Despite the common negative stigma carried with thrift shopping, there has been a shift in culture. A surge of thrift shops in Beirut has seen the light as the crippling economic crisis tremendously hindered people’s purchasing power.
The Lebanese pound keeps falling against the dollar daily. With that, comes sky-high rocketing prices. Individuals, whether locals or expats, have found thrifting to be an alternative way of buying goods that doesn’t break the bank and might arguably be the best thing one can do for the environment.
Not only is buying pre-owned items pocket friendly and environmentally sustainable, but it also helps individuals adopt a unique style through finding vintage pieces that you wouldn’t be able to find in today’s modern market.
In fact, timeless style is believed to outlive any trends.
With that being said, we gathered a list to make the search for versatile thrift shops in Lebanon much easier.
Founded in 2013, Depot-Vente is one of the most in-demand vintage shops in Beirut. When asked about her approach, Nawal Akl, the owner of this unique vintage destination, told Vogue Arabia, “I am anti-marketing and anti-conformism.”
“The clothes at my shop are generally a lot cheaper and more ‘stylish’ than the equivalent in a regular store. For most of our clients, who are young people, this is of great help, especially since unemployment rates have skyrocketed,” she told Annahar.
As the name suggests, Depot-Vente is located in a tiny studio in Beirut’s hip Mar Mikhael neighborhood and could also be found online at @depotventebeirutonline. The clothes are carefully curated for customers to almost always find pieces that reflect their personal style.
“You have to love your body, and bring forward the parts of your body that you love the most,” Akl, the photographer at Depot-Vente told Vogue Arabia, adding: “Being timeless is a way to be eternal.”
#2 FrontYard Clothing
When talking about the benefits of thrifting, Razan Ali, the owner of Frontyard Clothing, believes that a lot of customers discovered their sense of fashion and individuality in the way they dress after they’ve adopted thrifting.
Razan also emphasizes the fact that thrifting is fundamentally beneficial for the environment.
“The thrifting industry saves tons of clothes from getting into landfills and provides the opportunity for them to be repurchased and reused,” she said to Annahar. “Almost 60% of clothes produced worldwide are made of synthetic material that will take ages to decompose, so by buying secondhand you are contributing to less plastic waste.”
Razan’s store FrontYard Clothing has everything you possibly need from colourful jackets to vintage jeans.
The store that will definitely upgrade your closet can be found online through Instagram under the username @frontyardclothing.
#3 Garage Souk Lebanon
“One man’s trash is another man’s treasure,” is the logo behind the Garage Souk that pops up strictly on Saturday and Sunday in Beirut from 9 a.m. till 9 p.m.
A souk to help every man and woman make extra pocket money from selling their pre-loved items, including clothing.
Garage Souk is in Mar Mikhael on Al-Naher street across from Midtown Supermarket and can be found at @garagesouklebanon.
#4 Second Base
A concept store created to give a second chance to pre-loved clothes while maintaining a humanitarian cause. It was created to feature and sell vintage, hipster, and extroverted clothing pieces.
Second Base doesn’t only sell vintage and thrift items but also gives clients the opportunity to sell their clothes in return for 25% cash back and 50% store credit.
Second Base is located in the heart of Gemmayze, Beirut. You can check it out on Instagram at @secondbase.me.
#5 Tripoli’s Thrift Shops
A walk down any of Tripoli’s streets will offer you dozens of thrift shops lined next to each other available to cater to your fashion needs.
Not only will you be finding vintage pieces for cheap and contributing to the benefit of the environment, you’ll also be directly uplifting families who are drowning in poverty due to the crippling economic crisis.
Their prices are beyond reasonable, and it’s guaranteed that you’ll find whatever you’re looking for while simultaneously helping disadvantaged families.
#6 Sixth Dimension Shop
An online store founded by Lebanese teens Julie and Marie, who first started off selling their pre-loved clothing items through Instagram. Now, they’re running a store with over six thousand active followers impatiently waiting for the girls to drop new vintage pieces every week!
“We are two sisters behind Sixth Dimension, one of us (Marie) is the photographer and the other (Julie) is the main model,” the duo told The961. “It was never in our plans to start an online store. It was during quarantine when we started watching movies that talk about creating companies, we ended up feeling so motivated to create something.”
“We started selling clothes from our wardrobe, and our items were selling out quickly. We began delivering them ourselves,” the team added. “Our growth was incredibly fast, and we started searching for vintage pieces to sell them on our store.”
Now, the Sixth Dimension shop has its own website, 24/7 service, and worldwide shipment.
Julie, whose only 14 years old, studies at home and runs the business alongside her sister Marie whose 19 years old taking a gap year from college to invest more time in the business.
Only a month ago, the two sisters started manufacturing their first line of products exclusively in Lebanon!
“To anyone who wants to create an online shop, go step by step. Take good pictures, and make sure whatever you sell that you’re absolutely in love with it,” the sisters behind Sixth Dimension told The961. You can connect with the store on Instagram at @sixthdimension.shop.
#7 Pink Attik
Pink Attik is an online thrift store that encourages people to re-think their day-to-day decisions, whether it’s how often they buy new clothes or what they end up doing with the ones they no longer wear.
The online store is the perfect destination for anyone who is concerned about sustainability and the future of the planet. This store is kind of cool as you can scroll through the website to check out vintage and pre-owned pieces, and also sell your own items!
Pink Attik is considered to be the baby of Elsa and Maya, two girls who met through their love of fashion and beauty and became best friends.
The idea of launching a second-hand e-store became a reality due to the Lebanese market, which the owners of Pink Attik thought lacked options when it comes to thrifting.
It is expected that more and more people in Lebanon will be jumping on the bandwagon of thrifting. Making a conscious decision to help local businesses as well as improving the environment will lead to advantages that far outweigh those of the fast fashion industry.