Featured photo: Ephraim Udofia is the owner of Standout Vintage in Greensboro, one of the only streetwear vintage shops in the Triad. (photo by Maaroupi Sani)

It’s been more than a decade since Macklemore’s “Thrift Shop” dropped, immortalizing the pastime of “poppin’ tags” at thrift stores, sifting through racks and finding treasures among the piles. And though the song is 12 years old, thrifting and vintage culture is as popular as ever due to people’s concern for the environment, our drive to be unique individuals and, of course, because the rent is too damn high.

For our Thrift Issue this week, we’re highlighting a few of our favorite Triad spots to comb through, places specializing in vintage clothes, furniture and art, scrap supplies and everything in between. While we’ve tried to highlight our favorites, we know that this isn’t an exhaustive list of all thrifting locations in our area. So for each entry, we’ve added other similar locations to hit if you like that store. Happy hunting!


Freedom House Thrift has three locations in Greensboro. (photo by Maaroupi Sani)

Freedom House Thrift

  • 2811 Battleground Ave; 1312 Bridford Pkwy; 2811 Battleground Ave
  • helpfreedomhouse.org

Started in 2005, Freedom House is a Christian organization in Greensboro that has three separate thrift stores that directly fund the organization’s mission to help women who are recovering from substance abuse. All three stores are large and varied in their offerings from clothes to furniture to home decor. 

As part of its organization, Freedom House provides a residential program for recovering women, an aftercare program as well as a farm. The stores, which are similar in offerings and layouts to Goodwills, take donations including clothes, electronics, furniture, artwork, kitchen supplies and home decor.

(photo by Maaroupi Sani)

For those looking for alternatives to Goodwill or Salvation Army but want the same diverse options, Freedom House Thrift is a good bet. One thing to note is that because the shop is a religious one, there is Christian music that plays in the store which may not be everyone’s thing. However, the staff is friendly and the stores are well-organized and clean.

Compare: Most similar stores would be Goodwill or Salvation Army, both of which have locations across the Triad. — SM

The Goodwill Outlet Store in Greensboro is a unique, by-the-pound shopping experience. (photo by Maaroupi Sani)

Goodwill Outlet Store

  • 1235 S Eugene St.
  • triadgoodwill.org

At first glance the Goodwill off of South Elm-Eugene Street looks and operates as your typical Goodwill would, but upon closer inspection shoppers will find that on the other side, there is a twist. In the shop next to the regular store is a warehouse where shoppers are given a royal blue bin with wheels to push around and fill to their hearts consent. The fun part? Consumers are only charged $1.79 per pound for the items they find. Inside, approximately 65 bins piled withclothes, shoes or bags mixed together in no discerning order fill the warehouse.

“The secret is, some people think you’re supposed to come in here scan to find it but, you got to look through it,” says Demetrius Collins, manager of two years.

Some of Collins’ favorite finds include designer brands such as a Louis Vuitton belt and Gucci handbag.

Collins and his team restock the floor Monday through Friday and rotate between inventory on the hour so customers can avoid looking through piles that have already been picked through.

It’s the perfect place to spend a few hours digging for gold, because as Collins says, “If you look through it, you’ll find it.”

Compare: Honestly, there isn’t really another kind of place like this shop, which is what makes it so unique. — CS

Reconsidered Goods is every art lover and furniture flippers dream come true. (photo by Maaroupi Sani)

Reconsidered Goods

  • 4118 Spring Garden St.
  • reconsideredgoods.org

Stepping into Reconsidered Goods is a bit like stepping into a page of one of those old children’s books, I Spy.

In one corner you might find scraps of leather while in the next, you’ll uncover old tin cans or sheets of foam. As the city’s only “creative reuse center,” Reconsidered Goods acts as a haven for creative materials that have been donated with the hopes of being used for someone’s next project. In this way, local makers can find everything from basic art supplies like pens, markers, paint and paper to the more niche offerings like wood scraps, old cigar boxes, lace doilies, mannequin parts and old filmstrips. In fact, I scoured the store before my backyard wedding in 2021 and bought a rug, candles and frames that we used in our ceremony.

In addition to the craft-type items, the shop also has a number of vintage goods like clothes, shoes, toys, artwork and kitchenware.

In addition to the store offerings, Reconsidered Goods hosts a number of events throughout the year including things like drawing lessons, pop-up maker spaces around town, knitting classes and more.

