3. Savers - Plymouth, MA
This was the very first Savers I ever went to when my mom moved to Plymouth about 9 years ago. Before then, I was thrifting where I grew up in the Albany region of New York. More on thrifting there another time but I've been doing this a really really long time. This thrift superstore is located 36 miles south of Boston off of Exit 6 on i-93S. There's so much parking it's not even funny and this Savers offers drive-through donations! There's also a lot of really cute things to do in the area and a few of my other top 10s are nearby so it's easy to make a whole day of it.
We went on a Tuesday is the perfect day for my mom to join me because they have a senior discount (30% off) and sometimes allow us to use it on separate transactions which is great for running a business and keeping organized. If you don't have a senior companion to join you, just bring something with you to donate and they'll give you a 20% off discount. They also offer a rewards program that gives you 20% off for every 100$ you spend. Never pay full price, even on thrift! They have tons of shopping carts but be sure to take one without a giant pole going straight up, especially if you're like me and always buy way more than I can carry. The poles prevent you from taking the cart outside which can be frustrating for that ridiculously giant green ottoman on wheels you really needed in your studio apartment.
A few more pro-tips before I get into it. This Savers has nice bathrooms but a lot of thrift stores either don't have bathrooms at all or they're so sketchy it's not worth it. Always bring hand sanitizer for after because no matter how much you pretend, touching a bunch of peoples old stuff is probably not the cleanest thing to do and sometimes washing your hands in those bathrooms can make you feel grosser than not doing it at all. ALSO always bring your own bags, they offer bags but they're paper without handles and of course it's always a more sustainable option to just bring one of the approximately 1,000 reusable bags under your sink.
It's really easy to want to buy EVERYTHING when thrifting for the first time but trust me, overbuying will just end in disaster. Here's a few things I really wanted but passed on because I either didn't have a place for it, just thought it was funny, already have one similar or just didn't think was worth the price.
There's nothing sustainable about over-buying or just hoarding the stuff you purchase so never feel too bad about passing something up because there will always be another one and I'm sure someone else will come across it and be delighted to take what you couldn't. That being said, here are a few things I went home with! Most of them were just for me but some of them might end up in the shop. It's also worth noting that if you are buying clothes, always always always try them on. I've spent way too much money just buying stuff because it's cheap and will probably fit me only to find out that it seriously looks awful. Savers is one of the only thrift stores I know that actually accepts returns but I never remember that until it's too late.
I really wasn't planning on buying any clothing on this trip but sometimes that's when you end up with the best finds. When things are just obvious, waiting for you and completely perfect (THANK YOU UNIVERSE). Today I went home with a sweeeeet suede bomber jacket from the "mens" section, this darling early 80s dress with pockets and shoulder pads that will be removed immediately and this very soft modern sweater with stars on the front. Don't be afraid to shop the men, women and childrens sections no matter what your gender because lots of clothes can be worn beautifully and comfortable on lots of bodies and there's no need to try and fit into a certain box, especially while shopping for secondhand.
Of course on a day I don't plan on clothing, I find the most absolutely perfect piece I've been looking for since I got engaged 2 years ago. After visiting an average of 3 thrift stores a week and trying on more disgusting wedding dresses than I can count, I finally found my dress! Retailing for $999, my favorite part about it was the price honestly. Our wedding (happening 10/10/20) is going to be so sweet and simple and affordable. I've never been one to focus on a "fairytale wedding" with all sorts of cheesey stuff. Not that doing that is a bad choice, it's just not the choice for me! More on that another time.
Overall this was an incredible trip and I ended up with a lot of neat pieces for myself a a few small things for the shop. Here's what's coming home with me:
Stay tuned for location #6 coming later in the week! I can't wait to share with you.
It's safe to say that I've been thrifting since I was an infant. My mom is one of SEVEN children and being one of the youngest cousins, I always got what everyone else grew out of. I remember being a kid and getting trash bags full of clothes every time we went to a family gathering. Sometimes I would get something that I had seriously been eyeing on one of my older cousins and sometimes it would go right back in the bag for other, smaller cousins to get when it was their turn.
It's really powerful to only be able to choose from an entire warehouse (or trash bag) of generally discarded clothing. To this day, most of my clothing is secondhand, besides underwear, socks, shoes (big feet) and jeans (long legs). I've been thrifting my whole life, I know where to look for the good stuff and when to just stop and move on.
As a reseller, it's pretty taboo to share secrets with the public. I'm putting my literal livelihood in jeopardy here but I think it's SO important to share knowledge, build community and work together for the greater good of secondhand and sustainability because the most sustainable garment is one you already have (or one that already exists in the world).
Here's my plan, I'm going to go through one by one, all of my favorite thrift stores withing driving distance of Boston. All 10 of them, I'll tell you what I like, what I don't like and show you what I get. I'm going to be as transparent about the process as I can be as someone who sorta does this for a living. I can't possibly give away all my secrets because it really comes with practice. I hope to share some of this knowledge with you in an attempt to bring greater access to secondhand at the most affordable level (other than sorting through huge bins or by-the-pound shops)
Eventually I hope to do a top 10 list of vintage stores, antique stores and even MBTA accessible thrift stores for those of you who really can't access things farther than a bus ride. Together, we can create a more affordable and sustainable wardrobe, home and life. WHO'S WITH ME?!