In the bins: Macklemore & Ryan Lewis' video perfectly captures the feeling of thrifting awesome clothes at second-hand stores


Macklemore & Ryan Lewis' new cd, The Heist, will be in stores October 9, 2012. 

I've shopped at thrift stores for second-hand clothes ever since I was a tiny child and I've never stopped. As a teenager I used to take the train up to San Francisco to visit Clothes Contact on Valencia St.

In New York without a bike, thrifting was one of the few ways I could get into a flow state, but the hauls could be disappointing as most of the Goodwills were picked over. However I did manage to score a pair of agnès b. leather jeans that I still have.

They are totally impractical for biking, but they were my uniform during my first year of Fashion School. This was before NYC had any bike lanes, and I was too scared to brave the traffic. The black leather went with my depressed hippie-goth look.

 I thrifted in Italy, although thrift stores aren’t really a part of their culture (extremely overpriced vintage, on the other hand). The few that I did come across were run by religious organizations or semi-communist environmentalist groups that were smugly helping out poor immigrants (like me!) and/or the environment by selling off their old stuff. The hours could be inconvenient even by Italian standards.

But my all-time favorite place to go thrifting ever is at The Bins, just outside Portland, Oregon. Officially it’s known as the Goodwill Outlet .

Holly Stalder and Kate Towers the original founders of 2 Girls 2 Shirts Seaplane first took me there to find raw materials when I worked with them as a pattern maker and seamstress, but it was my friend Cory who taught me the finer points of hunting for pieces we could flip to Red Light and Buffalo. She also taught me how to spot a junkie. Thanks, Cory!

Seattle’s version of The Bins makes an appearance at the 1:02 mark of the Macklemore & Ryan Lewis – Thrift Shop Video above. Everything in those ugly blue bins is sold by the pound. The heavier your haul, the cheaper the price.

If you get a chance to hit up one of these Goodwill Outlet stores, give yourself at least two hours and set aside the last 45 minutes for culling your pile. Always wear rubber gloves. Trust me.

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