Top eight thrift options around campus


Graphic by Lucia Thorne

By Dionna Santucci

Emerson students are widely noticed for their fashion, and it’s easy to keep up with trends when you live in the heart of a stylish city like Boston. However, most college students can’t afford the high-end stores that crowd the campus streets, and sometimes even prefer a more sustainable form of shopping. 

Thrifting is a great way to shop sustainably and on a budget, and it has become a staple in developing one’s sense of style for decades. 

Whether thrift stores are your go-to hotspot for inexpensive clothing or a way of being a little kinder to our planet, we’ve got you covered with the top thrift stores around campus and the greater Boston area. 

  1. Boomerangs ($-$$)

Shop for a good cause at Boomerangs, located in the South End at 1407 Washington Street. This secondhand clothing and furniture shop offers both new and old styles, with proceeds made from each sale going toward AIDS treatment and prevention. 

While they have locations in Cambridge and Jamaica Plain, Boomerangs’ Washington St. outpost is labeled as a “special edition” of the store, as it offers a little bit of everything. And it just so happens to be the closest location to the Emerson campus. 

  1. Bartevian Inc. ($-$$)

Located just a few feet away from Piano Row, Bartevian Inc. is an antique gift and consignment shop run by a woman who is just as—if not more—interesting than the oddities she sells. Patricia Bartevian will tell you personal stories of Old Hollywood as you roam the store, taking in Bartevian’s timeless and witchy atmosphere. Products range from anywhere between antique furniture and household items, vintage jewelry, and trinkets from every iconic 1900s era. 

  1. The Garment District ($-$$$)

A Cambridge hotspot, The Garment District is a vibrant thrift haven located at 200 Broadway, Cambridge, and sells both new and old clothing, including vintage finds. An Emerson favorite, The Garment District is known for its “By The Pound” specialty, in which they mix different styles of clothing, whereas a pound of clothing is just $2.00. 

  1. Goodwill ($)

From the various Goodwill locations littered throughout the greater Boston area, the closest one to campus is the one on 470 W Broadway in South Boston. So if one store doesn’t have what you need, chances are the next one location will. The Goodwill Store has been selling pre-loved clothing, housewares, and more for years, making itself a nonprofit staple in thrifting and buying secondhand. 

  1. Covet ($$-$$$)

For a hip and slightly more expensive thrifty option, Covet on 391 W Broadway has got you covered with gently used clothing, purses, and shoes varying from everyday pieces to designer picks. The consignment boutique is known for its friendly, on-trend staff and the owner’s chihuahua making an occasional appearance. 

  1. Cheapo Records ($-$$$)

Okay, yes, this is technically a record and music shop. However, not only does Cheapo Records have one of the best music selections in the greater Boston area, but they also have their very own––albeit tiny––selection of vintage and upcycled clothing. Located at 538 Massachusetts Ave in Cambridge, Cheapo Records also has various popups set up in front of the store regularly. The G Spot Vintage, Mall Goth Trash, and Old Mans Vintage are just some of the shops to be featured in Cheapo Records’ Saturday sidewalk sales. 

  1. Newbury Street Handmade Market ($$-$$$)

Though it’s difficult to gauge when they’re open, the Newbury Street Handmade Market is a recurring Sunday popup featuring a collective of Etsy shop owners at 301 Newbury Street. Here, businesses sell handmade jewelry, upcycled and handmade clothing, and unique vintage finds. The artists and sellers are a co-op of Boston locals and pride themselves on providing one-of-a-kind pieces to their customers. 

  1. SoWa Open Market ($-$$$)

SoWa Open Market––open every Sunday from May through October––offers a unique and fun market-festival experience and is bound to have something for everyone. Featuring handmade apparel, home items, produce, baked goods, and sweets, the market is located right next to Emerson’s very own Rotch Field at 500 Harrison Ave. 

This is by no means an extensive list of the best thrift stores near campus, but hopefully, you were able to learn about a new store to make weekend plans to visit, or a cool market to go to with a group of friends. Wherever you choose to go, you’re bound to find that perfect clothing item or accessory to strut down Boylston Street with.