So for anyone looking for something specific for an upcoming project, be it a school report, a wedding, a birthday or even a home renovation mission, Reconsidered Goods may have just what you’re looking for.

Compare: For those looking for more used art supplies, check out Shelf Life Art and Supply Co. which currently has an online shop at shelflifeart.com. There’s also the Scrap Exchange in Durham if you’re looking for another store front. — SM

The Red Collection is the perfect place to find unique furniture and home decor. (photo by Maaroupi Sani)

The Red Collection

  • 1411 Mill St. & 1201 S. Holden Road
  • theredcollectiononline.com

If Reconsidered Goods is like walking into a page of I, Spy, the Red Collection is like walking into a hodgepodge Rooms-To-Go.

Offering two locations for shoppers in Greensboro, the store is a furniture and antique consignment store that offers everything from big furniture like beds, couches, chairs and dining sets to smaller pieces like vases, paintings, lamps and curtains. Given their enormous sizes, these stores are the perfect place to spend a few hours on a lazy Saturday, walking in between the aisles, from “room” to “room.”

In the front of both locations is the showroom section where furniture and other decor is positioned to mimic actual rooms in one’s home. But the real treasures can often be found in the back areas of the stores which open up into a warehouse. In these spaces, smaller, vintage items like cast-iron pans, old golf clubs and unique rugs can be found laid out to the back corners of the room.

(photo by Maaroupi Sani)

And the most interesting part of the shopping experience is that each item comes with a base price, but with every passing week, the price of the item goes down. So a customer might find a lamp that they like for $40 one day, and then come back in about a month to buy the piece for $35.

In that way, the shopping experience is made even more entertaining because of the potential discounts. And like the motto says, “you may find something you never knew you wanted.”

Compare: Like used furniture? Check out Adelaide’s off Spring Garden Street or Twin Brothers Antiques across from the Holden Road location. — SM

Standout Vintage is one of the few streetwear vintage shops in the Triad. (photo by Maaroupi Sani)

Standout Vintage

  • 536 S. Elm St.
  • IN: @standoutvintage

At Stand Out Vintage, a vintage lover’s dream is made a reality, per their slogan.

If you’re looking for a vast collection of quality vintage memorabilia dating between the 1980s and 2000s and don’t have the patience to look through the clutter and stains of your traditional thrift store, this may be the place for you.

Ephraim Udofia, owner of Stand Out Vintage, curates pieces from designer brands, sportswear, vinyl records, boomboxes and much more. Many of these items are what kids would pray to get their hands on in Udofia’s younger years.

(photo by Maaroupi Sani)

Today you will find collectables such as sports memorabilia, including Michael Jordan’s Tar Heel and older collections of designer brands such as Tommy Hilfger, Baby Phat, and a pair of Coach kitten heels that may have you second guessing if you can fit a size 6.

Relocating from Merrick Drive just two years ago, the shop is currently in downtown Greensboro and features pieces ranging from as low as $5 to as high as $300.

Udofia says he started selling clothes that he thrifted in the student center of his alma mater, UNCG, in 2008. Udofia loved fashion, but not fast fashion. He wanted to express his individuality through his style, so he came up with the solution to explore local thrift shops instead.

It didn’t take long for the other students to notice, and this is why Udofia started Stand Out Fashion Closet, the original name of his startup.

“When I was in school, I always stood out, no matter where I was, plus I’m a big believer in God so that light also already makes me stand out. No matter what, I’m going to stand out.”

Compare: If fans are willing to travel to Winston-Salem, Off the Rack also offers used streetwear and vintage trends. — CS


Carolina Thrift

  • 2645 N. Main St. #105
  • carolinathriftinc.com

Imagine your favorite Goodwill store. Then place it in a large warehouse. Now double the size. That’s what Carolina Thrift in High Point is like.

Even though it may be a little grungier than other stores on this list, Carolina Thrift is a hidden gem when it comes to the thrifting scene in the Triad due largely to its sheer size and value. Those who lived in Greensboro about a decade ago may remember the location that they had in the city off of Market Street; the location in High Point is even bigger.

Organized not unlike a Goodwill, this giant thrift store offers everything from used clothes — which take up most of the space — to furniture and other household items. Like other thrift stores, it’s the perfect place if you’re hunting for something in particular. Also, with Goodwill’s base prices going up, shoppers may find that the value at Carolina Thrift is a little better. That’s also due to the pricing method the store employs which gives discounts to differing items every day based on the color of the item’s tag. Also, the store does half off of some items on Monday, which makes for an even better deal.

