage, but look pretty sweet). They also advertise plenty of sales out of the blue, so keeping up with them on Instagram is a must. If you ask me whether to give this place a chance, the large Nike sign on the wall says it all: just do it. 

Stoxx Vintage Shop Vancouver

Location: Kingsgate Mall, 370 E Broadway Unit 118, Vancouver, BC
Hours: Monday–Wednesday/Saturday 9:30 a.m.–7 p.m., Thursday–Friday 9:30 a.m.–9 p.m., Sunday 11 a.m.–6 p.m.
Instagram: @stoxxvintage 

Found in Kingsgate Mall, Stoxx Vintage is a family owned and operated vintage clothing store that greets shoppers with a vast collection of cowboy boots, vintage brand-name apparel, and metal decor. With good music always bumping and a friendly family dynamic, a trip to Stoxx is guaranteed to be successful, regardless of how much vintage clothing you’re able to find. This past October, Stoxx Vintage did a giveaway worth $100 towards their store every week, so following their social media is beneficial for keeping up-to-date with these sort of opportunities.