A Guide to Thrift Shopping in York Region
By: Valeria Nunziato // 10.15.2020
Please note: As of Monday, October 19, 2020, York Region has entered into modified Stage 2 in adherence to provincial government regulations. Please check in with the establishments mentioned in this post regarding their operating hours prior to visiting.
Macklemore may have brought thrift shops back to the forefront with his Top 40 pop tune, but the reality of thrift shopping is that it’s been around for decades within York Region and is only continuing to gain popularity. Fast fashion isn’t as appealing anymore as unique, one-of-a-kind, vintage finds. Everyone knows (and secretly loves) the feeling of being asked where a bag, pair of shades, set of tea cups, watch—whichever item it may be—are from and responding with a crazy story of digging it up at a local antique or thrift shop. Fast fashion also helps the environment. These thrift stores work diligently to recycle, reuse and repurpose gently used fashion items.
Shopping is fun, but thrift shopping is an adventure! So, where to start? We’ve created an easy and accessible list of top choice, safe second hand stores for you to visit across York Region.
Still in Style
Located in the heart of Newmarket on Main Street, Still in Style is known for being a high-end consignment boutique with everything from everyday basics to quality formal wear. As a consignment store, appraisers purchase clothing items and accessories from customers selling their new and gently used women’s clothing items from designer labels (minus the designer label price tag as they preach), and ensure that no item stays in the store for longer than 60 days! Why? This is to ensure that their stock remains modern, luxurious and in line with the latest fashion trends. Still in Style is known for having fresh and authentic items, and is a popular spot for locals looking to thrift anything from a formal evening dress, a classy business ensemble, or that perfect pair of shoes that would complete any outfit.
Care and Share
Supported through local customers and over 200 volunteers, Care and Share has stood as a treasured thrift store in Stouffville for over 40 years. Care and Share is a “go-to destination for collectors, bargain hunting, and browsing,” carrying a unique array of secondhand items including an impressive bookshelf collection, selling over 300,000 books between 2017 and 2018. Care and Share is the place to visit if you are looking for that diamond in the rough, that one item that will get everyone talking, your one-of-a-kind, show-it-off piece. The historic thrift shop is a staple of the Whitchurch-Stouffville area and bloomed solely based on the kindness of people. Regular customers have hailed Care and Share as a “treasure trove,” and honestly, if this isn’t appealing to your inner thrifter senses, I’m not sure what else would!
Plato’s Closet is known for being a trendy and fashionable option selling mostly teen and young-adult, gently-used clothing and fashion items. Plato’s Closet closely follows current fashion trends and in-style brands, making their appraisal process a bit more selective than other big chain brands. The stores post their current trends online, meaning whether you are looking to make some extra cash or purchase a specific in-fashion item, you can check their websites to see if you’ll have any luck with either of these desires. They also list preferred brands online, and you can find items from brands like Adidas, Coach, Free People, Steve Madden, Levi’s, and so many other popular brands in store due to their careful selection of items they purchase. Plato’s Closet is known for selling items comparable to retail store quality at up to 70% off of retail prices. Plato’s Closet’s popularity is quickly catching on, and their locations include Vaughan, Richmond Hill, Markham, Oakville and Newmarket, the latter which currently holds a Gold Star Score with the company—the highest rank of store Plato’s Closet recognizes!
The Style Encore
With locations in Aurora and Oakville, The Style Encore is known for selling gently used women’s casual and business clothes, shoes, handbags, and accessories with brands that are nothing short of top quality. Browsing through their online store, you can find brands like Longchamp and Gucci (yes, you read that correctly!). The best part is The Style Encore’s prices are up to 90% off regular retail pricing. Just like their motto, The Style Encore will make sure you have “clothes, cash, and confidence.”
Value Village is a hot spot for thrifters for more reasons than just their bargain prices. With over 5 locations across York Region and over 300 stores in North America, supporting the Value Village chain has so many benefits beyond saving your wallet. Value Village is dedicated to helping solve the crisis of overproduction of material goods by keeping over 700 million pounds of used goods from landfills every year. On top of this, Value Village stores are a cost-effective option for communities across York Region, and Canada as a whole, with an open-door policy of welcoming anyone who enters the store. On top of supporting local nonprofits and charitable organizations by purchasing donated items from them, their selection of clothing and household items leave you with one-of-a-kind fashion items you can’t buy at the mall at big-chain stores. With quirky traditions like “Ugly Christmas Sweater” parties giving rise to the popularity of thrift shops in general, Value Village stores are more than just a seasonal shop. Check them out for everything from actual vintage clothing to antique housewares unlike anything you’ll find anywhere else.