Thrift shops are a great alternative to regular clothing stores, whether you’re crazy about vintage clothes, care about the environment, or just want to save some euros. Here is a selection of the best budget-friendly thrift shops in Paris, by Secrets of Paris correspondent Isabella Galante.
In this article
Retro, vintage, and upcycled clothing became a fashion trend decades before awareness of the overwhelming waste created by the industrialized clothing industry convinced many of us to adopt more sustainable shopping habits. Today the demand for second-hand clothing is bigger than ever.
In Paris alone you’ll find dozens of shops specializing in everything from luxury vintage couture to cheap thrift clothing called “friperies”. With an overwhelming amount of options, it’s easy to get lost. Since most articles about second-hand clothing in Paris focus on the more expensive vintage shops — or fail to mention the huge price differences in the shops they list — we decided to put together a list of addresses specifically for shoppers on a tight budget.
We visited over two dozen thrift shops and markets to find the ones where the majority of items cost no more than €15 so you can be stylish without damaging the planet and your finances!
Some Advice Before You Get Started
- Carry some cash: normally the shops only accept credit cards for purchases over €5, so always carry some small bills and coins with you to be prepared.
- Avoid the weekends to avoid the crowds: if you can, avoid going on the weekends, especially Saturdays, because it’s hard to move around and look through everything when there are too many people in your way.
- Don’t forget your reusable tote bag: it would be a shame to miss the opportunity to reuse your own bag, and many stores in Paris don’t provide them for free anymore.
- Resist the temptation to buy it because it’s cheap: it may be tempting to buy a jacket for €1, but is it really your style? Does it go with what you already have? Or is it something that will just be forgotten in your closet?
- Finally, if you’re short on time or otherwise can’t go shopping in person, there are a few French thrift shops that also sell their items online.
Where else can you find a 100% silk blouse for €5? It’s very unlikely that you’ll find another shop in Paris with as many great outfits at such low prices as you’ll find at the Croix Rouge charity shops. There are household items, books, DVDs, and a wide range of apparel – even swimsuits – for men, women and children.
Like Emmaüs, the Croix Rouge (France’s Red Cross) uses the profits made from their thrift stores to support their mission offering assistance to the disadvantaged. Donated clothing and household items are distributed to those in need for free, and the remainder are sold in what they call “vestiboutiques”. After receiving donated items, the volunteers carefully select only what’s in new or good condition — nothing is torn or dirty — and sell it for a very affordable price. For example, you’ll find some never-worn items offered at 10% of their original price.
Skirts are €3-€5, whereas dresses cost €5 or €6, and the majority of shoes are €7, including the Jimmy Choo’s. Most of the clothes are recent rather than vintage, with tags from Naf Naf and H&M. It’s worth noting this is the only thrift store we witnessed actively enforcing Covid safety measures by limiting the number of people who can enter the shop and making it mandatory to use the hand sanitizer at the entrance.
32 Rue de Maubeuge, 9th
Open Tue-Sat 2:30-7pm
- 36 rue Geoffroy l’Asnier, 4th, open Wed-Fri 3-7pm
- 40 Rue Albert Thomas, 10th, open Mon-Sat 10:30am-7pm
- 103 rue de Charenton, 12th, open Wed-Sat 10am-1:15pm
- 14 rue des Cloÿs, 18th, open Tues-Sat 2:30-6:30pm
If the idea of going to a crowded and tiny space makes you cringe, this shop is for you. The space is wide, tidy, and there are no stairs, so it’s wheelchair-accessible. When it comes to the collection itself, you will find sections of women’s, men’s, children’s, and vintage clothing. Prices range from €5 to €13, or up to €20 for popular brands such as Mango or Desigual. If you’re hunting for real bargains, look for the large bins where everything is just €2.
39 Rue Labrouste, 15th
Open Mon-Sat 10am-7pm
- 340 Rue des Pyrénées, 20th, open Mon-Sat 10am-7pm
- 46 Rue du Surmelin, 20th, open Mon-Sat 10am-7pm
Shopping at Emmaüs is not only great for the environment and your budget, but also for helping others in need. The Emmaüs charity was created in France in 1949, and the profits from its many boutiques go towards supporting their mission to fight against exclusion in all its forms, notably through the creation of jobs.
They collect, sort, and sell all kinds of items people might need, including clothing, books, dishes, furniture, records, kids’ toys, bric-à-brac, and even home appliances, depending on the shop. For example, at the Communauté boutique on Boulevard Rochechouart in the 9th, where clothes are priced from €5 up to €40 for designer labels. You’ll find mostly contemporary clothes here, with pieces from Massimo Dutti, Zara, H&M and other fast fashion brands. Everything is in perfect condition, though.
