Check out the two Housing Works thrift stores in Brooklyn. (See addresses below.)
The goods sold at the Brooklyn outposts of this highly successful New York City chain of nonprofit thrift stores aren't necessarily vintage. Rather, they're good quality used items, including some brand label and designer clothing and interesting furniture.
They sell "accessories, clothing, home decor, artwork and furniture ranging from $1 to $1500, with brands that range from vintage to J Crew and Banana Republic to DVF, Marc Jacobs and Costume National," said a company spokesperson interviewed in December 2011.
Shopping here is rather like having a chance to rummage around the attic of a relative whose taste you sometimes love and sometimes hate. You might score, or not. But it's almost always an interesting shopping experience. And, the prices are attractive.
Shop at Housing Works, Fight AIDS and HIVNot only are these two of the nicest thrift stores in Brooklyn. In addition, the profit from these shops goes toward Housing Work's multi-million dollar campaign addressing AIDS and HIV — both health issues that impact thousands of Brooklyn residents.
About Housing Works Thrift StoresA few things of note:
- The stores are notably both clean, and well-organized.
- If the display windows look professionally arranged (rare for a thrift store), that's because they are; these items are sold by online auction. Practically speaking, that means if you walk by the Park Slope store and fall in love with the red leather chair in the window, you can't buy it outright, but you can bid on it online. (But beware, the merchandise can be tantalizing, so if you're an Ebay addict, you might find yourself with another online shopping addiction.)
- Window/case auctions are announced every Monday at noon and they run for two weeks.
- Prices are higher than at the Salvation Army, but a fraction of normal retail.
- Both stores are open seven days a week.
- Housing Works was born in Manhattan. But the headquarters of this $50 million non-profit social enterprise is located in Brooklyn, on Willoughby Street in Downtown Brooklyn.
- Where: 122 Montague Street, in the heart of Brooklyn Heights, Brooklyn
- When: Mon-Sat: 11 A.M.-7 P.M., Sun: 12 P.M.-5 P.M.
- Contact: (718) 237-0521
Located across the street from several popular ladies clothing chain stores, Housing Works offers a convenient and pocketbook-friendly alternative when shopping for evening wear, fancy handbags, belts, and occasionally even shoes. In other words, you might just find a little black cocktail dress or evening bag here for $20 or 60, instead of paying $200 for a more-or-less similar item that's new, across the street. (Your boyfriend or husband will never know the difference.)
If you're in the market to buy furniture, or a lamp, or two pretty matching wine glasses, the selection here is often good. But merchandise moves quickly, and the space is small so there's not a lot of choice. Therefore, come in a decisive frame of mind, prepared to buy — and if you don't see what you want, come back often.
As with all of the thrift stores associated with this non-profit organization, items in the window are sold by online auction.
- Where: 266 5th Avenue, Park Slope, Brooklyn
- When: Mon-Sat: 12.-7 P.M., Sun: 12 P.M.-5 P.M.
- Contact: Phone: (718) 636-2271
Located on a prime shopping strip on Fifth Avenue, surrounded by boutiques, coffee shops and, on weekends, jammed restaurants serving brunch, the shop is convenient to not only Park Slope but also Gowanus and nearby, equally child-centric Carroll Gardens.
Smaller than its sister store in Brooklyn Heights, the Park Slope Housing Works shop, like the dozen or so others city-wide, is artfully crammed with ladies coats and sweaters and pants, shoes, household items, and, once in a while, very cool and affordable kids gear.