Thrifting to save your wallet…and the earth

Upcycling, or reusing older materials to create something new and restoring value, is part of the ethos of living in the Pacific Northwest, so it’s no surprise that thrifting has become increasingly popular in the Seattle area. Here are some reasons why:

Thrifting is helpful for students on a tight budget. In addition to what you learn in the classroom, an important part of college life is learning how to live on a tight budget. Thrifting is a great way to stretch limited funds when you’re trying to pay for rent, groceries, and tuition.

Thrifting is eco-friendly. Fast fashion is all about sporting the newest trends at a low cost, but the chemicals used to make cheap fashion pollutes the environment, even as laborers work in poor conditions in these industries. Millions of tons of clothing end up in landfills every year. Thrifting helps to end this waste as it gives old pieces extended lives. 

Thrifting is a great way to keep your wardrobe fresh or add a vintage twist. Are you looking for something swingy and bright from the 60s? Looking for the high waistlines of the 80s and 90s? Thrifting is a great way to add vintage pieces to your closet and achieve a one-of-a-kind look that can’t be found in stores today.

Some thrift stores use proceeds to benefit your community. It’s always fun to shop for a good cause. Many thrift shops in the area donate all or part of the proceeds of their sales to causes close to their hearts.

Cherry Consignment in West Seattle doubles as a drop-off point for used formal dresses for the Ruby Room, a program that provides low-income teens with free dresses for school dances! Lifelong Thrift Store benefits a group by the same name that provides services for those who live with chronic illnesses. And of course, Goodwill is a popular spot for donating and shopping, but their ultimate mission is to provide job training, education, and basic services to those in need.

Next time you’re contemplating where to shop, consider some thrift stores that feed back into their communities.

Where can you thrift around Seattle?

Gold Dogs

(5221 Ballard Ave NW, Ste A, Seattle, WA 98107)

Gold Dogs has a fun Americana vibe with a well-curated selection of accessories and home goods, as well as a great collection of denim items. Gold Dogs is known for their boots, so make this your first stop if you’re looking for your next statement piece.

Red Light Vintage 

(4560 University Way NE, Seattle, WA 98105)

Red Light Vintage is a Seattle thrifting cornerstone. Their storefront has multiple levels that focus on vintage pieces, but come October, this is the perfect location to scout for this year’s Halloween costume. They keep a wide array of costumes, wigs, and more on hand.

Lifelong Thrift Store

(312 Broadway E., Seattle, WA 98102)

Lifelong Thrift Store carries two floors worth of clothing and shoes as well as home goods, perfect for finding a unique piece to make your dorm room feel like home. Additionally, money from your purchase goes toward Lifelong, which provides services for people living with chronic illnesses.


During a pandemic, it can be harder to get out and around the city. Be sure to bring a mask, social distance, and sanitize often. If you’re looking for an alternative way to shop, some of these locations offer online browsing as well. You never know when you’ll find your next favorite jacket or the comfiest boots to wear on your Seattle adventures, so good luck!

Become a Student
See how SPU can help you achieve your academic and career goals!
Discover SPU