Thrift stores have long been misperceived as junk-trunks filled with hand-me-downs or shops that are merely meant to cater to those incapable of affording a designer’s item. However, these stores may hold more history and richer backstories than your average retail stores in town.
Globally, thrift stores have earned a recognition of their own. In fact, its ‘importance’ is recognised through a celebration of its very own day – August 17. Aside from further slashdowns, it is the one day that thrift store enthusiasts get to cherish the history behind their town’s own second hand stores.
Thrifty hardcores would spend hours just to scour for the right piece of clothing that resonates with them. In a way, shopping at a second hand shop is no longer about finding the right design for yourself, but it’s about finding the right history that you would happily boast.
It is no different here in the Kingdom of Cambodia. With the expansion of Dondondown on Wednesday, as well as Sakura Recycle Shop, thrift stores have made their mark across the capital and further cementing the lack of need to constantly shop at high-end outlets.
While international brands such as H&M along with local label, Zando, continued to gain fans in the Kingdom, it’s undoubtedly true that some of the most-visited stores for clothes are still the hand-me-down shops. Stores such as Dondondown on Wednesday attract visitors both from the local and expatriate communities, thanks to the variety of offerings and unique monthly promotions.
Be it an acid-washed denim jacket just hiding in a corner or a pencil skirt fitted to the mannequin, fashion-lovers who are willing to spend hours to find the perfect pieces are surely bound to come across an outfit (or two) that will resonate with them.
But why shop at a thrift store, you ask?
Rare retro gems
Let us start this by warning you: an hour or two in a thrift store is simply not enough. You would still be able to purchase some passable t-shirts for couch-lounging on Sundays but not an outfit that would make your friends envious. Any thrift store pros should always come equipped with the key knowledge that hours and hours of ransacking a thrift store is how you get the most out of your trip.
With patience, you are bound to find perhaps a vintage 80s denim jacket or a worn-out ripped jeans for less money that you would need for a meal. It may or may not appeal to you but these vintage pieces are coming back to life on the streets. Teens are looking back in time for fashion inspirations and if you are one of them, second hand store is the place for you.
Psst, do you know Granny sweaters are coming back in style. Don’t trust us? Just ask designer Alexa Chung, who made it pretty clear how much she loves crafty-cool sweaters.
Lend a hand or two
Good fashion does not have to be expensive. Buying clothes at a reduced price helps many who can’t afford to shop at your run-of-the-mill retail stores. Therefore supporting the act of thrifting, from a commercial point of view, could help those who max out on these thrift stores.
At the same time, if you are planning to do gift shopping on a budget, thrift stores are the ideal place to do so.
Long gone are the days where thrift stores are only filled with junk. These days, you are bound to find more collectors’ items lying around if you are willing to get your hands ‘dirty’.
Sale! Sale! Sale!
Who does not love a good sale? You are in for a surprise if you think thrift stores don’t host sales. It does not really make sense for a store selling clothes at an already reduced rate to reduce them even more but hey, we won’t say no to price markdowns. Dondondown on Wednesday for instance, has great sale days where a good pair of jeans selling for $10 could be selling for $3.
Savour 50pct off on these sweet days where the entire store is on sale. Just make sure to find out ahead on which day your nearest thrift store is hosting a greater bargain sale day.
This is a pretty solid case for second hand stores but there are many more reasons to check it out. These stores have been around for a long time and are here to stay.