Best Thrift Stores in Cary- Hidden Gems!


Fall breeze and thrifting thingss

Maddy Chen and Elaina Gilsenan

We all know the struggle of wanting to look cute but on a budget. September 22 marked the official start of the Fall Season, meaning the perfect opportunity to pull out warm hoodies or rep your vintage cardigans and mom jeans, with a boujee belt or bag to tie it all together. Thrifting is not only fun and adventurous, as you never know what goodies you’ll find, it’s also environmentally friendly, TRENDY, and incredibly affordable- if you know where to look. 

The GH Talon/Yearbook staff conducted a poll on Instagram asking Green Hope students whether they’d been to a thrift store before. 24% put never, 31% said they had been to over 3, and 45% approximated visiting 1-3 stores. Thrifting continues to grow in numbers, and we’re glad to see so. Since we love any excuse to shop, we decided to explore the area and check out the Thrift Stores around, creating a list with our personal favorites to share.  



As seen on Tik-Tok and other social media outlets, thrifting is becoming more and more popular among the younger generation and this definitely comes with benefits! According to Business Insider, fashion production makes up to 10% of the planet’s carbon emissions causing dry-up in water sources and pollutants in rivers and streams. Through second-hand purchasing, people recycle and reuse cotton, which saves resources and creates less pollution. Not to mention the potential to find designer products for 90% off or developing a super unique style, thrifting can minimize our carbon footprint, and in turn, save the future. 

Fast Fashion stores, such as Zara, Forever 21, Urban Outfitters, and H&M, have a hidden dark side behind each product made, as many of these stores use workers from Asian or African countries that are underpaid and endure intense labor circumstances. With 40 million people working in the fast fashion industry, 85% of them being women getting paid on average $3 a day, this creates a hugely negative environmental impact. There is a greater need for buying both higher quality and secondhand. One speaker notes, “slow fashion is the only sustainable future for the industry and the planet.”  

Here are a couple of second-hand stores around Cary that you can support: 



No longer a hidden gem, as more and more people discover this store, Maddy’s friend found Thrift 2 Gift hidden off the road near the Cary DMV. She raved on and on about how many Oversized T-Shirts, Sweatshirts, and Jewelry she found her first time around, so we obviously decided to check it out. Boy were we delighted when we did so! 

This store is by far the best around Cary when it comes to Clothing and Accessories. Ever since Maddy’s first trip which was in February of this year, she doesn’t think she’s gone a month without stopping by. We love their men’s section and always find cute vintage and retro-looking T-Shirts as well as Name Brand Hoodies and Sweatshirts. They have a better selection of clothes that cater to teenagers and their prices are some of the best we’ve seen. Most things we bought have been between $0.97 to $6. There’s an occasional college sweatshirt that costs between $10-$20. Get this though, T-shirts are only $1.50! The belt Maddy wears to work every day was purchased for $0.99 and a swimsuit set for only $3! The employees are super sweet as well. 



Like Thrift 2 Gift, Dorcas is a Christian owned thrift store with a plethora of options- whether it be shoes, mirrors, beanies and bucket hats, sweaters and cardigans, or vintage mom jeans, this store has it all. Located on High House Road, this is a fun and quaint store to visit with friends. Prices are a bit higher than Thrift 2 Gift, but everything is still relatively cheap. This is a great place for teens to go to, as Maddy liked a lot of the styles in their clothing section. However, it’s important to note that with thrifting, if possible, try to not buy items in high demand such as warm winter coats. Thrift stores are second-hand shops, and Dorcas Ministries as well as Thrift 2 Gift specifically are meant to be for those with greater need. Although a good alternative to high-end brands as well as a great eco-friendly option, we should still be mindful of those who are truly in need. 



A great non-profit thrift store with proceeds supporting Alzheimer’s Research, we would definitely recommend checking this out. This store includes clothing, furniture, books, and other knick-knacks. Some jeans range from $1-$5 and everything is kept fairly clean which is such a plus!



This store is on the expensive side of thrift stores due to the brands it has. This is a chain thrift store with three in the area to choose from, one by Crossroads, another in Brier Creek, as well as the third near Southpoint Mall. It’s a good option for people new to thrifting or someone who doesn’t have as much time to sort through racks on end because it is relatively small and well organized. Elaina found that the store is good for when you have a specific need in mind as she found a nice pair of black leggings she was searching for in other stores, within 2 minutes of getting to Plato’s Closet. A major downside to this store is the prices. Though they are much cheaper than the retail prices, they are also more expensive than your typical thrift store. 



Similar to Plato’s Closet, Uptown Cheapskate is on the pricier side to second-hand thrift stores. The closest one to Green Hope is about 10 minutes away in Beaver Creek with one in Raleigh as well. This store is the best for teenage trends and styles as they’re very specific on which clothes they accept. Uptown and Plato are both on the “expensive” spectrum because they actually buy clothes from customers! Maddy was able to get $25 in exchange for 5 shirts she brought in, which was a super-easy way for her to clean out her closet and get extra cash to shop for new clothes. 

We hope this list helps you with your shopping excursions. Be mindful of what others may truly need and stay safe during this time!