In the Friperie Solidaire in the 12th the premises are neat and spacious, and there are even two changing rooms. The stock includes women’s clothing, household items, books, DVDs, children’s apparel and toys. The clothing brands are mostly commonly-found contemporary brands. You can find dresses for €6, button up shirts by brands like GAP for €5, and a whole outfit rack for €1 per article. The staff here were exceptionally polite.
The Emmaüs Défi boutique at Le Centquatre, which is set up like a stylishly retro apartment with a smaller selection of curated items from their (much) larger location on Rue Riquet. There are fewer clothing items, but what is there leans more towards vintage style, €10-€50.
To be clear, not all Emmaüs boutiques are the same. Some are huge and sell everything, others are smaller and only sell clothing. Some include upcycled items from their own workshops. And some are more stylish than others, so don’t judge them all after visiting just one.
Here are the different Emmaüs “brands”:
- Communauté Emmaüs Paris “Boutique Solidaire”: these are the original neighborhood shops, with six locations in Paris selling clothing, furniture, toys and home items, all open Tue, Wed, Fri 1:30-7pm; Sat 10am-7pm.
- 27 Blvd de Rochechouart, 9th
- 85 Avenue du Général Michel Bizot, 12th
- 158 & 160 Boulevard Diderot, 12th
- 102 Rue de Reuilly, 12th
- 47 Rue de Cîteaux, 12th
- 105 Rue de Clignancourt, 18th
- Emmaüs Défi: these three shops are among the most innovative of the Emmaüs group, and are recommended if you want to see some of the more interesting upcycled items. The Riquet location is the largest Emmaüs in Paris, with just about everything you can imagine for sale; not far away is a stylish “curated” Emmaüs shops inside Le Centquatre arts and community center (which is worth a visit on its own). The Campus location is in the newly developed university district on the edge of the city, only just opened this year. Be sure to check their FB page for the latest sales and holiday closings:
- 46 Allée Paris-Ivry, 13th, “Campus” open Thurs-Fri 2:30-7pm and Saturday 10am-7pm.
- 40 Rue Riquet, 19th, open Wednesday 1:30-6pm and Saturday 10am-6pm.
- Le 104, 104 rue d’Auberviliers/5 rue Curial, 19th, open Wed-Fri 1:30-5:45pm, Sat 11:30am-6:45pm
- Emmaüs Alternatives: known for their regular Vente au Kilo events (follow them on FB for the latest dates) where you can get a kilo of clothes for just €10, their seven Paris shops focus on clothing, accessories, books, toys, records and small kitchen items. Click on each address to get a better idea of their specific items (all sell clothes).
- 13 rue Léopold Bellan, 2nd, open Tue-Sat 11am-7pm
- 74 rue de Turbigo, 3rd, open Mon-Sat 11am-7:30pm
- 6 rue Monge, 5th, open Mon-Sat 11am-7:30pm
- 43 rue du Faubourg du Temple, 10th, open Mon-Sat 11am-7:30pm
- 54 rue de Charonne, 11th, open Mon-Sat 11am-7:30pm
- 22 Boulevard Beaumarchais, 11th, open Mon-Sat 11am-7:30pm
- 105 Boulevard Davout, 20th, open Mon-Sat 11am-7:30pm
- Emmaüs La Friperie Solidaire: these are by far the most chic clothing collections of all the Emmaüs brands, with slightly higher prices to match (but hey, it’s for a good cause, remember?). “Le Labo de l’Abbé” sells a collection of fashionable upcycled clothing created in their own workshops. They have additional locations in the suburbs if you’re feeling adventurous.
- 17 Rue Chaligny, 12th, open Tues-Sat 10:45am-2pm and 3-7pm
- Le Labo de L’Abbé, 25-27 rue Oberkampf, 11th, open Tues-Sat 11am-2pm and 2:30-7pm (only open in the afternoon on Wednesdays)
- Le Label d’Emmaüs is the online shop selling a selection of items from ALL of the Emmaüs boutiques in France at great prices. Pick-up in person or get delivered within France.
Note: if you also want to donate items of your own to Emmaüs, be sure to check the specific location’s website for details on when and where you can drop off your items (there are usually specific hours and sometimes a drop-off location separate from the store).
DID YOU KNOW?
“Bric-a-brac” is a French phrase defined as “a miscellaneous collection of small articles commonly of ornamental or sentimental value” and derives from the French phrase “à bric et à brac” meaning “a collection of random objects and disparate old things, usually in bad condition” (ie, junk). The phrase has been adopted in English language, used interchangeably with “knick knacks”.
