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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.