One note is that the restrooms and the fitting rooms are less than savory, so be prepared for that. Compare: Again, this store is most similar to Goodwill or Salvation Army, but Mega Thrift in Winston-Salem, which is also on our guide, is another good bet for those who like Carolina Thrift. — SM


While Happy Hour vintage is small, it’s got a wide array of great thrift finds. (photo by Kaitlynn Havens)

Happy Hour Vintage

  • 610 Trade St. NW
  • IN: @happyhourwsnc

Nestled in the heart of Trade Street is downtown Winston-Salem’s “happiest” thrift store. Happy Hour Vintage opened in 2021 as a vintage and thrift store where vibrant and eclectic pieces meet Dolly Parton wall art and a soundtrack that leaves downtown visitors tapping their feet. Both the style of clothing and the overall vibe of the store pay tribute to the Mid-Century Modern movement, Western memorabilia and the always in-style Pop-Art of the 1960s. What shoppers find when browsing the polyester and taffeta racks are less pillbox hats and vintage furs and more Brigitte Bardot-style bows and baby doll mini dresses.

For those looking for less downtown prices, the sale rack is lined with colorful sets and faded T-shirts from the ’90s and early 2000s. The front of Happy Hour greets Trade Street artists and consumers with nostalgic books and records, quilts and handmade local goodies. Customers can grab a pair of cat-eye sunglasses, high waisted jeans, a crocheted windmill and a Michelle Kwan-featured Sports Illustrated in this brightly-colored and lively spot.

Compare: Those who are fans of Happy Hour might also like Design Archives on West Fourth Street, Putting on the Ritz on Harvey Street or Revision Vintage and Vintage to Vogue in Greensboro. — KH

Mega Thrift is a beloved thrift store that competes with Goodwill and Salvation Army in Winston-Salem. (photo by Maaroupi Sani)

Mega Thrift

  • 1200 W. Clemmonsville Road
  • megathriftstore.com

It’s probably a good thing that I didn’t discover Mega Thrift until a few years ago. It’s by far my favorite thrift store in the Triad for clothes and for good reason. It’s like a Goodwill but with more offerings but nicer and more organized than Carolina Thrift.

(photo by Maaroupi Sani)

Plus, it also employs the same kind of pricing method that discounts different items  based on their tags. While it’s hard to really describe the difference between various thrift stores, which on their face seem fairly similar, the main thing about Mega Thrift is its variety in offerings and its quality. They have all kinds of clothes from sweaters to tank tops to shorts to skirts to formal dresses — all throughout the year. Some of my favorite pieces in my closet are from here. Another perk to this shop? It’s large number of fitting rooms. Unlike some thrift stores that only have two or three, Mega Thrift has no less than four large fitting rooms that are big enough to fit your cart and at least one other person, making it perfect for shopping with friends or family.

Compare: In size and offerings, this shop is most similar to local Goodwill or Carolina Thrift but the Winston-Salem Rescue Mission off of Oak Street would also be a good option. — SM

Mothership Studios is Winston-Salem’s newest thrift store. (photo by Kaitlynn Havens)

Mothership Studios

  • 239 W Acadia Ave.
  • IN: @mothership_wsnc

Winston-Salem’s newest vintage haven isn’t just a thrift shop, according to owner Liz Simmons, but a “vintage destination.” 

With nine contributing creatives, Mothership Studios is a place of discovery, reconstructed jewelry, flora, tarot, antique comics, oddities, art and, of course, vintage clothing, furniture and wares.

“I’m not a ‘business’ owner,” Simmons says. “This location is a studio for creatives and for the community. We wanted to create a space that people enjoy being at, where you can sit outside with a bite to eat, make a spell jar, plant some flowers, and you can grab a really great vintage piece.”

That community mindset is obvious in each bright, hand-painted corner of the former auto-repair shop. What was once a closed garage door is now draped in colorful fabrics, open to showcase a table of neighborhood artists who spend morning to sunset at a folding table, repurposing metal jewelry and hand tie dying vintage sweatshirts.

Mothership Stuido’s vendors offer everything from upcycled and redesigned clothing and jewelry, macabre art, Mid-Century Modern housewares and an environment that could  feed the senses for days.

Compare: If you like oddities, also check out Major Tomms on Trade Street or maybe even check out Cook’s Flea Market for a variety of offerings. — KH

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