vintage clothing

Revealed: The World’s Hotspots For Vintage Shops

Published 1st June 2021
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Not only are many of us looking to make more sustainable fashion choices, but second-hand and vintage shops are brimming with more clothes than ever before! Yes, vintage is well and truly back in vogue and better than ever, with everyone from Harry Styles to Anna Taylor-Joy and even Kim Kardashian rocking the retro look. Girl, put your records on - vintage vibes are here to stay!

But where is the best place to buy your new, or shall we say old, wardrobe? The team here at OnBuy studied a wealth of vintage and second-hand shop listings on Yelp.com across populous cities in Europe and the Americas to reveal where the world’s vintage fashion capitals are! How close are you to your nearest vintage treasure trove?


Which city has the most vintage shops?

vintage capitals

Brussels

After searching through business listings and calculating the number of shops per 100,000 population, OnBuy can reveal that Brussels is the world’s number one vintage hotspot! With 36 stores per 100,000 people, the city leads on this front by a mile. One of the best vintage clothing stores in Belgium’s capital city is Think Twice, a short walk from the Galerie Sogo and Foundation Jacques Brel – the museum honouring the beloved Belgian singer-songwriter. The leading brand in Belgium “promotes sustainable fashion through a cyclic fashion experience by selling vintage wear and second-hand clothing”, which is something many of us are trying to do more of.

Copenhagen

In second place is Copenhagen, with 12 vintage stores per 100,000 population. In total, the city houses 75 stores but, due to its larger population than Belgium, it just missed out on first place. For anyone wanting to visit the bustling second-hand scene, head to København K, Dansk Røde Kors or PRAG.

Lisbon and Helsinki

Portugal’s capital Lisbon claims third place with 10 shops per 100,000 people, with Helsinki in Finland following just behind in fourth (nine vintage shops). A second-hand store worth visiting in the Finnish capital is UFF, the vintage business in which customers “support sustainable development, employment in Finland and development cooperation in Africa and Asia”.

Amsterdam, Stockholm, Paris and Dublin

With seven shops per 100,000 a piece, next on the list are Amsterdam, Stockholm and Paris, followed by Dublin in Ireland with six vintage fashion businesses per 100,000 people to choose from. Enable Ireland is just one of many second-hand clothing stores to visit if you’re a resident or tourist which also provides services to 9,200 children and adults with disabilities across Ireland.

Zurich and Santiago

Closing off the top 10 are Zurich (Switzerland) and Santiago (Chile), both listing five shops per 100,000. Their sustainable fashion options aren’t as broad as the likes of Brussels and Copenhagen but are still worth championing due to their efforts to create a better, eco-friendlier world to live in.

Check out the infographic below to see where all 23 cities placed. How high up did your favourite fashion capital come?

popular vintage destinations list

Which city has the highest rated vintage shops?

best vintage shopping locations

As well as the availability of sustainable fashion choices, we also analysed the average ratings of second-hand shops in each city. With 38 to choose from and average ratings of 4.28 out of five, the best shops are in São Paulo, Brazil. Due to the city’s population of around 11.1 million (the third highest of cities analysed), it doesn’t manage to place on the list of most shops, but that just makes them hidden gems worth discovering!

Coming in second on the ratings report is Istanbul, Turkey. The capital’s vintage scene is sure to provide eco-warriors with high-quality garments and great service as they browse shops with an average rating of 4.25 out of five.

New York skips into third place. The Big Apple is a wonderful melting pot of people, cultures, and opportunities, so it’s great to see that the quality of vintage shops on offer is bound to please too. Of the 179 stores to choose from in the city, New York’s vintage shops have an average score of 4.16 out of five.

Following behind are Austria (4.11), Prague (4.09), Mexico City (4.05), Dublin (4.03), Zurich (4.02), and Berlin (4.02) to make the top 10 cities for vintage fashion style. 

Berlin’s second-hand shop Humana is not only great for your purse and the environment, but one of our previous studies found that Germany is the third vainest country in Europe, which will definitely appeal to those looking to revamp their retro looks!

Which city has the lowest rated vintage shops?

quieter vintage locations

On the other end of the ratings is Buenos Aires in Argentina. Their 22 shops only manage an average score of 3.61 out of five, however, that doesn’t mean they should be avoided by any means. Check out Galpón de Ropa in the centre of the city’s food and shopping district – it’s worth the buzz of 101,000 followers on Instagram!

Surprisingly, Brussels falls in second place for the worst rated second-hand stores. We can assume that the sheer number of shops to choose from is a contributing factor to their measly score of 3.65 out of five. Brussels is followed by Lisbon (3.66), Madrid (3.69) and, finally, Copenhagen (3.73) rounds off the bottom five.


Methodology:

  1. OnBuy collected business information from Yelp.com including name, address, and ratings for vintage/second-hand shops in the most populous city in countries around Europe and the Americas. Shops with no reviews were omitted from the results.
  2. The results were then aggregated by city. The following metrics were calculated: total number of shops, most popular shops, and average ratings.
  3. Using population estimates collected from Data.un.org, the total shops per 100,000 people was calculated for each city.
  4. The final results were ranked by shops per 100,000 people.
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