Joburg Thrifting: Winter 2023

by | Aug 18, 2023 | Johannesburg, Markets/Shopping | 13 comments

I’m obsessed with Joburg thrifting (see here, here, and here) and the more I shop second-hand, the more I realize it’s almost never necessary to buy new things. There are so many great places in Joburg to shop for used clothing, furniture, jewelry, shoes, housewares — everything you can imagine. The quality is usually better than buying new and the prices are cheaper, even for amazing vintage stuff, if you’ve got some patience and know where to look.

Inside Ietsie Thrift in Linden
Inside Ietsie Thrift, one of my favorite Joburg thrifting spots, which I’ll tell you about in a minute.

Over the past year or two I’ve discovered lots of great Joburg thrifting spots that I haven’t written about yet. Here’s a run-down.

Trouvé in Bergbron (Long Road)

Trouvé (corner of Long Road and 9th Street, Bergbron) is at the end of the famous Long Road antique strip, but it’s a little more high-end — i.e., cuter and less dusty, with a wider range of merchandise — than most of the other Long Road shops. I love to just wander through all the different rooms at Trouvé, picking things up and putting them down again. I don’t think I’ve ever left without buying something.

Outside Trouvé
Outside Trouvé.
A room at Trouvé
One of many pretty rooms in Trouvé.
Bowl from Trouvé
Loved this vintage bowl but didn’t buy it.
Heather with an owl plate from Trouvé
I did, however, buy this owl plate.
Owl plate from Trouvé
And its mate. They were R50 (less than $3) each.
Trouvé has mostly furniture and decor items but they also sell clothes (mostly women’s).
Cafe at Trouvé
Trouvé also has a small café in the back. It’s nothing fancy but I had a nice sandwich there the other day.

Ietsie Thrift in Linden

Ietsie Thrift (65 4th Avenue, Linden) is a small clothing shop (mostly for women but there are a few men’s racks, as well as a few housewares) in Linden, in a little center across the street from Arthur Bales.

Ietsie Thrift
Outside Ietsie.
Inside Ietsie
Inside Ietsie.

I like shopping at Ietsie because it’s so well curated; if I need a last-minute outfit, I know I can walk in there and quickly find something cute. The atmosphere is extremely pleasant and I love Ietsie’s selection of vintage jewelry. While Ietsie does carry some pricier vintage items, most of the clothing is in the R100 to R350 ($5-$20) range. Sale items are cheaper.

Make sure to ask for a bag for your purchases — Ietsie makes beautiful shopping bags out of recycled t-shirts.

Frayznix Rack in Brixton

I’ve mentioned Frayznix Rack (34 Chiswick Street, Brixton) in previous posts; in addition to being one of the best vintage clothing sellers in town, Frayz is also my neighbor. (He’s a fashion designer, too — see some of his creations in my post about the Brixton Youth Day fashion show.)

Frayznix Rack in Brixton
Fraynix in his Brixton home office.

Frayznix operates out of his lovely historic home in Brixton, right across the street from Breezeblock. The majority of his stock is casual menswear, with lots of well-known brands, but most of it is quite unisex. Both Thorsten and I have bought clothes there. All of Frayz’s clothes are impossibly cool and affordable.

Heather and Vaima at Frayznix
Vaima, a cinematographer friend, and I model clothes we bought during a recent film shoot in Frayznix’s shop.

Fraynix’s shop is in his home, but he’s usually open for walk-ins. All the details are on his Instagram feed.

Instagram Thrift: @The_Retro_Collection and @Pretty_Old_Thing_za

Some of the best thrifting in Joburg exists not inside brick-and-mortar shops, but inside Instagram.

My mom recently sent me money to buy a desperately needed new coffee table for my birthday. Thorsten and I found the coolest mid-century modern table from an Instagram account called @The_Retro_Collection.

New coffee table from the Retro Collection
Trixie the cat admires our beautiful coffee table, designed by acclaimed South African furniture-maker John Tabraham. The table is even nicer in person and it was a steal at R2500 (about $130).

The Retro Collection sells beautifully restored, mostly mid-century furniture; they keep the furniture in a storage unit in Constantia Kloof and advertise each piece on Instagram. I met Frederick, one of the Retro Collection owners, at the storage unit to check out the table. He delivered it to our house (for free!) two days later.

