Thrift store, op-shop, charity store… whatever you know it by, Hamilton is home to a plethora of second-hand stores. There’s nothing more satisfying than scouring through racks of pre-loved clothing to discover, like, the coolest vintage jacket, ever—just ask Macklemore. Give your wardrobe a refresher and reduce landfill while you’re at it by popping tags at the best thrift shops in Hamilton.
Various Charity Stores
Leading the pack of Hamilton’s best thrift stores is—of course—all the incredible charity stores dotted around the city. Try your luck at one of these countless gems and you might score a vintage jacket, one-of-a-kind coffee table or a book you’ve been wanting to read. Better yet, the money raised from selling these donated goods goes towards the charity and the work they do in the community and beyond—too good. Check out op-shops operated by the Red Cross, Salvation Army (we love the one in Te Rapa), Hospice, SPCA, St Vincent de Paul and Habitat For Humanity. Remember, finding something you love comes down to the luck of the day. Visit these op-shops on the regular to increase your chances.
Grey Street, Hamilton East
Make a beeline for Recycle Boutique and cut the chase of stumbling upon second-hand designer threads. The second-hand clothing store is a place to buy and sell designer and vintage clothing—no rips, tears, smells or H&M. The Hamilton East store is a treasure chest full of racks including adidas, Huffer, Karen Walker, Kate Sylvester, Ruby, Sass & Bide, Zara and Zimmerman. Want to make some sweet cash from your pre-loved clothing? Recycle Boutique will happily sell on your behalf. You get 50% of the sale price, someone gets a fresh outfit and unnecessary landfill is avoided. It’s a win, win, win!
Victoria Street, Hamilton CBD
There’s no clothing in sight at Browsers Bookshop (however, the staff and patrons are clothed). Instead, you’ll find shelves upon shelves of second-hand books that are—quite literally—stacked to the ceiling. First established in 1996, the much-loved bookstore has stood the tricky test of time and become a true Hamilton icon. Book lovers are encouraged to take their time exploring the selection—you can even read a chapter or two sequestered away in one of the store’s reading nooks. What’s more, the delightful book op-shop is open until 9.30pm from Wednesday to Sunday so you can browse into the night.
Casabella Lane, Hamilton CBD
Located in Casabella Lane (aka Hamilton’s coolest laneway) is Thrift’d Streetwear. It’s your one-stop-shop for pre-loved ‘80s and ‘90s American streetwear with everything from tees and singlets to hats and shoes. The selection is totally dope, thanks to each item being lovingly hand-selected from the States before gracing the racks of the Hamilton store. The old-school threads include brands such as Champion, Jordan, Nike, Polo, Stussy, Supreme and Tommy Hilfiger. Get a taste for what’s on offer by following Thrift’d Streetwear’s Facebook page.
Maui Street, Pukete & High Street, Frankton
Let’s be honest, no round-up of Hamilton’s best thrift stores would be complete without name-dropping SaveMart. The iconic pre-loved clothing company has 29 stores across New Zealand with two of those located in Hamilton’s Pukete and Frankton. Both of the ginormous warehouses are home to countless rows of neatly ordered garments at reasonable prices. Make sure you’ve got time on your side when you visit—you’ll lose yourself as you shift through all the clothing, shoes and homewares.
Va Va Voom Boutique
River Road, Fairfield
Brought to you by Hospice Waikato, Va Va Voom Boutique is a lil different to the charity’s familiar network of op-shops. Instead, Va Va Voom channels an upmarket boutique with a chic interior and carefully selected goods. Expect to find the likes of beautiful bone china, precious silverware, vintage clothing and designer labels including Trelise Cooper, Karen Walker and Sabatini. The clothing is handpicked from piles of donated garments by Hospice volunteers with an eye for fashion and designer gems. The result? A boutique store brimming with fairly priced gems that benefit a great cause. What’s not to love?
Lake Road, Frankton
Another goodie from Hospice, the Frankton Megastore is one of the best op-shops in Hamilton. Upstairs, you’ll find quality second-hand clothing as well as homewares and books. Those in the know will time their visit for a Tuesday, Thursday or Saturday when the downstairs section of the shop is also open. This is where the magic happens with a treasure trove of unique and affordable furniture, homewares, kitchenwares, records and appliances. You can kit your whole house and wardrobe out with a visit to this op-shop.
Why not try your thrift luck elsewhere and browse Auckland's best op-shops
Image Credit: Joao Silas