If you’ve ever so much as glanced in my direction (or at my Instagram), you probably know that I’m just a little bit addicted to thrift shopping, especially now that I live in a city with ample thrifting opportunities. Whether you’re a tourist or a local, if you’re a fellow thrifting addict I highly recommend you check out some of these prime Honolulu thrifting spots to experience a taste of our vibrant local thrifting community.
I consider this to be the thrifting Mecca of Honolulu. Located conveniently in Kaimuki near other must-visit spots like Winam Hair Studio and The Public Pet (look out for Popoki+Tea’s cat cafe opening soon next door!), the expansive Kaimuki Goodwill features an impressive selection of furniture, home goods, NWT Target merch, and vintage clothing pieces. I always make sure to do a thorough investigation of the skirts section, where brands like J. Crew and Banana Republic can often be found, as well as the outerwear section which boasts an array of blazers, bombers, and vintage gems. The sleepwear/lingerie section also holds extensive promise, featuring a wide selection of silky and lacey slips perfect for layering.
Holy Grail Finds: Black wicker Zara bag, set of two matching metal and rattan chairs, cushioned wicker ottoman, khaki-colored twill banana republic mini skirt with tortoiseshell buttons, white vintage Nike’s, baby pink ralph lauren cable-knit sweater.
Though located off the beaten path past Costco in an unassuming strip mall, Savers Dillingham (Kalihi) location is well worth its own outing. Featuring a slightly more selective level of gently used goods than Goodwill, and correspondingly higher prices, Savers is a must visit for their extensive collection of quality bags, denim, vintage dresses, and deadstock fabric (!!!). Their selection of electronics, books, and games is also worth a peek, especially for anyone in need of a $50 sewing machine (just make sure to find a plug and test it first!). I highly recommend taking your time to explore each section, which can seem daunting due to the sheer size of the store, but a general knowledge of the types of gems they usually stock will majorly come in handy during their holiday 50% off sales!
Holy Grail Finds: Guess mini black nylon backpack, vintage 90’s sunflower maxi dress, brown corduroy blazer, Topshop plaid blazer, Topshop wide-leg gingham pants, my sewing machine!
The newest thrifting location on the scene, the small two-story Kakaako goodwill is holding its own amongst the other thrifting options available. Featuring a quality collection of shoes, graphic tees, and bags, this store is definitely not one to miss. For those who love a good deal but hate the hectic crowds, this location is the perfect choice for one of Goodwill’s 50% off sales where you will be able to find some exciting gems without having to elbow a swarm of aunties in the process. The key to their layout: womens clothes and shoes are downstairs, men’s clothing and housewares are upstairs.
Holy Grail Finds: unauthenticated Moschino “this is not a Moschino toy” tee, vintage floral Victoria’s Secret silk cami, red slouchy Urban Outfitters blazer, men’s thrasher logo tee.
Out of all the Honolulu-area Goodwills, the Beretania store is probably the store I visit the least, primarily due to its limited parking. However, it still is a standout in several areas including brand-name aloha shirts and workwear. The store also recently underwent a massive renovation, so I’m excited to see its new layout!
Holy Grail Items: Tori Richards aloha shirt (for the BF), black corduroy jacket, white zara bodysuit, literally every piece of black clothing I wore to my hostess job last summer.
Everyone is seriously sleeping on this GAME-CHANGER of a site! The ebay of thrifting, ShopGoodwill.com is an online auction site where Goodwills across the US list their coolest and most unique items for users to bid on. This site is a treasure trove of niche and big-name designer brands alike and, similar to Depop, is the perfect place to search for a particular item you’ve been drooling over. Their listings cover just about every product imaginable, with the only downside being the shipping price to Hawaii. The site does however have a “1 cent shipping” deal on certain listing so I highly recommend starting with those. Though many mainstream brand like Lulu Lemon and Prada immediately gain tons of bids, I’ve had a lot of success at buying slightly more niche brands without a major bidding war. They also have a “Retro/Vintage” category which is a personal favorite to peruse.
Holy Grail Finds (that I’ve had shipped to Hawaii!): Valfre pink satin “mermaid” bomber, Puma x Fenty grey velvet creeper sneakers, Quicksilver metallica-style “Aloha” tee ($7.99 plus 1 cent shipping!).
Vintage and More!
Though I personally have not purchased from these shops yet, if you’re looking to drop a little more cash on the perfect vintage piece I have a few solid recommendations. Colorful and eclectic, Barrio Vintage in Chinatown is a must-see purely for their curation of everything from bright 60’s dresses to gawdy clip-on earrings. Their recent fashion show at HiSAM was a feat of creative genius that perfectly spoke to their other-worldly aesthetic.
On the other end of the spectrum, Harbors Vintage in Kaimuki is the perfect stop for any streetwear aficionado, stocking the sickest pieces from Supreme, Stussy, and more. Check out their Instagram for pics of the latest goods, and if you purchase a piece you may even end up on their story.
If books are more your thing you have to swing by Ideas Books and Music in Kakaako, which has been my go-to for books on my niche interests. Whether you’re looking for the perfect book on literary postmodernism (too bad, I already bought them all) or the next book in your favorite manga series, this gently used bookstore will be able to hook you up without breaking the bank.