As a student, my mother used to always say to me “You have a champagne taste with a Pepsi pocketbook,” and in many ways, she was right, especially when it came to clothes. That was until I discovered the joys of secondhand shopping, back then it was also seen as cool or hip to buy vintage. I could sniff out a bargain faster than a pig foraging for truffles, and what a high it gave me. Nowadays, my focus on buying secondhand is more about our planet, and the little gestures I can do to be more sustainable. The fashion industry is the second most polluting industry on earth, and the primary culprit is fast fashion—well, that and the culture of throwaway clothing that it has inspired.
So, if you are interested in doing your bit for our planet and also saving a few euros along the way, then it’s your time to discover Dusseldorf’s secondhand shopping. Here are my favourite 5 picks.
Let’s start at Broke, located in Pempelfort next to the Loffel Bar (5 Tussmann Strasse).
It is a very small shop, packed to the ceiling with clothes (definitely not a place for the stroller). Some of the clothes are not secondhand but are prototypes, and clothes with minor flaws that instead of finding their way to an outlet, have arrived at Broke. There is really cool street fashion with labels such as Nike, Carhartt, Adidas, and Bench for men and women. You will find some amazing deals for a fraction of the price. I bought an Armani bag for 25 euros. They have weird shop times; closed on Mondays, open Tuesdays to Fridays from 2.30 to 6:30 and Saturdays 12 to 4.
Not far from Broke, you will find Cash & Raus on the corner of Stockkampstrasse and Derendorfer Strasse. It is a huge shop with large window displays, can’t miss the mannequins. I really like this charity shop because it is run by a program to help unemployed people get work experience, either in the shop or in the collecting and sorting section. Donated clothes for men, women, and children are all put on racks according to gender and colour. At first, it really looks daunting, but you have to rummage through the racks before you can find a good bargain, like I did when I found a 100% cashmere black turtleneck sweater for my husband, in pristine condition for 4 euros. Other usual suspects are gear from Esprit, H&M, Benetton and even Tommy Hilfiger. Every week, the stock is changed. Check out their website for their other three locations. You can also donate clothes, shoes, jewellery, drapes and sheets.
Schatztruhe is a charity shop for Vision Teilen, a French organisation fighting against poverty, so they are dependent on donations. It is located on Schirmerstrasse 27. They also have odd hours, open only from 3 to 7 through the week so your best day is on Saturday when it is open from 11 to 3. The volunteers are lovely there, but not so mindful of the value of designer clothes, so you can imagine my joy when I came across a Dolce and Gabanna white shirt for 4 euros. Clothes are organized according to styles, with only a few pairs of shoes, but a wide assortment of leather belts. Unique pieces of vintage jewellery are displayed in the window. They accept your donations and are always looking for volunteers to run the shop.
Moving over to Flingern, you will find Frau Klein, on the busy Lichtstrasse 49. I guarantee that you will not leave without buying something. Frau Klein (Christine) has her stock divided according to styles and knows her designer wear, which is on a rack separate from the regular clothes. I have seen various labels from Armani, Jil Sander, Versace, and Chloe. My greatest finds at Frau Klein’s have included a pair of black patent leather Fendi shoes for 40 Euros and a fantastic long black coat which everyone asks me about for 30 euros. She accepts consignment, but unfortunately, since her prices are quite low she will give you very little money for your clothes. Since Frau Klein also works as a stylist, I think she has access to clothes used in shoots, prototypes or slightly flawed garments because some of the gear has no labels and is too new to be secondhand. Mondays, open at 3 pm, the rest of the days 10 am with a 2- hour break from 1 to 3, closes at 6:30 pm. Saturday from 10 am to 2 pm.
Less than a five-minute walk from Frau Klein will take you to LieblingsStücke, on the corner of Lindenstrasse and Bruchstrasse 1, you can’t miss it with the great window displays so artfully put together. Susanne Weipert, the owner, a former OR nurse with fashionista blood opened her successful secondhand shop 10 years ago, and I have been going there ever since. The shop is never empty with a loyal customer base either giving up their clothes for consignment or finding the latest bargains. Part of its success is due to the stock which is always up-to-date and in excellent condition. You won’t find a lot of designer clothes but a good middle of the range labels such as Replay, Cos, Levis, Closed, and Esprit, at affordable prices. Vintage clothes move very quickly, so if you see a great piece snatch it up as it will be gone the next day. If you have an obsession with quirky shoes and bags, this is the place for you. It is almost impossible to resist the temptation of buying something at Liebingstück because Susanne has such a wide range of styles suiting every type of woman. Over the years, I have bought many great pieces from this store, but my best find is my gold shoes which I wore for my wedding. I danced into the wee hours without one blister. Highly recommended!
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