If you, too, have the desire to look stylish and freshen up your wardrobe without destroying the planet in the process, then read on. Just like reusing bags helps reduce new bag production, buying used clothing and accessories or selling your gently used items can take the pressure off the environment by recycling items that are already in existence. And it’s even better when the items are high quality, gently used, and can also bring old styles back with some 21st century flair. In Portland, we are blessed to have all of this available in some treasure trove thrift and consignment businesses. Here are six of our favorites that can help your style and sustainability aspirations.
Owner Rebekah Bellingham began Vein of Gold as a T-shirt business, and she still makes and sells the quality, boxy shirts today. (One of her popular tees was emblazoned with the message “F*ck That Guy.”) In Spring 2021, Vein of Gold opened its first brick and mortar store on N Interstate, taking over the space formerly occupied by beloved, longtime consignment store Button. If in search of something gorgeous and vintage, Vein of Gold is the place, with gems like a Mexican dress ($88) by Jessica A. Diaz to a pair of suede royal blue platform sandals by Simone Rocha for ($128) to a vintage formal taffeta dress with pencil skirt and sweetheart neckline that looks straight out of the eighties. And in a departure from their predecessors, they now stock men's clothes, too. For consignment, they accept gently worn and new-condition clothing, shoes, jewelry, purses/bags, hats, scarves and sunglasses for all genders and from all eras (but no kids' clothes). They also donate 5 percent of sales of the Classic T to a different nonprofit each year. 6517 N Interstate Ave, www.veinofgold.co
Located out on SE 72nd, Uplifted is one of the more eccentric consignment shops in Portland, with a courtyard, boutique, theatre, and consignment shop all in one. Before you even cross the doorstep, take time to take in the 1970’s paper doll exhibit in the window curated by owner Judi Martin, who owns and runs the business with her husband David Argast. Martin launched the boutique and market to find joy after her father’s death from brain cancer. On the outside, follow the sign “GOOD MEDICINE” to a performance space to catch one of their live variety shows featuring local acts. Inside, you’ll find a little library for children, plus a small consignment market with curated clothes and artistic creations—ceramics to furry earrings to classic Furbies. 5404 SE 72nd Ave, upliftedboutique.com
Right next to Salt and Straw on Alberta, Modo Boutique is a consignment shop with a carefully curated selection of dressy and casual clothes, as well as accessories like sunglasses, shoes, handbags, and jewelry: anything from Fendi boots to brass hair barrettes to ’90s Levi's denim jackets. The boutique is homey and bright, with a couple of curtained dressing room stalls. Owners Allison Fordham and Myla Crowell have made their inventory available online as well. For those interested in consigning, their website has a “favorites” list of brands they specifically love and seek out. 2025 NE Alberta St, modoboutique.com
Bee Thornton and Erica Bauer are the owners of this lively little store specializing in plus sizes for men, women, and non binary individuals. The moment you walk in, you’ll hear friendly banter, with the staff taking body positivity seriously. There are even Post-It note affirmations (“You Are Beautiful!”) in the single-stall dressing room. As a queer and trans-owned business, Fat Fancy is also available to help trans and non-binary clients build a wardrobe that’s gender-affirming. Thornton also offers Tarot card readings to customers right at the counter. During the pandemic, Fat Fancy wasn’t meeting its sales goals and had to get creative. Having burned through their savings and suffered losses due to COVID, Thornton launched a Go Fund Me so they could pay rent. The co-owners began a regular Wake & Bake series in which the two smoke weed and then talk about their favorite items of the week. They even offer virtual styling consultations. Consignment is currently by appointment only. 3554 NE Sandy Blvd, fatfancyfashions.com
What sets this Pearl District’s consignment store apart from so many others is owner Jaime Durham’s emphasis on luxury items in the form of high-end designer fashion pieces. Established in 2008 with a goal to bring curated designer goods to the Pearl District, their collection ranges from a Dior crossbody flap bag and Louis Vuitton totes, to a pair of Valentino rockstud pumps, a polka-dotted Anthropologie dress, and jewelry by Tiffany & Co. Recycled Chic also supports local businesses, and now carries body and wellness products by My Earth Goddess, a small Black-owned business by Joi Bonman who makes CBD body butter, massage oils, soaking salts, and candles. 612 NW 12th Ave, recycledchicboutique.com
This consignment shop rounds out the second-hand shopping options on Nob Hill, slinging high end and vintage pieces for women as opposed to thriftier options like Buffalo Exchange and Crossroads Trading Co. The store has expanded greatly since its launch in 1999, and in 2016, it became a Certified B Corporation—which means the business must consider the impacts of every decision on employees, customers, community, and the environment. Appointments are required for consigning and dropping off clothes. Their neighboring furniture consignment store, Seams to Fit Home, is also worth checking out, for items like a hand carved wooden bench ($855), or a reclaimed wood storage table for $150. While appointments were required for shopping during the pandemic, the shop now allows in-person shopping (with a mask) in their pop-up boutique on Saturdays, and five days a week at Seams to Fit Home, in addition to their online store. 2239 NW Raleigh St, seamstofit.com