Opened in 1994, this place lives up to its name, since it’s the star of all thrift stores in Paris. Their three stores, all located in Le Marais, make it easy to visit all of them in one trip. Popular with Parisians, from stylish young people and families to older couples, they’re almost always packed, even on weekdays. It can get hot, a bit claustrophobic and confusing, since clothing of all styles are crammed all together without any clear distinction between men’s and women’s clothing. Nevertheless, the collection is interesting enough and the prices are very attractive.
The choice is vast, so you’ll be able to find almost any kind of outfit, including the most eccentric. Items date from the 70s to 90s, as well as contemporary brands such as Abercrombie, Hollister, and Nike. Prices average €5-15. Besides clothing, you’ll find scarves, bags, hats, belts, and shoes, usually well-maintained, and you can try them all on. The highlight is the “€1 bin”, where items are cheaper than some baguettes in the city. Make the effort to dig into the pile and you’re sure to find a hidden treasure.
All three boutiques are open Mon-Sat 11am-8:30pm, Sun 12am-8:30pm
- 52 Rue de la Verrerie, 4th
- 61 Rue de la Verrerie, 4th
- 20 Rue de Rivoli, 4th
Here is where the best deals are to be found: a cheap thrills paradise with shirts for €2 and winter jackets for €5. It’s unlikely that anything is over €20, and on weekdays the prices are at their cheapest. Each of its stores is loaded with tons of clothing: coats, shoes, hats, belts and bags for women, men and children at unbeatable prices, with new items arriving daily from their international warehouses. The articles are well-organized and there are several rooms to try them on.
However, there are a few downsides. First, you can’t rely on the quality of what you get; sometimes the clothes are stained, or sweaters have fuzz balls. So make sure you inspect each item closely, even if it’s just a few euros. Second, the place itself is not in its best condition; at times it simply looks dirty. One thing is certain: you won’t discover any label of a much higher class than Zara, but for what they charge, you wouldn’t expect to find a Chanel, right?
Note that they also sell a small selection of clothes and accessories on their website, but the prices are slightly higher (and of course you can’t try them on or inspect them for damage).
21 Blvd de Rochechouart, 9th
Open Mon-Sat 10:30am-7:30pm
- 45 Boulevard de la Chapelle, 10th, open Mon-Sat 10:30am-6:30pm
- 96 bis Boulevard Barbès, 18th, open Mon-Sat 10:30am-7:30pm
- 34 Avenue de Clichy, 18th,open Mon-Sat 10:30am-7:30pm
- 90 Avenue du Général Leclerc, 14th, open Mon-Sat 10am-7pm
- 5 Avenue d’Italie, 13th, open Mon-Sat 10:30am-7pm
- 115 Avenue d’Italie, 13th, open Mon-Sat 10:30am-7pm
This store came up with a unique concept of buying clothes just like you buy vegetables in the market. It’s a system that sets the prices per kilo according to the type of item and its quality.
A colored dot on each article indicates its value. Red indicates the items is €20 per kilo; green is €30 per kilo, blue is €40, orange is €60, and white tags have a set price. Initially, it might be quite tricky to estimate the price of everything, yet there are scales around so you can get a notion before heading to the cashier. To give you an idea, a shirt will cost €5-6 and a dress €7-9. Just make sure you pick light fabrics, otherwise, it might not be worthwhile.
However, the cheapest items are found in the large bins at the entrance, where every piece costs €4. Besides clothing, you may also dig up scarves, hats, underwear, and new socks. Although the overall style at the Kilo Shop is vintage, some of the clothes are contemporary.
A sister venue called Kawaii was opened right next to the Kilo Shop at Rue de la Verrerie, but besides the kimonos, personally we don’t see a big difference between the two and the prices are the same). You’ll find the Kilo Shop branded stores throughout France (Lyon, Nice, and Lille), and even abroad in Athens and Tokyo.
Note: In normal conditions, you can try whatever pleases you in the fitting rooms, but right now they’re closed due to Covid.
65 and 69-71 Rue de la Verrerie, 4th
Open Mon-Sat 11am-7pm, Sun 2-7pm
- 125 Boulevard Saint-Germain, 6th, open Mon-Sat 11am-7pm, Sun 2-7:30pm
- 10 Boulevard Montmartre, 9th, open Mon-Sat 11am-2pm & 2:30-7pm
- 8 Boulevard de Magenta, 10th, open Mon-Sat 11am-7:30pm, Sun 2-7pm
Located right next to the most famous falafel joint in Paris, Vintage Désir might be mistaken for a hair salon at first glance because of the historic facade. But one peek inside makes it clear what this store is all about. Customers of all ages can be seen scouring the racks for their next purchase, jostling for space between the tight aisles to check out pants, skirts, coats, shoes, belts, handbags and hats.
