Finding that unique piece, that garment with a past that you only ever dreamed of that fits you so well, and yet it’s one of a kind. And you find it right there, just as you’re about to give up after hours of looking. The attachment is instant, and when you find it on your travels, it will be a souvenir, a special reminder of your trip with its own history. Here’s where you can have that experience in Quito.
Located near Quito’s Basílica, visiting plaza Arenas requires time to check it all out. If you come through Vargas Street, you can walk its narrow roads that alternate between vinyl shops, appliance repair shops, and clothing. The pieces you can find are quite unique and from all sizes and styles. The area is not necessarily the safest, so do carry only essentials and, most of all, a willingness to know it is an experience in itself to go and explore the shop.
Amigui is a chain of thrift stores where you can sell and buy clothing. The first chain of its kind in the city is one of the most accessible places around town if you need to second-hand shop. It’s orderly and safe, and if you are new to thrift store shopping, this is an excellent place to have your first experience.
Uwi is an organic shop based in Tumbaco, Ecuador where they host fairs. The best thing is to first contact them, but it’s a unique place where people set up their stalls with used clothing and it becomes a small scale, Saturday morning Bazaar that has a unique vibe to it. Come for a morning to relax and meet people in Quito and have a good time. It’s one of the places where you can find unique pieces and learn about its history since the owner will be there selling it.
One of the first co-ops in the city, this is a place to gather and meet people who have a sustainable awareness. There is a farmers market each Wednesday, they also host fairs every once in a while, and the Casa del Arbol house – their headquarters – is a great place to learn about ways to contribute to the planet. Second hand fairs are a key component of their work.
The favorite place for wardrobe designers and art design gurus in Ecuador, Bazar Remate, located under the Republica Avenue overpass in Quito is a place run by nuns that has one of the cutest, high end places for second hand clothing and has been running for years. You can find clothes and designs not found anywhere else in the city.
Some things to consider:
Do check the clothes over carefully and look at the detail before buying.
If possible, try the clothes on, but be prepared as many places do not have a fitting room. If you aren’t able to try clothes on, try to figure out a way to check clothes will fit before going on your adventure.