Second-hand Stores in Stockholm—From Thrift to Designer Goods
Find out what gems Stockholm offers with Katharine Trigarszky as she sorts through over 20 vintage, retro, and high-end designer second-hand shops in Stockholm.
Stockholm has long had a reputation as a great spot for scavenging second-hand stores, for those who want to showcase their vintage style while also helping the planet.
Names such as Modern Retro on Södermalm and Beyond Retro in the city are well known by locals and visitors alike. But it isn’t everyone who can hunt through rail after rail of clothes and find a gem.
I used to think that either you had that talent or you didn’t; that you either bought second-hand clothes and rocked a vintage vibe, or it just wasn’t for you.
In the past couple of years though, I have realised that there is far more to the second-hand clothing market than scouring through items crammed higgledy-piggledy into a thrift shop rack.
This revelation has come thanks to the swelling number of used apparel stores across Stockholm. Many only accept clothing under certain conditions: it has to be from recent years/seasons, from particular brands (Swedish, Nordic or high-end) or in particularly good condition. They are looking for quality and a good resale value.
While Södermalm has traditionally been seen as the retro and vintage hunters’ paradise, second-hand stores in other parts of the city, particularly Vasastan and Östermalm, are curating their assortments along these lines.
There seems to be little doubt that the proliferation of used clothing stores across the city reflects the growing movement to find ways to live more sustainably.
Troublingly, fashion is, according to fashion resale site thredUp, second only to oil in how polluting an industry it is. Meanwhile, the UN trade agency Unctad says that the clothing industry releases more greenhouse gases than aviation and shipping combined.
The concerning side of our fashion habits
While Greta Thunberg was staging her climate strike outside the Swedish parliament last year, HUI Research (the Swedish Retail Institute) was naming recycled clothing as Årets Julklapp (the Christmas Gift of the Year) for 2018.
There is no doubt that buying used garments can have an incredible, positive impact on our planet.
If everybody bought one used rather than new item, this would save 25 billion gallons of water, according to a report from independent research firm Green Story Inc, commissioned by thredUp.
Between 2000 and 2014, McKinsey & Company has found that consumers have increased the number of clothing items they purchased by 60%, but that they now keep these items for only half as long as they did 15 years ago.
This certainly seems true in Sweden, where research commissioned by Tradera and Avfall Sverige (the Swedish Waste Management Association) found that 24% of Swedes only rarely or never use half of the items in their wardrobe.
Even factoring in the sustainability initiatives announced by brands such as Nike and H&M (which also offers to recycle old garments), this all still adds up to a lot of clothes simply being discarded after a few wears.
But it isn’t all bad news: a YouGov survey for Myrorna (the Salvation Army’s chain of second-hand stores in Sweden) found that 1.2 million people here want to make more sustainable purchases.
An abundance of choice
As the choice and number of used apparel shops in Stockholm grows and the awareness of sustainability flourishes, sales of second-hand clothing look set to follow suit.
That Arkivet only opened its doors in the spring of 2017 but was able to expand with a second store in Östermalm earlier this year seems to suggest that this market is not slowing down in Stockholm.
According to sustainable fashion research program Mistra Future Fashion, buying at your local second-hand store is the best way to satisfy a style craving.
And now there is even an option now for environmentally conscious brides-to-be, thanks to Bröllopsbruket , a store in Sundbyberg that sells used wedding dresses. And this makes sense; after all, a bridal dress is costly, worn for one day and then usually stored away.
If the fashion industry is a juggernaut, then we can think of the used clothing market as an electric car: small, growing in popularity and on the move.
Where you can shop for second-hand in central Stockholm
Emmaus, Peter Myndes backe 8, Södermalm: Two stores in one, the first a standard thrift shop that sells almost everything that people donate, and the other a curated vintage store with a more specialist range.
Siv & Åke, Sankt Paulsgatan 20, Södermalm: A few hundred metres from Emmaus, close to Mariatorget, is Siv & Åke, a small curated vintage store that sells clothes for both men and women.
Humana, Timmermansgatan 23, Södermalm: A goldmine of sports/leisurewear – think Beastie Boys or Run DMC – and other clothing for the style conscious.
Judits Second Hand, Hornsgatan 75, Södermalm: Charmingly curated stores, decorated with battered old leather suitcases and draped scarves. Swedish and international names alike.
Filippa K Second Hand, Hornsgatan 77, Södermalm: A small store reselling second-hand clothes exclusively from Sweden’s Filippa K brand.
Lisa Larsson Second Hand, Bondegatan 48, Södermalm: This seemingly tiny shop reveals itself to be far larger than you initially imagine, packed with clothes from the 1930s-70s.
Modern Retro, Gotlandsgatan 72A, Södermalm: Recently moved to a new, smaller location in SoFo, this store was established in 2003 and offers vintage clothes for both men and women.
Pop Stockholm, Åsögatan 140, Södermalm: Brightly coloured and cheerful vintage and second-hand items are on sale at Pop Stockholm’s new location.
Beyond Retro, Brännkyrkagatan 82 (Södermalm) and Drottninggatan 77 (Norrmalm): Vintage and second-hand clothes carefully selected by a team of “pickers” from donated garments, available at two locations in the city.
Zak Secondhand, Upplandsgatan 19A, Vasastan: A range of vintage items from more recent decades.
Lotta Vintage, Upplandsgatan 45, Vasastan: A mixture of women’s vintage clothes from the 50s-80s. Beautiful prints and bright colours.
Nu & Då, Norrtullsgatan 31, Vasastan: Located right next door to Arkivet in Vasastan, this shop has a good range of second-hand children’s clothes alongside womenswear.
Arkivet, Norrtullsgatan 33 (Vasastan) and Nybrogatan 44 (Östermalm): Spacious and airy curated stores selling women’s second-hand clothing and accessories.
Boutique Finest, Sibyllegatan 59, Östermalm: A small treasure trove of high-end designer items, with a wide range of shoes and bags.
Birgitta K’s Second Hand, Sibyllegatan 63, Östermalm: A few doors down from Finest, this store has a large collection of Swedish labels, as well as international names, generally for older clientele (50s and up).
Boutique Två Tre Gånger, Linnegatan 34, Östermalm: A little store offering a range of used clothing from high-end designer labels.
Cattis begagnade kläder, Linnegatan 33, Östermalm: A good range of women’s clothes upstairs, typically mid to high end labels. Men’s clothes can be found downstairs.
ML Second Hand, Kommendörsgatan 14, Östermalm: The store offers a broad mixture of labels, with a particularly large number of Missoni items, and a good choice of dresses for special occasions.
Camillaskläder, Fleminggatan 28, Kungsholmen: A mixture of brands and labels, with some higher-end names to be found in among them.
59 Vintage, Hantverkargatan 59, Kungsholmen: The shop offers a large collection of dresses from the 1950s onwards, with a selection of other pieces selected for display.