I also reconnected recently with a photojournalist friend, Madelene Cronje, who runs a super cool vintage account called @pretty_old_thing_za. I asked Madelene if she could find me a butter dish, as our old one broke, and she found me literally the coolest Art Deco butter dish ever made.

Vintage butter dish from Pretty Old Thing
Vintage butter dish displayed on vintage table. It’s almost too pretty to put butter in, but we do. (I removed the butter specifically for this photoshoot.) It cost R450 ($23), which is worth it for the most beautiful butter dish ever made, probably almost 100 years old.

Madelene has tons more beautiful stuff — mostly dish ware and home decor but also the occasional piece of furniture — all for sale on Instagram. She ships (around Joburg and to other places) at an additional cost.

Table and butter dish
One more look at the table/butter dish combo.

Upscale Thrift: Rags and Lace in Hyde Park, Yellow Pre-Loved in Melville

I don’t have any pictures of the shop but I want to do a quick shout-out to Rags and Lace (358 Jan Smuts Avenue), an upscale consignment shop in Hyde Park, where I recently snagged one of the most fabulous pairs of shoes I’ve ever owned.

Shoes from Rags and Lace
Rags and Lace sells lots of very fancy designer shoes (and designer clothes in general), all of excellent quality and condition. These Europa Art pumps weren’t cheap at about R1800 ($95), but they are beautiful and comfortable and I’ve never seen another pair like them. I have no regrets. Also I hadn’t bought a proper pair of dressy heels in more than a decade.

One more quick shout-out to Yellow Pre-Loved, a tiny shop (really more like a large closet) tucked into the back of the Bamboo Shopping Centre in Melville. Again, I don’t have good pictures. But Yellow Pre-Loved has a small but lovely collection of women’s fashion on consignment. I bought a spectacular pair of black leather boots there recently.

Yellow Pre-Loved
A bad iPhone picture of Yellow Pre-Loved.

In conclusion, here is a photo of me wearing a 100% thrifted outfit that I put together for a recent murder mystery night at the Rand Club. (My assigned character was a 1950s Drum Magazine journalist.) The hat is from Kensington Trading; the scarf, brooch, and pants are from Ietsie Thrift; the jacket is from Germiston Vintage Clothing; the shoes, of course, are from Rags and Lace. You can’t see them but I’m also wearing Art Deco earrings from Trouvé.

Heather wearing all thrifted clothes
I didn’t solve the murder but I was pleased with my ensemble.

I hope this post inspires you to do some Joburg thrifting expeditions of your own. It’s good for the earth and also way more fun than buying new crap in malls. The end.


  1. Laurie A Walker

    Love it!

  2. AutumnAshbough

    That table and butter dish are excellent finds. Hopefully your dish stays intact despite two cats!

    • 2summers

      Luckily my cats are both pretty good about not jumping up on the counter (hopefully I don’t jinx myself).

  3. dizzylexa

    All great finds from the table, butter dish, shoes etc. etc. I’ve been shopping like this for as long as I can remember and most of the stuff in my home is from mainly charity shops and thrift stores. It’s just such a rush when you find something great for next to nothing – well that sounds like I’m an addict, the kind I don’t mind being.

    • 2summers

      Agreed. I can’t believe it took me so long to get into this.

  4. Nkhensani

    Lovely post and beautiful finds on your part there!

    Thanks for sharing.

  5. Alex Stone

    Good day 12Summers – I hope this finds you fit and well! Otherwise.

    I’m having a book Dreams & Dust published by Footprint Press. It’s a unique history of SA. We’re doing a books launches around the country.

    Also a novel Taken, the first ever written in first-person Elephant

    The next is at 3pm on Sunday 20 August at the Johannesburg Country Club. I’d be most honoured if we could meet you there!

    I’d like to congratulate you kanohe te kaneohe (face to face) about your fine blog.

    It would be like all my Christmasses coming at once – so I do hope we can see you there.

    It would be wonderful too, if you’d consider doing a book review for either Dreams & Dust or Taken. What can we do to make this happen?

    All the best – and looking forward to meeting you!


    • 2summers

      That’s very cool 🙂

  6. Ms. Nancy Anne McDaniel

    THOSE SHOES ARE DIVINE! And your Murder Mystery ensemble must have been the highlight of the evening. And at The Rand Club too. Dreamy.

    • 2summers

      Haha thanks. There were several other brilliant outfits at the Rand Club, including a few 50s-era gangsters with (unloaded) guns.


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