It is a truth universally acknowledged that the only thing better than new clothes, is buying them at a bargain price
Whether you call them 'thrift shops' or 'bundle stores', Malaysia has seen a surge in small businesses dealing with preloved clothing.
Besides being easy on your wallet, thrifting is also a great way to reduce waste and environmental pollution, while supporting the local economy by funding small businesses.
1. Baden Baden Bundle
Baden Baden Bundle is one of the oldest and most popular names in the scene. It was founded by Sulfan Yushak in 1986 as a small stall selling and trading used clothing at night markets and by the streetside. Their items are sourced from Japan, so they tend to be slightly on the pricier side.
2. JBR Bundle
Bundle shoppers rave about JBR Bundle because of its vast stock of clothing at dirt cheap prices. One customer claimed he managed to buy four pairs of denim jeans for only RM50. JBR will soon be launching a special department for cheap winter clothing, hiking items, and RM2 items at its Bandar Sri Damansara outlet.
3. Vintage Moonriver
Vintage Moonriver has a variety of clothing in its stores that are imported from Japan, US, and Australia. One thing we've heard is the store is a great place to head to if you're looking for lovely vintage dresses.
4. OKGO Store
Featuring a curated selection that is sustainably sourced, OKGO makes thriftshopping look fashionable. Its Insta-worthy store decor also boasts a small cafe that serves black and cold brew coffee.
A truly hidden gem, @by.aween operates mainly online and at car boot sales. The shop's specialty is vintage women's clothing in soft pastels and floral designs. A tip from one of our colleagues who is a big fan - their prices can be as low as RM3 per piece when you shop in person instead of online!
- Uptown Shah Alam Seksyen 24
- Uptown Santai Setia Alam
6. Family Bundle
Loyal customers of Family Bundle will cite two reasons for returning: cheap prices and a wide variety. You'll find never-ending racks, each creaking under the weight of its load. Denim, corduroy, flannels, and jackets of all kinds seem to be a favourite here.
1, Jalan Awf 1, Ampang Waterfront, 68000 Ampang, Selangor.
Daily (10am to 12am)
7. Bandoru Store
Bandoru Store is pretty hard to miss: one of its most notable outlets is located along the Federal Highway in the colours of Japan's flag. It dubs itself as a concept mall that collects preloved, original, and quality clothing imported straight from Japan. Bandoru is known to have a good selection of winterwear and outerwear.
8. 2nd Street
2nd Street is a Japanese-founded company that specialises in exporting used clothing to Asian countries. It has over 550 stores in Japan, but has already opened three outlets in Malaysia since its recent launch. Prices may be on the pricier side as many items are branded, with an air-conditioned and clean environment to boot.
9. Bargain Basement
Bargain Basement is an initiative by Yayasan Tan Sri Lee Shin Cheng, of the IOI Group. The charity has clothing items for both adults and children, with 100% of the proceeds going to charity. Although most of the items are donated, you may even find some new finds among the items.
10. BLESS Shop
BLESS Shop is a social enterprise under SIBKL that began in 1999. Although most of its outlets are hidden on basement floors, it holds a number of great finds - from evening gowns to cheap work clothing - that make it worth your time. 50% of the proceeds from sales are given to various charities, while the rest are used for maintenance of the stores.
11. Jalan Jalan Japan
Jalan Jalan Japan is a favourite with toy collectors and parents, but it also sports a great selection of clothing imported from Japan. The best part? Two of its outlets holds a montly 'TaPauSab' event, where shoppers can buy a bag for RM5 and take home as much women's clothing as they can fill in it. Or, you could pay RM10 for three bags instead.
12. Vintage Night Market (Pasar Raja Bot)
If you're looking for a bundle-diving adventure, then the Vintage Night Market at Pasar Raja Bot (or Chow Kit Market, among other names) is the place to be. There are at least 200 stalls set up along the row, bearing racks and racks of streetwear clothing, shoes, and accessories.
No 48, Jalan Raja Bot,
Chow Kit, KL,
50300 Kuala Lumpur.
Friday and Saturday (9pm to 4am)
Meanwhile, if you're looking to clear out your closet, here are the best places to take your clothes to: