Why pay full price when you have next-to-new Austin fashion at your fingertips? Thrift shopping is nearly as ubiquitous to Austin as live music and food trucks, but it can be hard to get your foot in the thrifting door.
No need to fear: we've got a complete guide to the smorgasbord of Austin thrift shops right here.
Best bang for your buck
Goodwill Bins, 6505 Burleson Rd.
If you're pinched for cash or looking for adventure, head to the Goodwill bins for the cheapest options on the market. At $1.49 a pound, it's easy to walk away with 10 or more items for less than $10. This is where the unselected items at Goodwill stores lay to rest, so there can be slim pickings. But that makes it that much sweeter when you find a designer item, tag intact. Come ready to be assertive—each time new bins are brought out, it's prime real estate, and a crowd quickly gathers around the new picks.
Thrift Land, 512 W. Stassney Ln., Ste. 107A
For anything from 99-cent T-shirts to brand-new designer leather pants, head to Thrift Land in South Austin. The store has been around since 1985 and has a huge variety of men's and women's clothing, home decor and even books and furniture. Every section is color-coded, so come with a desired color scheme in mind. Bring cash as well—the store is cash-only, but there is an ATM inside just in case you forget.
Thrift land is packed with outfits for activities from business meetings to a girl's night out. (Claire Partain/Austonia)
Thrift Town, 5726 Menchaca Rd.
Thrift Town shares a strip with a Goodwill, but the store consistently brings better style and lower prices to the table. Thrift Town's slightly trendier cousin, Thrift Land, is also conveniently located nearby in South Austin. There aren't as many home furnishings as Thrift Land, but they more than make up for it with with mannequins serving as style inspo above the aisles and plenty of business-casual clothing appropriate for any workplace meeting.
Thrift Town employees regularly outfit mannequins with their favorite picks. (Thrift Town/ Facebook)
Salvation Army, 4216 S. Congress Ave.
While you can find nearly anything at Salvation Army, which is famous for its half-off days, you can find high-quality used furniture—and a healthy selection of it—without breaking out the piggy bank. Plus, if you need to rid yourself of extra furniture, the Salvation Army will come to pick up items directly from your house so you can spare yourself the sweat. Donations and support go to those in need—the non-profit organization donates 82 cents on every dollar to services that help the less fortunate. While the Salvation Army does not help move furniture to homes, several services like Easymove and Dolly will help you get it where it needs to go.
Far Out Home Furnishings, 1500 W. Ben White Blvd.
This vintage, upcycled and knick-knack emporium is so filled with upcycled goodies and eclectic art pieces that they have a dedicated "Funkyard" to house it all. This garage-sale-like thrift shop carries used fashion, indoor and outdoor furniture, musical instruments, jewelry, frames and whatever else your heart desires, so long as you have the stamina to find it. The store offers an online tour and regularly updates its inventory, so you'll have an idea of what's in store before you head over.
Pavement Austin, 611 S. Lamar Blvd.
Flaunting a colorful exterior to match the sprawling, eccentric interior, Pavement has a carefully curated selection of clothing for the modern fashionista. Filled with a mixture of new, used and vintage fashion and accessories, Pavement caters to all aesthetics at both of its Austin locations. With clothes for all bodies, Pavement sets itself apart by hand-selecting the items it puts on the sales floor instead of relying on brand or release year, so you will likely find something for everyone.
Flamingo Vintage Pound, 2915 Guadelupe St.
Flamingo is the cutting-edge of thrift fashion, but don't take our word for it: influencer and former Texas State student Wisdom Kaye, who has racked up 6 million TikTok followers for his keen fashion sense, has been known to frequent it. Inside is a hodgepodge of eccentric Austin fashion. Find vintage Harley Davidson tees or funky bell-bottom pants in the store's curated sections. Come here looking for discounted fashion-forward items instead of extra-low prices. Flamingo is significantly more pricey than the Goodwill bins, but it still follows a discounted pay-by-the-pound model.
St. Vincent de Paul, 901 West Braker Ln.
An Austin favorite, this donation-based store known simply as "Vinny's" comes with all the trappings of a Goodwill or Salvation Army but with a more curated selection. Look for trendy clothing, wood furniture or eclectic jewelry at this North Austin thrift shop.
Passport Vintage, 2217 S. 1st St.
Looking for quality vintage denim? With over 20,000 Instagram followers, Passport Vintage has established itself as a vital storefront for tasteful shoppers. It's not the cheapest, however—come here if you're willing to pay near-new prices for authentic vintage items. Aside from its Instagram, the store also has a website and a brick-and-mortar store open seven days a week.
Ballin' on a budget
Uptown Cheapskate, 3005B S. Lamar Blvd.
If you love name-brand clothing but don't love draining your bank account, Uptown Cheapskate is the place to shop. The store has brought upcycling to the mainstream by buying and selling clothes brought in by customers, meaning you can shop for less and even make a quick buck while you're there. Clothes are chosen with a few criteria in mind: brand, date they were released and condition, so you may not sell everything you bring in, but you will walk out with something that was on boutique racks just a few months before.
Plato's Closet, 5400 Brodie Ln., Ste. 240
Fulfill your Instagram influencer fantasies without breaking the bank at Plato's Closet, the classic name-brand thrift store chain. It doesn't take much sifting to find Lululemon, Zara, Madewell and even high-fashion designer items within the curated store. Come with a bag of your old clothes, too, if you trust your fashion sense—they'll give you a couple bucks for whatever they like from your wardrobe.
Buffalo Exchange, 2904 Guadelupe St.
Buffalo Exchange has a reputation that precedes it as the premier designer thrift destination. Located just across the street from Flamingo, Buffalo Exchange is stocked with items straight from the closets of trendy University of Texas students living nearby. Grab an entire Gen Z outfit—from flame-shaped sunglasses to embroidered cowboy boots—and have change to spare. In our experience, the pants section has some of the best quality items on the thrifting market.
Uncommon Objects, 1602 Fortview Rd.
Uncommon Objects doesn't sell clothes, but it does sell used items from yesteryear. Down the eerie, cluttered aisles, you're likely to find old objects that confuse, delight, inspire and fright, but seeing that every item is used, it is thrifting in its own right. There's no true way to know what you'll find in the self-proclaimed "antiques Mecca" but a few staples include dolls, paintings, statues, skeletons, photos and old appliances. Whatever you take home, it will probably be older than you.
Supporting a good cause
Austin Pets Alive!, 1156 W. Cesar Chavez St. (multiple locations)
With three locations across Austin, all net proceeds go to the puppy-loving, no-kill Austin Pets Alive! Shelter. The boutique-style thrifts are a great place to find clothes for everybody, and you can donate your old items to help animals. Plus, if you're an APA! foster parent, you can enjoy 20% off every time you shop.
Treasure City Thrift, 2142 E. 7th St.
With the motto "solidarity not charity," Treasure City Thrift is a Black-owned shop that claims to be "the most affordable thrift store in Austin." The shop prides itself on educating the public on zero waste practices, inspiring art and creativity, making needed goods available for people who need them most and making monthly donations to the Really Really Free Market. You're likely to see a pop-up market outside the brightly-painted pink building when you visit and you might just catch the monthly 25-cent sale.
For the fashion challenged
Thrifted Feels ATX, 12700 Hill Country Blvd., Ste. G-125
Do you struggle to put together something fashionable in the morning? Ever wish you could just have someone do your shopping for you? Thrifted Feels ATX would love to be that personal shopper for you. A tried and true shopaholic, owner Dominique Kirven resells clothes that fit her personal aesthetic so you can fake it until you make it. She describes her style as nature-inspired with Earthy tones and textures, though there is always room for a little statement. You know what they say, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery!
Feathers Boutique Vintage, 1700B S. Congress Ave.
This vintage consignment shop has a brick-and-mortar storefront, but it's also got a fully-functional site and ships its items around the world. Since 2005, the shop has curated quality vintage items with an extra Austin flair. From bandanas and scarves to quality jeans, Feathers has a little bit of something for everyone.
Elephant Paths, Depop and Instagram pop-ups
More shoppers than ever are using their thrift expertise to create their own curated online shops. If you don't have the free time to head to your favorite shop, head to Instagram or Depop for pop-up thrift shops galore, including Elephant Paths, one of Austin's newest online stores. Austinite Aysia Jackson resells her favorite thrifted items for exceptionally low prices. Check her site for colorful jackets and blazers, go-to skirts and more as she continues to build up her inventory.
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Some workers are done being overachievers.
Whether they’re consultants or software engineers, they’ve noticed they can get a full day’s work done and even if they have time to do more, they’re not going to. It’s a practice that has lately come to be known as “quiet quitting,” or not going above and beyond the required tasks at work.
Jill Chapman, a local expert with HR solutions company Insperity, talked about how different definitions of the phrase might come down to the employee’s attitude. Whereas one worker might be disengaged, another could be practicing some work-life balance.
“From an employer's point of view, if you're paying somebody you're paying them to deliver the results that you agreed upon, right?” Chapman said. “As long as people are meeting their deliverables, if they close down their computer at five o'clock, that's kind of the expectation.”
In Austin, a major tech hub and city that has flooded with knowledge workers in recent years, conversations around quiet quitting might be heightened.
“The tech workers would very often be the ones that were kind of leading the charge, with new ideas and new ways of working—we'd see them kind of permeate their niche before it went out to the rank and file,” Chapman said. “So I think that there is a significant number of people who are talking about this in that community.”
Still, this approach to work isn’t all that new even if the phrase is. Essentially, people are doing what they’re being paid to do, explains Andrew Brodsky, a professor at the McCombs School of Business at the University of Texas at Austin.
“When you come from a society… where you get as much work from your workers as you possibly can for as little compensation as possible, it shouldn't be surprising when you have workers take the same perspective and try to do as little work as possible,” Brodsky said.
He’s studied idle time in the office and remote work and says that for many jobs, eight hours isn’t needed some days.
“On the days you have less to do, should you just sit there moving your mouse every so often so that Microsoft Teams shows that you're active to your boss or should you try to find a way to view that time productively?” Brodsky said. “Maybe further your career training, or just taking a break and recovering from work so that you can come back fresh or on a day that you are busier.”
My take on #quietquitting
With Gen Z’s recent entrance into the workforce, young workers have been tied to the “quiet quitting” trend. The hashtag for the term has racked up 12.9 million views on TikTok and The Wall Street Journal said professionals of that generation “are saying no to hustle culture.”
But Brodsky says it’s likely more to do with how our employment psychological contract has changed. Boomers enjoyed rewards for being long-term employees with promotions and continual raises. Now, there’s less reward for staying loyal and giving 110%. For companies looking to reduce quiet quitting, however, Brodsky has some ideas.
“Many of these people feel like, whether they're Gen Z or otherwise, that they're doing what the company is doing. Organizations are using us, so we're going to use them,” Brodsky said. “In cases where you actually find ways to reward employees as opposed to paying external hires more… I imagine it would potentially make you stronger.”
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Austin is the top city in Texas for Gen Zers to settle down and eighth across the U.S., according to a new study.
The study, released this month by CommercialCafe, ranked which cities had the highest potential to be “Generation Z havens” based on affordability, unemployment rate, potential for remote work, recreation establishments and percentage of Gen Z population.
In eighth place, Austin scored 53.03 out of 100 total points with three other Texas cities joined the rankings: El Paso in ninth place, Houston in 11th place and San Antonio in 18th place.
A peek at the top 10 cities for Gen Z:
- Atlanta, GA, scored 66.9 points and has the most parks per resident
- Minneapolis, MN, scored 63.8 points and has the third-highest percentage of Gen Zers
- Boston, MA, scored 63.2 points and has the highest Gen Z school enrollment
- Tucson, AZ, scored 59.1 points and has the highest percentage of Gen Zers
- Raleigh, NC, scored 56.3 points and has the sixth-highest Gen Z school enrollment
- Columbus, OH, scored 53.7 points and sixth-best in affordability
- Seattle, WA, scored 53.6 points and has the second-lowest unemployment rate
- Austin, TX, scored 53 points and has the fifth-lowest unemployment rate
- El Paso, TX, scored 51.7 points and scored fifth-best in affordability
- New York City, NY scored 49.92 points and has the fastest internet speed
Austin scored relatively high in affordability compared to the rest of the U.S. with 16.43 points out of 20, though it ranked lower than the fellow Texas cities. El Paso scored 19.12 points for affordability.
The high percentage of Zoomers getting educated—the eighth-highest in the U.S. with almost half of residents 20-24 in school—have a good chance at getting a job since Austin has a 3.9% unemployment rate and high internet speed.