Thrifting other than H&M

by Rebecca Fiore / Beacon Staff • November 14, 2014

So you’ve gone to the Garment District one too many times and everyone knows your name now. Maybe you need a change of pace. There’s tons of places to shop around Boston without spending two paychecks and applying for another loan. 


A classic option where you can get everything from sweaters to silverware. The store that was founded in Boston by Reverend Edgar J. Helms in 1902 now has over 2,900 shops nationwide. Goodwill also prides itself on hiring a diverse group of people, including seniors, veterans, and people with disabilities. There are five locations in the Greater Boston area, including Allston, Jamaica Plain, and Roxbury. You can even bring in clothes, toys, accessories, books, or whatever to donate. Don’t knock it before you try it!

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Buffalo Exchange

For a trendier kind of thrift store, Buffalo Exchange is definitely the place to be. Most items range around $15, but there are plenty of cheaper items. You can go in and trade clothes, or get cash for them on the spot. There’s only around 45 stores across the country, but one is located right on Harvard Avenue in Allston. Grab some designer labels, vintage finds, and, no doubt, one-of-a-kind pieces.

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If you asking yourself the ever prevailing question of “how can I be both fashionable and charitable,” then Boomerangs is your answer. This isn’t your average store, since its profits go to the nonprofit AIDS Action Committee of Massachusetts to help prevent HIV infections and provide for the thousands of people living with AIDS in the state. There are four locations only in Boston: Jamaica Plain, West Roxbury, Central Square, and the South End. Similar to Goodwill, this place isn’t just full of clothing. It has books, furniture, and some gently used electronics.

Urban Renewal

Four locations throughout the country and one in Allston. This spacious store has clothes, furniture, books, toys, linens, skis, and so much more. You name it, and they probably have it. It should just be renamed “Rack City,” because with around 5,000–10,000 items daily, it will take you a while to scan every item meticulously. The prices are as low as you are going to find them, too—trust me, I got a skirt for $2.


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This isn’t a thrift store, but it sure looks like one from the outside. It’s expensive and high end, but the experience of walking in will make you feel like you’ve gone to Neverland. Without giving away too much, the outside doesn’t look like a clothing store. In fact, it just looks like a beat-up convenience store with a grungy man working at the register. He won’t tell you how to get in, and I won’t either, but here’s a hint: Grab a Coke.

via flickr via creative commons