The Best Thrift Stores In Cape Town

The Best Thrift Stores In Cape Town

Cape Town is seen as one of the two fashion hubs of South Africa. And it comes as no surprise that this is the city at the fore of all of South Africa's thrifting. That said, the thrifting space has grown significantly over the past few years.

Even more, the sustainable fashion movement has started to pick up, especially since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

the best thrift stores in cape town

More than anything, consumers are becoming more continuous about their fashion consumption. Fewer people are doing fashion hauls because they have realized that trends do not typically stay in fashion for longer than a season. There is also the issue that some timeless trends come in and out of style.

More than anything, consumers are becoming more continuous about their fashion consumption. Fewer people are doing fashion hauls because they have realized that trends do not typically stay in fashion for longer than a season. There is also the issue that some timeless trends come in and out of style.

For instance, two-piece co-ord sets have not been a massive trend since the 80s, but now it is starting to come back into fashion. This shows that fashion is so fluid. Because more people are going for quality over quantity, many are always looking for authentic pieces that have character but are not typically sold in stores anymore.


That said, there are some incredible thrift stores around the count, especially in Cape Town. The city is so rich with culture, especially in the thrifting space. Below is a list of places in Cape Town where you can get good-quality pre-loved clothing. First, we have a few physical markets. 

I for one love a good market where you can get food, plants, drinks and even clothes all in one spacious vibey place. It is also an incredible place to bring along friends and family and enjoy each other's company.


In my opinion, this is what makes the whole thrifting experience so much better. Honestly, thrifting with friends sounds like a dream, and Cape Town is riddling with cute markets with vintage clothing for sale. Some of these include:

Outdoor Markets

Milnerton Flea Market

the best thrift stores in cape town

Any savvy shopper knows that you can find the best items at car boot sales. It is where you are most likely to discover some incredibly unusual goods. However, there is typically something worthwhile if you are ready to put in the effort and dig through piles of different items. 

The market is situated in the northern suburbs of Cape Town. This outdoor market is about a 10-minute drive from the city center and usually features around 250 stalls trading the usual antique tea sets, second-hand clothing, glassware, old car parts, and war medals. This market is not limited to clothes alone making the entire shopping experience even better.

Novalis Thrift Fest

the best thrift stores in cape town

The Monthly Novalis Thrift Fest is the ideal location to purchase everything new, used, or homemade. The wonderful thing is that anyone can join. The goal of this market is to make money off your pre-loved goods, which may be a treasure to someone else. 

You don't have to be a vintage collector or store owner to participate. The market has a warm vibe, and some calm, acoustic music is playing in the distance.

Vegan Goods Market

the best thrift stores in cape town

Every second and last Sunday of the month, the Vegan Goods Market is held. People may quickly and comfortably shop for vegan, environmentally friendly, and cruelty-free food, drink, home goods, and personal care items in this warm and accepting environment. To give you a fully sustainable shopping experience, we've also started working with the Thrift Fest to organize Vegan Thrift Markets during our month-end markets. 

It serves as a gathering place for people from all walks of life to connect with those who share their path, support small, local businesses, and spend quality time with their friends, family, and canine companions too.

Online Thrift Stores

Next up, we have a few brilliant online stores based in and around Cape Town. Although not everyone can access physical thrift stores, quite a few stores have moved entirely online. This is so helpful in making vintage clothing more accessible to so many people. It is also a convenient alternative because you shop online, in the comfort of your own space, and it gets delivered straight to you. Some of these stores include:

Be Mine, By Gones

Social media has become incredible, making thrifting accessible to all, especially on Instagram. Be Mine, By Gones offers high-quality vintage items at affordable prices by scrolling through their Instagram page. All your items are delivered to you directly, allowing you to get your vintage wear while relaxing in the comfort of your home.

Wisi-Oi Marketplace

the best thrift stores in cape town

Wisi-Oi (pronounced we-see-owe-eye) which stands for Wear It, Sell It. Own It. is another strong contender for those looking to shop vintage online. However, Wisi-Oi is an online pre-loved fashion marketplace, unlike most online stores. This means they have a collection of different pre-loved clothing sold by various independent vendors. Local is lekker! 

What is remarkable about this marketplace is that it allows sellers to create their own stores and run them as if they were their own independent stores. In addition, it will enable these sellers to get a feel of the online thrifting market without the hassle of doing all the marketing because the Wisi-Oi team makes it a point to market their sellers.

Better Half

Sustainability is ingrained in the Better Half culture. While they promise to always think about the effects of each purchase, they aim to make more responsible decisions as they develop. 

They have even collaborated with a sustainable packaging company to ensure compostable packaging for their customer.

Vintage And The City

Last year, Vintage and The City recently closed its physical location in favor of an entirely online presence. They have instead focused their efforts on building an eCommerce website. 

This shop sells some genuinely exceptional items. While there is much to be said for browsing a physical second-hand store, we must commend companies adopting it.

Physical Stores

Last but not least, we have the quaint physical stores scattered around Cape Town in our categories of places to thrift. What is so lovely about having such a wide variety is that you can walk in and sample the clothing yourself, which is such an elevating experience in and of itself. Here are some of our favourite stores:

Secondhand Rose

Secondhand Rose is a treasure trove of vintage finds that first debuted in 1971. It is a terrific location to find some designer pieces in addition to costume jewelry. The staff is knowledgable enough and can provide a lot of advice for selecting outstanding pieces because they have considerable knowledge of fashion over the decades. 

You can find a fantastic ensemble for your upcoming festival with the aid of an eye like this. Since the 1970s, stylists, film costume designers, and others who enjoy vintage fashion from earlier decades, such as the 1950s, have made Secondhand Rose in Claremont. 

This goldmine has authentic vintage apparel, costume jewelry, bags, caps, and scarves. And what's better is that if you have something to sell, you can do so at the store!


A vintage and retro clothes store is called Glitterati. It offers apparel for men and women from the 50s to the 80s. Their apparel has lasted a long time and is generally of a higher quality than contemporary goods. There has been a vintage renaissance as "old" has once again become "new," making these products highly sought-after. 

Glitterati will take you on a trip through fashion history with its clothing collection for men and women from the 1950s to the 1980s. This retro shop on Long Street Arcade offers everything from vintage costume jewellery to hats, gloves, bags, shoes, and much much more.

ChicMamas Do Care

ChicMamas Do Care is a force to be reckoned with. They have become quite a presence on the pre-loved market scene. ChicMamas Do Care is known for its high-quality clothing, shopping experience and the events it host. They also offer giveaways for customers participating in their volunteer team or by making purchases at Chic Mamas! We love a store with a cause.

Afraid of Mice

A luxurious culture that is kind to your money is what you get when you visit Afraid of Mice in Cape Town. It is enjoyable to browse this iconic establishment with all its quirks and character, especially with its generous rails and fresh sense. Each item is there because it has been carefully considered and selected. This is the one-stop shop in your neighbourhood if you are looking for name brands that are surprisingly affordable.

Never New

In Cape Town, the Never New Store is one of those must-visit vintage shops. This might be the perfect coat if you're searching for something new to wear at Afrikaburn, Vortex, or any other South African music festival. 

They provide a variety of fantastic items, including shoes and costume jewellery. Nothing keeps you warm on chilly festival nights like one of their signature vintage pieces, especially if you just have to stay for that next best song.

Help The Rural Child

As you know, we love a store with a cause, and Help The Rural Child is just that. They are not only a vintage clothing store, but they sell so much more. Currently, Help the Rural Child operates nine stores: a furniture store in Retreat, two bookshops in Mowbray and one in Kirstenhof, four apparel and bric-a-brac stores in Cape Town CBD, Sea Point, and Mowbray, a Mobile Bookshop that travels to schools, and one in Mowbray. How absolutely fantastic?

These are just some of our favourite spots that we have identified. But do not be fooled, there is so much more Cape Town has to offer. So grab some friends and go exploring. Snap some of your favourite stores. Thrifting is always better with friends, so use this as a starting guide for your next big thrifting trip. It is guaranteed to be nothing but fun.

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