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The Hawk News

The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

Five fun thrift spots to shop in Philly

The selection at Philly AIDS Thrift. PHOTO: MACKENZIE ALLEN ’23/THE HAWK

Thrifting is a win-win situation for many college students. It offers a sustainable way to fill your closet with one-of-a-kind pieces for a lower price than online shopping or buying from mass production chain retail. Philly has a vast selection of thrift stores near University City and Hawk Hill, so set aside a weekend to pop into one of these great thrift spots.

Philly AIDS Thrift – 710 S. 5th St.

This fan-favorite offers secondhand clothing, furniture, art and home decor, with proceeds distributed to local AIDS organizations. There is an array of items that all have their own personality, like novelty knickknacks and unique garments to spice up any closet.

Justin Rhodes, a new employee at the establishment, said the store receives a lot of outlandish donations like a standing ashtray from the 1930s and an old tiki bar. Rhodes also said he encounters people from all walks of life at the store. 

“Anyone from high school kids looking for costumes for their drama classes to college students trying to save money or really any South Philly resident,” Rhodes said. “Anybody could really walk in at any time.”

The Raxx Vintage Emporium – 534 South St.

Raxx Vintage offers more distinctive vintage items. This store is home to bold costume jewelry and a wide selection of clothing items, including T-shirts featuring different music artists and movies. Every piece here seems to have its own story.

When I visited, I couldn’t take my eyes off a red, high heel-shaped phone landline and an old steel Strawberry Shortcake lunchbox. The store is organized and fairly big, and an employee informed me they receive new materials weekly, so I will definitely be back soon to see what else has arrived. I found items in every corner that piqued my interest and ended up purchasing a cherry red bomber jacket that looked like it came straight out of a ’50s movie. 

Salvation Army – 5522 Arch St.

This is a classic thrift spot that many St. Joe’s students visit. Prices for clothing items start as low as $2 and rarely exceed $25, with exceptions to commonly pricier items such as overcoats or suits. 

Meredith Rhoades ’23 often shops here with her roommates. 

“We wanted to find fun decorations for our apartment together. We found some other things along the way,” Rhoades said. “I look everywhere and whatever catches my eye is fair game. I love comparing finds with my friends.”

Greene Street Consignment – 700 South St.

Greene Street offers shopping by appointment to limit the number of people in the store, so customers do not have to worry about crowds. The store has a boutique-like atmosphere with tidy racks and folded clothing organized in sections by color and garment type. 

Annie Winkler ’23, who helped organize a thrift sale for Alpha Gamma Delta last semester, said she likes buying secondhand clothes and thrifts often from Greene Street Consignment.

“I normally take any of my old clothes and sell them to [Greene Street Consignment], too,” Winkler said. “I find that I thrift pretty often. I definitely feel better about getting secondhand items if I’m going to shop instead of getting brand new clothes.”

Buffalo Exchange – 1520 Chestnut St.

This popular chain thrift vendor for buying, selling and donating clothing is a must. Buffalo Exchange usually contains trendy and more recent pieces in fashion, because people are constantly donating to the establishment. 

The maze-like set up of the store may be daunting at first glance, but thrifters must be hunters. Half of the fun of thrifting is making a day out of sorting through racks and piles of clothing that have come from all over. 

On a recent visit, I snagged a faux leather blazer for $13 that likely retailed for $50, and I donated a bag of coats and winter accessories I no longer wear. 

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