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2019-03-04 Back to list

Thrifting in Kaunas: Second-Hand Stores and Flea Markets

Raminta, a local thrifting enthusiast, reveals her favourite spots in Kaunas.

Thrifting – the lifestyle of wearing and buying second-hand clothes and things, the lifestyle, which is focusing on recycling and reusing rather than buying new goods is becoming more and more popular. Kaunas Aleksotas Market, weekly Car Boot Sales and local Humanas (second-hand shops) are a real paradise for local ethical consumers. Kaunas University of Technology (KTU) student Raminta provides her insights into the local thrifting market.

While most people are in a craze of owning as many things as possible, some of them are slowly starting to realise that happiness doesn’t come with ownership. Huge problems with fast fashion, overproduction and plastic waste occur everywhere, but not all are not familiar with coping with such issues. The ones that are familiar know that there are quite a few solutions on how to leave the least amount of carbon footprint on this planet, but also how to live a sustainable lifestyle. For example, there is no need for you to buy things that are mass produced and to create more demand for such items.

What is the way of doing so, you may ask? It’s thrifting! This style of consuming, and, I would say, living is becoming more and more popular nowadays amongst millennials and other generations. Buying things second-hand doesn’t create a big demand for new items, because as the old saying goes: “One man’s trash is another man’s treasure”. By buying things second-hand, you not only save yourself a significant amount of money – your purchases have a history behind them, they are interesting in their own ways, they are unique and, most of the time, are of much higher quality.

In Kaunas, in your local flea markets or second-hand shops, you can find many items that go way back – they “remember” two or even three generations back, when quality was much more appreciated. They are so different from cheap, plastic items of today, which break easily and are easily replaceable.

A person that first introduced me to thrifting was my mom – she was always looking for high fashion names in the thrift stores. In these shops, they are much cheaper than their original price, are of high quality. Besides, she is convinced that no one is going to have the same piece of clothing in her group of friends (my mom is obsessed with standing out in the crowd). My dad had some influence on me too – he is the king of flea markets. He hunts for one of a kind furniture, statues, anything that is handmade or catches his eye in any way. That is where I got most of the practice on thrifting – my friends are always commenting on how I notice pieces that they would never even think to pull out from the rack.

In Kaunas, there are loads of different places to get your hands on second-hand clothing, jewellery, books, furniture etc. You can find several different flea markets, that are organised weekly or monthly. Thrifting has become more and more popular over the years not only amongst adults but between teenagers and young adults, too. Below I am introducing some of my favourite places to shop ethically and without breaking the bank.

Kaunas Car Boot Sale (Bagažinių Turgus)
Adress: Elektrėnų gatvė 1F

Organised next to the vast shopping area “Urmas”, a weekly car boot sale happens every Saturday and Sunday (with some rare exceptions). It is free of charge, so everyone can come and look around. It is organised outdoors so you may want to consider the weather as an indicator of how many sellers is there going to turn up. In Bagažinių Turgus you will find anything and everything – from clothing, old antiques, books, records to old car parts.

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Humana and Humana Vintage

E.Ožeškienės g. 9, Kaunas
Kęstučio g. 61, Kaunas
Kovo 11-osios g. 22, Kaunas
Neries Krantinė 16, Kaunas
Pramonės pr. 14 (Žalioji galerija, 8 salė)
P. Lukšio g. 60, Kaunas
Savanorių pr. 172, Kaunas
Sukilėlių pr. 84, Kaunas
Savanorių pr. 419, Kaunas
V.Krėvės pr. 43, Kaunas
V.Krėvės pr. 97A-97B, Kaunas
Humana Vintage, M. Daukšos g. 25, Kaunas

Humana is an organisation that has many different second-hand shops across multiple locations all over the world. The money they receive goes to good causes. The prices are different every week of the month, depending on the stock. When a new (old, really) batch of clothes arrives the prices are the highest (but not as high as if you were buying new clothes) and by the fourth week they are down to being 1 euro per item. Of course, then the chances of finding gems are relatively low, but I was lucky enough to get my hands on pieces, that have served me for years. Humana Vintage sells sorted vintage clothing from the earlier decades. They are usually higher in quality and more expensive, but finding one of a kind piece is really worth it.

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Aleksotas Market (Aleksoto Turgus)
Veiverių g., Kaunas

If you’re not into clothing, there is more to find in Aleksotas Market. The Market is open all year round, every day of the week. You may even go grocery shopping for some Lithuanian seasonal goods, buy electronics, antiques or look around for some early 2000’s toys. However, you may want to bring your Lithuanian friends, as not many people there speak English.

aleksotas2

Photo by Donatas Stankevičius for Kaunas Full of Culture magazine


Thrift shop “Gausa”

Šv. Gertrūdos gatvė 3
Vytauto prospektas 3
Savanorių prospektas 352

“Gausa” branch has three shops in Kaunas, offering a massive selection of clothing and prices so it would please even the pickiest of shoppers. This shop has something for everyone’s taste, and it is effortless to spot amazing pieces.

There are loads more second-hand shops in Kaunas so I would recommend looking for signs such as “dėvėti drabužiai/apranga” (second-hand clothing) or “pigūs drabužiai/apranga” (cheap clothing). Shopping second hand allows you to save money, save the environment, and provides you with a chance to purchase a one-of-a-kind piece. Happy shopping!

Story by Raminta Strumilaitė, the 1st year New Media Language student of the Kaunas University of Technology, Faculty of Social Sciences, Arts and Humanities.

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