One of the things I love to do whenever I travel is visiting the local thrift stores if the schedule allows. It might sound odd when I purposely abandon mega shopping malls to choose smaller secondhand shops. Plus, those stores are often located in the more remote parts of towns too. However, trips to those shops often bring me such joy that I no longer mind the off-the-path locations. It feels more like mini adventures because you never know what you would find in a thrift store.
The Joy of Thrifting
People visit thrift shops for various reasons, therefore there are different kinds of thrift stores. Some do it for economical purposes, some want to practice more conscious, environment-friendly ways of living. Some seek antique and vintage pieces, and there are savvy shoppers who search for unique combinations of fashion. I suppose I am a little bit of every above-mentioned reason. Plus, those vintage shops are like “Disneyland” to me when it comes to rare and special postcards. Since each store is different from one another, every trip to a thrift shop is a little journey of its own. Sometimes you bring home many “treasures” at delightful prices, sometimes you come home empty-handed. And that, my friends, is the beauty of thrifting.
I have not been to every secondhand shop in Turku yet, but it is on my plan. I have been to more than 6 stores, and two of my favorites are actually out-of-town. It mainly depends on your purposes, and how much time of the day you could spend at the store. For me, there is no such thing as a quick trip to those vintage shops, especially if I have never been to that store before. We easily spend 1 hour at least, and sometimes 2-3 hours, if it is exceptionally large. One of my favorite located in Kaarina, and it takes approximately 25 minutes to get there by bus from Kauppatori. Such trips often require planning ahead our schedules, because we would need to clear the entire afternoon for such visits, for example.
Every Store Has Its Own Stories
UFF is one of the most popular secondhand store chains in Finland; you can easily find them in big cities like Helsinki, Tampere, etc. The secondhand chain is popular not only for the facts that they recycle clothes and give them new lives, but also because UFF’s profits go directly to donation. You can learn more about their missions and purposes here. In Turku, UFF located at Humalistonkatu 5.
Picture taken from Uff.fi
You can find clothes pieces and some household items such as carpets, curtains, pillows at any given UFF stores. They sometimes have secondhand books, CDs, decoration items too; but those are not very common. Most of the stuff at the store are donated, and you can do so too if you have good-conditioned stuff that you do not need anymore. Just bring your stuff to the store, and they will take care of them. Also, look out for sales, sometimes they have 1E-day, meaning every item is only 1 euro. How cool is that?
Some Other Recommendations
Kirppiskeskus Hassinen is another outlet that I would gladly recommend. I accidentally “discovered” this place almost 2 years ago. The location is very easy to find, and it is also within walking distances if you live near Student Villages or Halinen. They have a huge store with different platforms for clothes, furniture, household items, vintage CDs and posters, and many vintage treasures like coins, stamps, postcard collections, etc. One can easily spend 2 solid hours there, and it is hardly possible that you can leave the store without purchasing anything. Sometimes, I just like to walk around and look at the vintage items there; it feels like I am walking in a museum. It might be even better because I am allowed to touch them! You can find more about the store at their Facebook Page.
If you feel like having a mini adventure, then you can visit Kaarinan Ykköstien Kirpputori. This secondhand shop locates in Kaarina, and if you get there by bus 7 from Kauppatori, you just need to enjoy the ride and get off at the last stop. Kaarina is also very beautiful town, and it is quite different from Turku with all the big roads and almost empty streets. The shop is not especially large, but they also store many different things from technology items to housing furniture. They also offer coffee and snacks, and it is a pretty neat idea because you would be quite weary after 2-hour of wandering and examining different items.
Some Dos & Don’t
It is essential that you check the item carefully, and do not lose the tag while trying it on. Also, be absolutely sure when you decide to put something in your basket. Because otherwise it would be quite a nightmare to find the exact stall to put the stuff back if you change your mind. Of course, you can just leave it somewhere, and the store would take care of it, but who would do such things, right? It would be a great idea to bring your cloth bags with you too, because if you are trying to be more conscious towards a green lifestyle, it does not feel nice when you have to consume another short-lived plastic bag. Most importantly, do enjoy the experience, and have a great time treasure-hunting too.
Hello blog readers! Thank you for stopping by. I am a Vietnamese student at UTU majoring in Education, loving and living life here in Turku , Finland. I’m gonna write about the exciting life of an international student who’s trying to complete her degrees while learning to appreciate the Finnish weathers <3.