If there’s one thing Montreal and Macklemore have in common, it’s their love of thrift shopping.
Truly, there’s nothing like diving into a colourful rack of secondhand clothes and finding the sweatshirt you’ve been trying to find for months, or a skirt that fits like a glove and matches with everything you own.
As post-lockdown makeovers begin, it can be difficult to revamp your style in a way that is sustainable, ethical, and won’t make your wallet cry. Despite the vast big brand thrift stores like Value Village and the Salvation Army, finding something decent often takes many hours and hundreds of failed trips to the fitting rooms.
If many prior unsuccessful attempts to go thrift shopping in Montreal have discouraged you, we’ve compiled a dozen independent second-hand boutiques that will give you a renewed love of thrifting.
With two locations in the Mile-End and one in Little Italy, Empire Exchange is bound to have something for all fans of colourful clothes. Since it’s an exchange-based business (as the name suggests), you can book an appointment with one of their buyers and donate some of your own clothes for store credit or cash.
Annex is Empire Exchange’s sister store, so expect a similarly artsy and funky vibe as soon as you enter. Don’t get lost in all those colourful racks of vintage clothes!
Ruse Boutique is all about things chic and sophisticated. They carry authentic pieces from high-end brands like Alexander Wang, Christian Louboutin, and Prada. Be quick though, good pieces get sold out extremely fast!
Ex-Voto is your one-stop shop for anything local and sustainable. They sell vintage garments and handmade goods from local artisans.
If you like the idea of exchanging your clothes and making space in your wardrobe for new pieces, you can sign up for a membership at Shwap Club. Bring your own items and exchange them for credits to be used towards stuff you’ll actually wear.
Kapara Vintage specializes in diversity and choice. Their extensive catalogue of secondhand and reworked pieces is enhanced by their mission to donate portions of their profits to various local non-profits. Their commitment to philanthropy makes them one of the best thrift stores in Montreal.
Eva B and Eva D
A staple of the local fashion scene, Eva B has one of the biggest collections of secondhand goods among independent thrift stores in Montreal. They’ve recently opened another store across from the original at Saint-Laurent street, Eva D, which carries a curated selection of designer and trendy pieces.
Era Vintage Wear
Looking for an outfit that embodies a specific decade? Perhaps a 60s chic dress of 80s prom attire? You’ll find exactly what you need at Era Vintage Wear.
What’s three floors high and carries the funkiest clothes in Montreal? Yep, it’s Floh Market. This huge shop is divided into smaller sections where different fashion buyers display their fresh finds.
Le Dressing is a hidden treasure when it comes to vintage boutiques. You’ll find contemporary styles and designer brands for really good prices.
LNF — which stands for Lost and Found — is a dream come true for vintage fashion lovers and secondhand luxury addicts. They have very reasonable prices for the high-quality designer merchandise they carry.
Citizen Vintage is another go-to thrift shop in Montreal. Not only do they sell amazing secondhand styles, but they have their own fashion line. Their self-titled collection, Studio Citizen, is handmade with deadstock materials as an extra way to enjoy fashion sustainably.