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A Thrift Lover's Guide to Cape Town

Thrift stores can be treasure troves of fashionable finds
Thrift stores can be treasure troves of fashionable finds | © Maskot / Getty Images
It’s easy to get caught up in a cycle of buying brand spanking new and trend-led pieces for our wardrobes and homes, but it’s not a savvy approach if you want to stand out from the crowd, nor if you have an eye on sustainability. In Cape Town, we’ve got the inside track to the thrift shops and flea markets that show that some things only get better with age. Here’s your itinerary.
The thrifting landscape in Cape Town is vast © M.Sobreira / Alamy Stock Photo

Milnerton Flea Market

Bazaar, Market
Milnerton Flea Market
© Milnerton Flea Market
While they are by their very nature a bit hit and miss, everyone loves a good car boot sale. Half of the fun is in the experience – and this is definitely the case at Milnerton Flea Market in the Northern Suburbs of Cape Town. This outdoor market is about a 10-minute drive from the city centre and usually features around 250 stalls trading the usual antique tea sets, glassware, old car parts and war medals.
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Glitterati

Shop
Stocked with womenswear and men’s fashions from the 1950s to the 1980s, Glitterati will whisk you on a style journey through the ages. Much like Secondhand Rose (below), this retro store at Long Street Arcade covers all the bases, from vintage costume jewellery to hats, gloves, suitcases, shoes and scarves.
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Kalk Bay Vintage

Shop, Store
Kalk Bay Vintage
© Kalk Bay Vintage
About an hour from the centre of Cape Town, the seaside town of Kalk Bay is charming for a number of reasons: its iconic lighthouse, its fish and chips and not least its thrifting landscape. You’ll need a car to get out here, but the latter is particularly worth the drive for all of the curios you’ll stumble across. Take a trip down Memory Lane (the road is actually called Memory Lane) to discover the quaint Kalk Bay Vintage. You can kill over an hour in this shop, which stocks military paraphernalia, silverware and bric-a-brac that the owner has collected over the past 25 years.
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Anything Goes

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Anything Goes
© Anything Goes
As the name suggests, Anything Goes doesn’t fall neatly into any category when it comes to its stock; anything goes here. Alongside second-hand, this store, based in Hout Bay, prides itself on a mixture of quality upcycled goods alongside some new stock. You’ll be as likely to find pre-loved furniture that can easily be restored with a bit of sanding and a lick of paint, as you will bric-a-brac and household appliances.
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Second Hand Rose

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Since the 1970s, Secondhand Rose in Claremont has been a favourite destination for stylists, film costume designers and those with a penchant for styles of bygone eras such as the 1950s. You’ll find original vintage womenswear, costume jewellery, bags, hats and scarves in this treasure trove. And if you have something to sell, you can trade it in for cash at the store.
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This article is an updated version of a story by Andrew Thompson.

These recommendations were updated on February 13, 2020 to keep your travel plans fresh.