The shop, opened in 2006, offers clothing and accessories for men and women. Some of the collection is vintage, but you’ll also see a lot of modern brands such as Old Navy, Forever 21 and Desigual. Dresses and jackets cost about €10, while shirts and hats can be found for 5€. There’s also a €1 box with a wide variety of items if you’re in the mood to dig. The fitting room in the corner is just an improvised curtain strung between two shelves, but allows you to try on anything that catches your eye before purchase.
Vintage Désir is vintage in more ways than one; there’s no website, Facebook page, or Instagram updated in years, but they’re one of the few thrift shops open daily with extended hours.
32 Rue des Rosiers, 4th
Open daily 11am-9pm
It’s worth stopping by the open-air market at the Place d’Aligre, one of the only flea markets within Paris, where just beyond the food stands you’ll find an area dedicated to bric-à-brac, used books, antiques and a few racks and tables piled high with used shoes and second-hand clothing, most sold for €2.
The Marché d’Aligre is a popular market in what used to be a very cosmopolitan and working-class neighborhood before tourists and more affluent Parisians began frequenting it. Today it’s a unique mix of both trendy and traditional, where you can still find good deals if you’re patient (and persistent). The “fripes” and flea market actually existed since the market’s creation in the 18th century specifically to provide affordable clothing and other necessities to the disadvantaged members of the local community. Despite recent gentrification, this community spirit still lives on at the Marché d’Aligre.
There are items for women, men and kids, mostly all mixed up together. But besides the hidden worn-out Nike or Vans sneakers, you probably won’t find any name-brand clothes in these piles, and certainly not anything “vintage”. On the used clothes there are no price tags at all. However, in some stalls the vendors scream that everything is sold at €1. In others, if you don’t like the price they’re asking for, you can always negotiate (which is never possible in a regular thrift store), so that’s a bonus.
Note that there are also stands selling extremely cheap new clothing (including socks, underwear, and pyjamas, for those who arrived before their luggage), a bit like what you’d expect to find in a Dollar Store in the US. Stands selling new items have prices clearly marked. Don’t forget to take cash with you, because the used clothing stands don’t take credit cards.
Place d’Aligre, 12th
Open Tue-Fri 7:30am-1:30pm; Sat-Sun 7:30am-2:30pm
You can find almost everything imaginable at the world’s largest antiques and secondhand market, and second-hand clothes are no exception. Most people visit the high-end vintage boutiques found at the Marché Veraison, Marché Bert Bert and Marché Serpette, and the growing popularity of these means prices are no longer such a bargain. Now even the less-chic vintage and retro shops are just as pricey.
If you’re looking for the best bargains, avoid the shops altogether and focus on the temporary stands and tents set up along the Rue Jules Vallès and Rue Paul Bert. Again, being a market, no price tags are in sight, so be prepared to negotiate, (the lowest discount you can usually expect is 20%). You shouldn’t have to pay more than €15 on whatever interests you.
Like the Marché d’Aligre, bring cash and coins with you (there aren’t many cash machines in the neighborhood), and don’t expect to be able to try anything on unless you can do it without a changing room. And, unfortunately, you’ll need to keep an extra-close eye on your belongings, as pick-pockets are everywhere at the market.
A Note on Getting There: The walk from Porte de Clignancourt metro station to the Marché aux Puces de St-Ouen is not the most scenic walk in Paris, for sure. You’ll need to pass the “Thieves Market” of white tents (selling new junk and counterfeit designer brands along the Avenue de la Porte de Clignancourt, cross under the Périphéique highway, and then enter the “real” antiques market at the Rue des Rosiers. You can also reach the Rue Paul Bert by turning onto the Rue Henri Fabre, but this street is very crowded with pushy sales guys trying to sell you their cheap knock-offs and tacky new junk. You can also get the Bus 85 direct from Châtelet in the center of Paris, which drops you off right at the Rue Paul Bert so you avoid the hassle. See the map here.
Rue Jules Vallès/Rue Paul Bert, Saint-Ouen (93)
The market is open Sat 9am-6pm and Sun 10am-6pm (but a majority of the stands don’t open before 11am), and Mon 11am-5pm.
Here are a few other places that were visited but were a bit too expensive to make the final cut: