[Update September 25 at 9:24 a.m.: Unique Thrift Store has closed. It is likely it will be taken over by an Arc Thrift Store.]
Search the internet for the best thrift stores in Denver and you’ll find a myriad of articles boasting vintage shops on Broadway, chic consignment stores in the Highlands and chain stores like Goodwill and the ARC. All of those stores are amazing. I’ve visited them, purchased items and gladly shared them with others. However, I have a confession: my competitive nature has completely interfered with my ability to be candid about my local favorites. Let’s be honest, you wouldn’t necessarily give away your favorite camping spot or backcountry ski hill, now would you?
Today though, I’m tapping into childhood lessons and reminding myself that sharing does mean caring and honesty is always the best policy. Here we go:
Where: 4890 Pecos St., Denver
Good things do come in small packages! Clutter-free and easy to navigate, this store is inviting for both amateur and expert thrifters. Each item in the store is handpicked from donations received, creating a boutique-like atmosphere. Highlights include women’s apparel and a DIY section filled with goods that will ignite your inner crafter. Make sure you keep your ears as open as your wallet and you’ll find stories of hope among the employees, who are teens with a history of homelessness.
Treasure Trunk Thrift Store
Where: 5892 W. 44th Ave., Wheat Ridge
Owned and run by The Family Tree, a local nonprofit, there is not an unused crevice in this store. Check inside each drawer and cabinet, as you never know what you’ll find. Wondering about a price? Don’t hesitate to ask. You’ll find the sweetest staff and volunteers and the most inexpensive prices in Denver. At check out, make sure to grab a punch card and store calendar to capitalize on your rewards.
Unique Thrift Store
Where: 16801 E. Iliff Ave., Aurora
Part of the Savers Thrift Store chain, this store may be the best-kept thrift secret in the Denver area. Not a nonprofit itself, the store does purchase its clothing from both the Lupus Foundation as well as Healing Minds. Their detailed sales plan ensures quick turnover so no item remains too long on the floor. In no time, you’ll find yourself with an armful of both vintage and brand-name items at a reasonable price. Although reasonable, if the prices feel too high, donate a bag of used items and receive a 30-percent-off coupon.
Where: 9110 W. 88th Ave., Arvada
Located in an unassuming strip mall, you’ll have to specifically set out for a visit or you’ll drive past it. Prices are so low they are practically giving things away. With pictures stacked on top of each other and purses on racks that are difficult to spin, patience and perseverance are both a necessity. However, it’ll be worth your time when you find a pair of vintage Keds for $2 or a Kenny Rogers album for $1.50. Leave your guilt at home; all of the proceeds are supporting Global Refuge International.
Remember, any thrift store is hit or miss, so practice does make perfect. Go often and don’t be afraid to get your hands a little dirty. When you find that hidden treasure, I’d love to share in the excitement. Don’t hesitate to stop by and say hello!
Abour the author: “The Mile High Thrifter is Denver’s best thrift fashion stylist. Mandy’s personal style ranges from unique vintage to street chic, creating a cost-effective wardrobe that inspires others. Through group and individual consultation, others are empowered to take risks and fall in love with their own pre-loved treasures. Creating an economically friendly wardrobe has never been so easy. Find her on Instagram, Facebook or email her at [email protected].”