Thrift stores provide Chicago locals with sustainable and affordable shopping options. Some stores even take it a step further by giving back to the community. Here are some of the best thrift stores in Chicago
Thrift & Thrive is a thrift store that focuses on community and green living. The items they sell include jewelry, toys, and housewares.
When you walk into the store, you'll notice the bright colors that create a fun atmosphere. Thrift & Thrive is located at 6025 W Irving Park Rd in the Portage Park neighborhood.
Richard's Fabulous Finds offers vintage menswear and decor. You can put on clothes that take you all the way back to the 40s and 50s.
You'll also find some great old-school houseware. In a Facebook post on the store's page, they pointed out a lamp they have that's almost identical to one in an episode of "Bewitched." Richard's Fabulous Finds is located at 2545 W North Ave.
Village Discount Outlet has 11 locations in and around Chicago and Northern Indiana. Their stores sell Vintage and retro clothing for all ages and gently used household goods.
In addition to selling items at their stores, they also sell their goods as a wholesaler. They provide bulk goods to other thrift stores or charities. Items they are not able to resell at the stores they sell to recycling centers.
If you want a party dress straight from the 50s or a grungy t-shirt from the 90s, Knee Deep Vintage has it. When you come by, the staff hopes you'll find unique and affordable vintage clothing. They're located in the middle of Pilsen at 1219 West 18th Street.
Elizabeth Basa opened the Family Tree Resale in 2009. They sell clothing for everyone in the family, along with toys and home goods in both current and unique styles.
Since opening, she has helped her community by donating store vouchers to families in need. Recycling is big at the Family Tree Resale, as they recycle everything they are not able to sell. They provide customers with recycled bags when needed.
Family Tree Resale accepts all donations except food, mattresses, furniture, and old tube TVs. When making donations, they have a list of schools and charities that you can choose from.
The charity they choose is the one that will receive vouchers for the donation being made. You’ll find the store at 5066 N. Lincoln Avenue.
The Brown Elephant sells secondhand fashion and home décor. All proceeds go towards LGBTQ health and fund care for the under-insured and uninsured. They have three locations in Lakeview at 3020 N. Lincoln Ave, Andersonville at 5404 N. Clark St, and Oak Park at 27 Harrison St.
Norwood Life Society uses the proceeds raised from its store to improve the lives of senior citizens in the community. You'll find all kinds of vintage artwork, books, clothing, and many other interesting finds.
Green Element Resale is an organization that works with Big Medicine, NFP. In addition to their work in the health field, they have a thrift store that helps provide environmental education to the public.
The organization informs people about how the government uses tax dollars to fund industries that are not environmentally healthy. They practice what they teach by providing people with a way to rehome their used items instead of throwing them away.
Green Element Resale does this while also giving people the ability to purchase recycled items. They accept and sell a wide range of items from clothing, furniture, books, toys, and home goods.
With both current and vintage items, there is plenty to choose from when shopping at their store. You can also take advantage of their pick-up option for those who are not able to drop off their items or who have larger items to donate.
Green Element Resale is both a thrift store and a consignment shop. Their store is located at 6241 N Broadway Street.
Buffalo Exchange was started by Kerstin and Spencer Block back in 1974 in Arizona. They have grown over the years and now have stores all over the US, including in Chicago.
Since the passing of Spencer, the company has been run by Kerstin and her daughter Rebecca. Their goal is to provide fun places to buy, sell, or trade clothing.
Customers have the option to donate five cents to a local charity while there. The company also has an annual $1 earth day sale.
Additionally, Buffalo Exchange runs the Clothing for the Community program and contributes to the Women’s Foundation of Southern Arizona Unidas. You can visit their Chicago locations at 5252 N. Clark Street and 1478 N. Milwaukee Avenue.
Crossroads Trading began in 1991 with Jerry Block and Chip Gerken. They wanted to give their community a more sustainable way to shop. By having a waiting list for sellers, the store is able to keep its inventory stocked.
They provide a list of what clothing they are looking to buy from sellers on their website. There are many locations across the United States where you can shop from them. Check out their Chicago locations at 2711 N. Clark Street and 1519 North Milwaukee Avenue.
11. Let's Change
Let’s Change is a resale shop for their parent company Army of the Kind (AOTK). Every dollar earned at the Let’s Change resale shop is used to help children through their organization. They sell clothing, shoes, and accessories for everyone at low prices.
Look for lists on their website of donation items they accept along with ones they do not. They are also looking for volunteers to help with the running of their store. You can find them at 1664 N. California Avenue.
New Elephant Resale Shop sells clothing and accessories for men and women as well as home goods and housewares. They accept donations from the community and work with local estate sales.
For an additional fee, they also deliver larger item purchases. The charities they help fund are the Jesse White Tumbling Team and the Rotary Club One. Shop their new store location at 2325 N. Clark Street.
Monarch Thrift Shop not only provides the community with a resale shop, but they are also a Rise Up certified store. This means they have on-the-job training, teaching employees skills that will help them be successful in the workforce.
Monarch Thrift Shop is also used as an option for serving court-mandated community service hours. Their inventory includes clothing, accessories, books, toys, and home goods.
They accept both item donations and monetary donations. You can find their store at 2866 N Milwaukee Ave.
14. El Dorado Thrift
El Dorado Thrift strives to provide their patrons with a store that they will be proud to shop at while also being affordable. They have online shopping and are working on setting up shipping.
For now, they do offer in-store pick-up for the items purchased online. Some of their inventory includes shoes, knick-knacks, purses, and designer clothing. Check out their Chicago location at 2634 N Milwaukee Avenue.
Mercy Beaucoup Resale Boutique sells high-quality clothing at low prices. They stock their stores with donations which they accept at either of their Chicago locations.
Donation sales go towards the Mercy Home for Boys and Girls. Mercy Beaucoup sells clothing and accessories, china, crystal, silver, and small furniture. You can shop online or shop at their physical location at 1545 N. Wells Street.