If building a retro wardrobe or reducing your carbon footprint through thrifting is on your agenda, this article is for you. Thrifting, aka grown-up treasure hunt, is a wonderful pastime (and hobby). Part of the fun lies in rummaging through the unknown and wondering, “Where did they find this to begin with?” at any of the thrift and vintage stores in Hong Kong.
However, thrifting remains something of a niche activity unless you’re really into hand-me-downs and vintage items. Remember Macklemore’s 2012 hit Thrift Shop? In spite of the song becoming a global phenomenon, thrifting is still on its way to hitting the mainstream in the city, due to stigma and the general lack of direction on where to go. Also, where do you exactly find the cool (and genuine) stuff, right?
So today, we’re not only looking at thrift shops but stores with a little more steeze. After all, you don’t just want to bring home pre-owned clothes, you want items with style, a little history, and a whole lot of oomph. Time to shop until you drop at the best thrift and vintage stores in Hong Kong.
The best thrift and vintage stores in Hong Kong
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It’s not a stretch to say that A Break 93 champions sustainability, it’s simply the brand’s way of life. Browsing through the site’s brand story, you’ll notice how even the garment is personified—putting emphasis on the importance of recycling. As such, you can expect A Break 93’s selection to be recycled old clothing. Of course, in superb condition.
Its physical store in Causeway Bay boasts a range of quality pre-owned clothing such as printed shirts and leather jackets. Their selection of retro dresses will have you feeling like you’re getting ready for a time-travelling adventure. If you can’t make a trip to the store, don’t worry! Their online store has a wider variety as well—accessories, secondhand skirts, and even denim items.
(Image credit: abreak93/Instagram)
On the hunt for high-end vintage items? BangBang70s is the place to be. You’ll be spoiled for choice on the rows of brands like Burberry, Celine, Gucci, Prada, and many others. More than the vintage OOTDs you can score, the store itself is a treat. It’s like you’ve been transported to the set of a 1970s Hong Kong-set drama. Besides clothes, you’ll also find designer shoes and bags, and accessories.
Since BangBang70s only opens from 12 pm to 4 pm on weekdays, be sure to plan your visit accordingly. If you need more time to shop, visit during the weekend so you can stay until 6 pm. Or if pressed for time, it’s best to look at their Instagram page to see what they’re already selling to give you an idea of what to get.
(Image credit: Hong Kong Tourism Board)
Green Ladies is all about giving back to society. This social enterprise operated by St. James’ Settlement aims to change the consumption habits of Hongkongers, give secondhand clothing a second life, and empower women by introducing them to the labour force.
When it comes to describing the place, three words come to mind: spacious, industrial, and colour-coded. If anything, the ultra-organised clothing racks will leave you thinking, “Dang, we really are throwing away this much stuff at the environment’s expense?” It’s true (unfortunately), and thanks to Green Ladies for putting it into perspective.
Now, the responsibility of ending the cycle of waste falls on your shoulder, and your next step is quite simple—grab a few items of clothing and cherish them for years to come. You will find a range of garments and accessories suited for anything from your nine-to-five routine to retro throwback parties or a weekend stroll downtown. And trust me, the price is more than right. With multiple locations across Hong Kong, what’s your excuse not to visit?
(Image credit: sjsgreenladies/Instagram)
Does the family name Freis mean anything to you? Or are you just really into florals? If you said yes to either of those questions, Little DOT Vintage will be your next favourite place. An upper-floor shop situated in buzzing Tsim Sha Tsui, Little DOT Vintage is so stereotypically Hong Kong while faintly reminding you of the vintage clothing stores in Harajuku, Tokyo.
You can spot its neon sign from miles away, right beside new arrivals screened in enigmatic retro patterns and pinned against the window. A quick glimpse of the store’s Instagram or Facebook page would make one thing pretty clear: more is more under this roof. Think about everything that reminds you of the ‘50s to ‘80s fashion: loud prints, you got it. Ruffles and drapes, you bet. Colours, lots of them.
(Image credit: littledot__vintage/Instagram)
This one’s for the gents. Established in 1993, Midwest Vintage bridged the secondhand clothing markets in Russia, Eastern Europe, and Asia until transforming into a retail location to cater for the public’s need for authentic, American attire.
Think about quality, variety, and individuality. You might not physically be in the 50 states, but the worn-in denim, bandanas and grunge band T-shirts would beg to differ. To get the full US shopping experience, visit Midwest Vintage’s Etsy shop here.
(Image credit: Midwest-Vintage/Facebook)
Thrift shopping in Japan, South Korea, and USA is a whole unique experience. But thanks to Mee & Gee, you get to experience a little bit of that in Hong Kong. This store is all abo racks to its racks of affordable yet trendy vintage items. Find yourself spending hours, digging through a treasure trove of their signatures—Hawaiian shirts, British football jerseys, Japanese baseball uniforms, baggy denim, Y2K-style goods, and more. It’s no surprise it earned an almost cult-like following among thrifters.
Mee & Gee now has four stores in Hong Kong—Central, Wan Chai, and two in Mong Kok. In the rare case that you can’t find something you fancy in the Central branch, then you can always head over to Wan Chai or Mong Kok.
(Image credit: meegeeco/Facebook)
Calling all streetwear lovers! Mercury in the da house is your streetwear slash vintage store haven. But what makes this store even better is owner Raymond and his pure love for vintage clothing. You’ll likely find him manning the shop and donning vintage items himself. So, feel free to ask for style advice too if you want to be dressed to the nines.
Have fun looking through endless rows of clothing and shoes for both men and women from brands like Supreme, Stussy, and Visvim. An added treat is the pop culture memorabilia and various knicks and knacks all over the store including records and toy figurines. The shop only opens from 4 pm to 8 pm so make sure to plan ahead.
(Image credit: mercury_in_da_house/Instagram)
Get lost in Vintage Maze, a hub for all the retro merchandise. Cluttered (read: loosely organised in a system that just works) with novelties, trinkets and clothing trawled from across the world, this store is a retired world adventurer’s attic conjured up for your patronage.
A maximalist at heart with a taste for old Americana aesthetic, Vintage Maze attracts flocks of like-minded individuals with its extensive line-up of T-shirts, printed bowling shirts and denim outerwear. Browse to your heart’s content as time freezes and nostalgia fills the air. Vintage Maze also has multiple stores across Hong Kong, so it’s time to go shopping.
(Image credit: vintagemaze/Facebook)
What sets The Fresh Trench apart from the other thrift and vintage stores is that it’s only open via appointment. That way, it provides some feeling of exclusivity but also intimacy. Until most recently, the store only sold online but given the high demand, they have started to accept visitors.
You can shop quietly while digging through the various handpicked garments. Whether you’re looking for oversized hoodies and jackets or hand-printed Y2K T-shirts, they have plenty of that. After all, their mission is to “deliver the freshest dimes from the trenches”.
(Image credit: thefreshtrench/Instagram)
(Hero image credit: midwestvintage/Instagram, Feature image credit: littledotvintage/Facebook)
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