Stay thrifty: London's best thrift stores

Exterior of St. Vincent De Paul Store CREDIT: ZOË ALEXANDRA KING
St. Vincent De Paul has two locations in London: one on York St. and one on Elias St.

There are a few different reasons why a person may take interest in thrifted items. Some desire the action of thrifting to acquire antique pieces and fulfill a specific lifestyle, whilst others may view thrifting as a cheaper alternative than buying products from big corporations. This article features seven thrift stores that I believe are worth checking out in London. Whether or not you are thrifting for lifestyle needs or necessities, these stores may have something that piques your interest.

St. Vincent De Paul Store

585 York St.

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St. Vincent De Paul has two locations in London: one on York St. and one on Elias St. After my first visit to their York St. location, I was in awe of their antique furniture as well as their variety of artwork. The upstairs of the store is filled with beautiful paintings and framed pictures, as well as smaller antique knick-knacks. Aside from the store having beautiful pieces at reasonable prices, there is so much more to it than just purchasing pre-owned items. Store manager Judy Mepsted said, “St. Vincent De Paul started because of the need to help those that are in need.” The services they offer can be found on their website, Facebook, and Instagram. Mepsted also said that they are always seeking more volunteers and if anyone is interested, they can ask for her at the York St. location or Debbie English at the Elias St. location.

Tracy’s Treasure Chest

748 Dundas St.

Tracy’s Treasure Chest is a great place to visit for furniture items at an affordable price. This store carries just about everything from furniture pieces, to clothing, to books, to kitchenware and more. I always notice the gorgeous furniture items for sale, especially the antique pieces! If you’re looking to furnish your home for an affordable cost, I would highly recommend taking a visit. The owner, Malcom Watson always has a smile on his face and is willing to help customers wherever he can. Aside from the great pieces that are found at this store, Tracy’s Treasure Chest is also a part of the Autism Ontario London Community and 50 per cent of proceeds from donated items goes towards the non-profit organization. This thrift store is about much more than purchasing items at a low expense. If you’re looking to shop affordably and give back to society, shopping at Tracy’s Treasure Chest is a great way to do so.

Filthy Rebena

177 Dundas St.

Filthy Rebena has two locations in London: one on Dundas St. and one Wortley Rd. This thrift store is the perfect place to visit when looking for giftable items such as bath soaps, teas, bath towels, ribbed slippers, and more. Filthy Rebena also carries a variety of vintage clothing as well as accessories. They also carry household items such as vintage mugs, vases, coasters, and more. It should also be noted that their Wortley location has a flower farm that sells beautiful bouquets. If you’re looking for trendy vintage pieces, I recommend checking out Filthy Rebena. It also helps that their Dundas St. location offers a student discount.

Chaotic Closet

727 Richmond St.

Chaotic Closet has two locations in London: one on Richmond St. and one on Dundas St. I have found some amazing clothing items and accessories from both locations. Anytime I visit, there are always students combing through the racks trying to find the perfect piece that appeals to them. I highly recommend checking out the vintage sweaters, shoes, and t-shirts that they have. Chaotic Closet is owned by a second-year Western student and all the employees are also students.

Plato’s Closet

1071 Wellington Rd.

Plato’s Closet is another one of my favorite thrift stores for clothing as the quality is slightly higher. This store differs from many others because they also purchase clothing from people. Consumers are welcome to bring clothing into the store, where the employees select which items are appropriate for them to sell and will then offer the consumer an amount of money or a credit. I recommend visiting Plato’s Closet to see the wide clothing selection that they have, including apparel for every season. Just a bus ride away from Fanshawe, you can find a variety of thrifted clothing here.

Whilst there are other thrift stores in London that are worth a visit, these are the five that I always find myself at on the weekends. Thrifting can be a fun activity to do on your own or with friends. From collecting antique pieces to purchasing furniture for your apartment, these thrift stores cater to all lifestyles.