When it comes to shopping for affordable, quality clothing and accessories, Marin isn’t typically praised for it’s abundance of economically satisfying options. Luckily for students, there are plenty of second-hand nonprofits, consignment stores and thrift shops all within a 20 minute drive from Redwood. If seeking to take on a new and unique style, find some cool clothes your parents used to wear or even shopping for a friend, teens can acquire almost anything they’re looking for. Overflowing with decent to mint condition items, each store is individualistic and caters to many specific needs.
Mt. Carmel Salvage Shop: 5/5
In downtown Mill Valley on 45 Lovell Avenue, the Mt. Carmel Salvage Shop is a Catholic resale store filled to the brim with an array of items to choose. The upstairs has everyday clothing for anyone around the age of 15 or older, a huge collection of books, athletic gear and various board games and decorations. The downstairs has houseware, shoes, children’s clothing and electronics. All of the merchandise has been donated to the shop and the items that they don’t accept, such as towels and washcloths, are either given to various homeless shelters or the Marin Humane Society. From creative holiday decorations and clothing to inexpensive second-hand suits and ties, this store exceeds all expectations of salvage shops. The one downside to the store being based entirely on donation, is that not all items are going to be “high end,” so if that’s what you’re looking for, this may not be the store for you. However, this is a great place to go if you’re either looking for a quick new outfit or for an interesting accessory.
Sugar Magnolia: 4/5
Sugar Magnolia consignment shop is home to many vintage, upscale items. Mostly receiving items from collectors and over-buyers who have excess goods, this consignment store’s material is typically high end with extremely marked down prices. This store contains mostly women’s shoes, dresses and purses, with a few men’s accessories like wallets and watches. I received a warm welcome and great customer service upon entering the store and the owner is very personable and eager to help. Although small, the shop holds hundreds of items and has a very unique interior with dozens of vintage decorations. If aiming to find high quality affordable women’s items, this is the place to go. Unfortunately for guys, you’re out of luck, unless you’re shopping for your mom or in the mood to change it up and try something new.
Goodwill San Rafael: 2/5
Located on Lincoln Avenue in San Rafael, the Goodwill thrift store is full of clothing, electronics and other useful items. Just one of the 19 stores on the West Coast, with 25 donation sites, Goodwill has plenty basic items for men, women and children. Although it is large for a thrift store with an abundance of items, there doesn’t seem to be much variety or originality. After entering the store, there wasn’t any customer service and the employees were not very friendly. Even though most of the items are mainly for necessity, it holds quite a high price compared to some of the other shops throughout Marin. Overall, it didn’t have any outstanding features and was quite pricey for a non-profit organization.
Swan Dive: 3.5/5
The Swan Dive consignment shop located on First street in Corte Madera is another convenient location when searching for a women’s secondhand store. Having been around for over 22 years, it has developed a network of loyal customers. With around 5,000 consignors, they receive varieties of quality jewelry, shoes and clothes. Having the reputation of selling luxury and designer goods, the owners keep the store and inventory in great condition for their customers. Although the items are sold for a large store profit, they are still great quality and well below the prices seen at retail shops. For many people looking to find women’s clothing, Swan Dive could take the place of a Nordstrom’s or Macy’s because of their large selection.