Sure, in New York City, shopping can be fairly self-indulgent – not to mention pricey. If you’re smart about it, however, you can make it a cost-effective and altruistic hobby. Manhattan is packed with thrift stores that use the sale of used/donated merchandise to support local charities. Here’s where to start. By Kimberly Rae Miller.
Foursquare’s Favorite: Cure Thrift Shop
111 E 12th St
New York, NY 10003
Read all the tips on Foursquare
An East Village thrift store where proceeds are donated to charities dedicated to advancing Type 1 Diabetes research, Cure Thrift Store is a feel-good outpost (though critics do mention that it has a higher price point than many nearby vintage stores). Ask about frequent sales: typical promotions range from 25% off to $1 items.
Head to Foursquare to sort reviews by these tastes:
Spence-Chapin Thrift Shop
1850 2nd Ave
New York, NY 10128
The location of this thrift store at 96th Street makes it prime for amazing labels at discounted prices. The ladies who lunch donate their gently used designer duds to Spence-Chapin, and Spence-Chapin donates the proceeds to its charity of the same name that focuses energy on adoption and adoption rights.
Angel Street Thrift Shop
118 W 17th St
New York, NY 10011
If Chelsea is more your speed, check out the Angel Street Thrift Shop. Like Spence-Chapin, it’s got its fair share of designer options to choose from, and some great furniture finds as well. The store is neat and clean and free of that “musky” smell so many thrift shops come with.
Arthritis Thrift Shop
1383 Third Avenue
New York, NY 10021
This shop is small, and more of an adventure to rummage through. If you love to rummage through racks and racks until you find the diamond in the rough this store is up your alley. Low prices, and good quality used pieces, this is the quintessential thrift shop. Proceeds go toward the Arthritis Foundation.
Multiple locations throughout the city:
There are housing works thrift shops and each has its own distinct personality. Chances are if you’re looking for something classy and tasteful you’re going to want to hit up the uptown shops; something unique and vintage, downtown. There’s much to be had in the genres of books, clothing, house-wares and furniture. One of the great elements of Housing Works is that they are highly trafficked which means that their turnover of new product is ideal for multiple stop-bys a week. You won’t be staring at the same 1991 Prom dress for 6-months, things here go quick and are restocked even quicker. You can even browse merchandise and buy online. Proceeds go toward eliminating homelessness and HIV/AIDS.
286 3rd Ave
New York, NY 10010
This 3rd Ave gem is more like a museum than a store. If you’re looking for true vintage bric-a-brac, clothing, and furniture – this is the place to go. Walking in the doors of Vintage Thrift is like going back in time. The merchandise inside is in great condition; most likely you’ll go in expecting to browse and come out with a Madmen-era living room set. Proceeds support the UJC (United Jewish Council), a secular organization that provides meals to housebound seniors, community sponsored events, and shuttle bus service for the senior population of the Lower East Side.