Thrift is green, local and easy on your wallet


Save money and give something unique this holiday season by hitting up local thrift and consignment shops. Not only are you getting a bargain, but you’re helping the environment through recycling. Also, if you shop at a nonprofit thrift shop, like the Salvation Army Thrift Store or Boulder Humane Society Thrift, you are also funding a local organization. Thrift shops are filled with unique gifts that you can’t find at your nationwide retailer. Looking for a yellow-paged Jane Austen or Sir Arthur Conan Doyle classic? Check out a used bookstore. Or how about a gently worn Michaels Kors coat or vintage flapper dress? Boulder has thrift shops for vintage garments as well as recent high-fashion apparel. Or stop by a furniture consignment shop and pick up some decorating bric-abrac for a gift.

The National Association of Resale & Thrift Shops (NARTS) predicts a large increase in sales for the resale industry this holiday season. Economic downturn has caused more and more people to turn to the resale industry for their goods in the past year. Seventy eight percent of thrift stores that are NARTS members say that their sales increased, at an average of 35 percent, within the past year.

“Resale shops offer unique merchandise … making them an increasingly popular destination for gift shopping,” says NARTS Executive Director Adele Meyer. “With the recognition of resale shops as mainstream retailers, they have become a favorite source for presents, as well as holiday fashions and décor for smart consumers seeking quality at a savings. Resale gives consumers the opportunity to accomplish their holiday shopping while staying within their budget.”

Last year thrift shops reported an average increase of 27 percent in holiday sales, according to NARTS.

Here are the Boulder thrift shops where you can buy your holiday gifts — everything from books to clothing and accessories to knick-knacks.


The Boulder Book Store’s used book section offers a little bit of every kind of literary genre and has an extensive Buddhism section. The store will have a 25 percent-off sale on New Year’s Day. The Boulder Bookstore is located at 1107 Pearl St. Call 303-447-2074 or visit for more information.

Trident Booksellers mostly sells used books.

They offer art, history, new-age and metaphysical books. Another plus: there is a delightful adjoining espresso bar. Trident is located at 940 Pearl St. Call 303-443-3133 or visit for more information.

The Bookworm sells used fiction and nonfiction — everything from science to gardening.

They also offer DVDs, CDs, books on CD and tarot cards. The Bookworm is located at 3175 28th St. Call 303-449-3765 for more information.

Clothing and accessories

Common Threads sells high-end clothing and accessories from designers like James Perse, Stella McCartney and Diane Von Furstenberg. They offer gently worn jewelry, shoes, handbags and belts. Common Threads is located at 2707 Spruce St. Call 303-449-5431 or visit for more information.

Goldmine Vintage sells vintage clothing and accessories from the turn of the century up through the ’80s.

They also offer new independent designers and records. Goldmine Vintage is located at 1123 Pearl St. Call 303-945-0845 for more information.

Rags Consignment sells clothes, accessories and shoes from the last two seasons. Rags is located at 3129 28th St. Call 303-440-5758 for more information or visit

Buffalo Exchange has current fashions from nationwide chains and department stores. They also do carry some vintage pieces. Buffalo Exchange is located at 1717 Walnut St. Call 303- 938-1924 or visit for more information.

Furniture and accessories

Clutter Consignment has an eclectic mix of furniture and home accessories. Clutter Consignment is located at 1909 Ninth St. Call 303- 386-3423 or

No Place Like Home sells all the bric-a-brac — lamps, coat racks, plant stands, rugs, statues, picture frames, mirrors — as well as large furniture pieces. No Place Like Home is located at 3550 Arapahoe Ave. Call 303-440-9011 or visit www.

Feather Thy Nest’s selection ranges from antique to contemporary furniture and household goods. Feather Thy Nest is located at 1825 Pearl St. Call 720-406-8781 or visit for more information.

The Amazing Garage Sale offers retro furniture — mid-century modern credenzas, Herman Miller Geiger scissor chairs, antique Victorian dressers, hand-painted pieces, etc. The shop also offers art and jewelry. The Amazing Garage Sale is located at 4919 North Broadway. Call 303-447- 0417 or visit for more information.