When showing the riches I have unearthed in Scandinavian thrift stores, I’m always met with a wave of complaints about the standard of Irish Charity shops. Fortunately for us, I’d like this apparent “lacking” is a total myth.
The selection available in secondhand shops across the world can depend on what previous populations were wearing in the past. In US thrift stores, for example, Levis and branded football jumpers are a dime a dozen. In Scandinavia, you’ll never be short of a traditional, Nordic wool jumper. So, while Ireland isn’t historically known as a centre of fashion and style, you’ll still find plenty of gems from times gone by. Irish made leather, handmade pieces from our crafty forefathers and of course some mental shoulder pads are a few things I’ve often come across, on my thrifting travels.
As well as that, the eclectic style we see on our 2022 social media feeds facilitates a lot of creativity when it comes to shopping in these local, Irish charity shops. The trend-ification (I’m aware this is not a word – but it feels like it should be, right?) of football scarves or the comeback of the of the pointy-toe heel both tell us that we never know what random throwbacks are in fashion next. Luckily, our beloved, haphazard charity shops are ready to help.
The secondhand shortlist:
• Dun Laoghaire
N.C.B.I George’s Street Lower
Lots of great menswear pieces in here – I got a fab Men’s Tommy Hilfiger jacket for €10 the last time I was in.
Cancer society Rathmines Rd Lower
Vincent de Paul Malahide Shopping Centre
Amazing little shop with some brilliant €1/€2 racks.
Sue Ryder Apollo Business Park
Harold’s Cross Sue Ryder (great for furniture) and Irish Cancer Society on Sundrive Rd
• NCBI Eyre St, Newbridge
A charity shop I always make sure to visit when I go home to Kildare. Don’t be fooled by appearances with this one: although it looks a bit dingy, with a good root you can find some amazing stuff. Oh, and they always have a €2 rack – so make sure to have a good sift through that.
• Sue Ryder Georges St
Their €1 rack is just fantastic.
• NCBI on Bride Street, Kildare Town
I’ve bought two stunning granny suits here that I altered into glam little mini skirt and jacket sets. I bought for €1 and the other for €3.
• Sue Ryder Dublin St
• St Vincent de Paul Tullow St
• Gaillimh is all about Merchants Road, so hit up the two Vincent De Pauls and the Cancer Society for content fresh stock and crazy low prices.
• Simon Community on Sean Mulvoy Rd – especially great for furniture.
• Age Action on St Francis St
• Cancer Society North Main St
• Vincent de Paul North Main St
• NCBI North Main St
• Vintage Mall – not a charity shop per say, but you must go in for a browse and a coffee.
• Irish Cancer society on the Quays
Every time I go to Waterford I make sure to pop in. The last time I was there I copped a pair of Zara leather trousers with tags on for €5 and a Ralph Lauren bum bag for €7.