• Sweden edition
A guide to second-hand shopping in Sweden

A guide to second-hand shopping in Sweden

Published: 17 Jan 2011 14:34 GMT+01:00
Updated: 17 Jan 2011 14:34 GMT+01:00

If funds are running low in a post-Christmas economic slump, but you still want to upgrade your wardrobe with some new togs for a new year, there may be a solution. Why not try your hand at shopping for second-hand clothes, and check out what Sweden has to offer in the way of vintage?

While hardly a new concept, the market for used clothing has really exploded in Sweden over the past years, to the point that shopping second-hand has become something of a status marker for the hippest among us, as a quick glance down any street in the trendy SoFo district in Stockholm can confirm.

This is Vintage Central, where twenty-something hipsters bearing scarves and sweaters almost certainly knitted before they were born flock with bohemian girls in worn artsy dresses that proudly show their age.

It's also the part of Stockholm with the highest density of second-hand stores per block. Small vintage boutiques are constantly popping up from out of nowhere to join established chains such as Beyond Retro, Myrorna and Stadsmissionen as part of the Swedish capital's ever-expanding possibilities for shopping second-hand.

"I think the attraction lies in the possibility of finding more personal clothes second-hand than you can in regular shops," explains Josefin Hagström, Beyond Retro's press assistant, when asked about Swedes' fascination with used clothing. She notes that if you want to look for your own unique style, second-hand stores have more to offer.

Beyond Retro have established themselves as one of Sweden's best-known vintage chains since opening their first store in Stockholm in 2005, and now have enormous stores at three Stockholm addresses, and one more in Gothenburg. These stores are filled with colourful and exotic clothes that range from party dresses to outrageous accessories.

The allure of finding a skirt you'll never risk inadvertently matching with your friend's at a party, or a jacket unlike any on offer at more mainstream high street shops, is easy to understand. Are there any other advantages to going for second-hand clothes?

"You get a chance to re-use old things that come with a history, if you're interested in that sort of thing," says Josefin Hagström, and goes on to point out the eco-friendly Brownie points that accompany any foray into the world of vintage - shopping second-hand is far less damaging to the environment than buying new items.

Beyond Retro's prices will burn a slightly deeper hole in your pocket than many other second-hand stores. In fact, today it is quite possible to update your wardrobe with brand new items from high street stores for less than it would cost at Beyond Retro, although the result won't be nearly as retro chic, of course.

The same applies at Stockholm's more exclusive second-hand boutiques, such as Judits Secondhand (Hornsgatan 75) and Lisa Larsson (Bondegatan 48). These boutiques offer carefully selected vintage clothing from decades past, so if you're looking for a dress from the 1950's, you're likely to find it here.

The fact that the vintage clothes at these stores have already been selected by buyers is a large part of the reason for the higher prices, and as Josefin Hagström points out, many customers appreciate not having to do all the work themselves, by picking through piles of used clothing with little merit.

"People know that there are many different types of clothes, and at the same time know that we've selected only the best stuff, so that you can always find something when you come in here."

Arguably, though, for many one of the main enjoyments of shopping for second-hand clothing is sifting through pounds of unwearable but hilarious rubbish before being rewarded for your hunt with a real gem.

So if you would rather save a few extra bucks, and don't mind putting in a little extra time and effort, the chains Myrorna and Stadsmissionen, both run by charities and available in several locations throughout Sweden, may be just the thing. You've got a chance of making some great finds here, but you're also likely to have to first search through some fairly interesting-looking togs, to say the least. How about a canary yellow quilted two-piece suit?

Don't want to put in any time at all, and preferably not leave your house either? Thanks to the wonders of modern technology, there is an option for you too: Blocket and Tradera are two major Swedish websites of the eBay variety, where you can buy everything - and I mean everything - including an astonishing array of cast-off clothing.

If you got a well-meant but unfortunate-looking sweater from Grandma last Christmas, the Internet is also the right place to get rid of it. Simply sign up for an account of your own, and within minutes all your discarded clothes can be on the market!

For a more complete listing of Sweden's second-hand stores, look here.

Paul Rapacioli (paul.rapacioli@thelocal.com)

Don't miss...X
Left Right

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Swedes insist EU prioritize environment

Swedes insist EU prioritize environment

An EU public opinion poll released on Friday revealed that Sweden is the only nation which thinks the environment should be a top priority for the union. READ  

Police turn blind eye to Swedish 'slave trade'
File photo: TT

Police turn blind eye to Swedish 'slave trade'

Police in Gothenburg have confirmed that sex trafficking in the city has developed into a full-blown slave trade - but that they lack the resources to do anything about it. READ  

Pirate Bay inmate claims religious persecution
Photo: TT/The Missionary Church of Kopimism

Pirate Bay inmate claims religious persecution

Peter Sunde has complained that his religious rights have been impinged after he was refused permission to meet a representative of a church inspired by the keyboard shortcuts for cut and paste. READ  

Stockholm 'bomb man' jailed and deported
Police at the scene of the threat in June. Photo: Bertil Ericson/TT

Stockholm 'bomb man' jailed and deported

The 43-year-old man who threatened Stockholm's Gamla Stan with a bomb in June was sentenced on Friday to two years in jail, followed by deportation. READ  

Swedish police: 'We're sweaty all the time'
Swedish cops are unhappy with the heat. Photo: Håkan Dahlström/Flickr

Swedish police: 'We're sweaty all the time'

Swedish weather agencies say the summer's warmest day is yet to come, but police in the north have decided that they can't take the heat - and filed a report about the own stifling police station. READ  

SAS resumes flights from Stockholm to Tel Aviv
File photo: Johan Nilsson/TT

SAS resumes flights from Stockholm to Tel Aviv

SAS Scandinavian Airlines has resumed flights from Stockholm to Tel Aviv after the airline completed a 'thorough security analysis' of the situation in Israel. READ  

Swedish man stabs woman and kills himself
A Stockholm police car. File photo: TT

Swedish man stabs woman and kills himself

A man and a woman, reported to be both 45-years-old, were found dead on Thursday in an apartment on Lidingö in Stockholm with police suspecting a murder and suicide. READ  

Police fear arson after Sweden mosque fire
Central Norrköping in eastern Sweden. Photo: Stefan Vilcans

Police fear arson after Sweden mosque fire

Swedish police suspect arson after buildings at a mosque in Norrköping in eastern Sweden burned down in the early hours of Friday morning. READ  

'Moving wasn't a choice, Sweden called to me'

'Moving wasn't a choice, Sweden called to me'

Caught in an identity limbo and surrounded by often apathetic "love refugees", The Local's resident Swedophile Solveig Rundquist wonders if she's the only expat who moved to Sweden for the culture alone. READ  

Swedish inmates to receive digital tablets
Photo: Hasse Holmberg/TT

Swedish inmates to receive digital tablets

Sweden's Prison and Probation Services are beginning a project in which suspected criminals will be given surf tablets to look at evidence against them. READ  

Top ten Swedish taboos
Seven-year-old Swede cycles to Berlin
'Gaza conflict needs help, not empty rhetoric'
Swedes voted 'most beautiful' in the Nordics
Business & Money
Sweden demands EU clarity on Bitcoin tax
Blog updates

24 July

Sharing our Pride: Celebrating Love & the LGBT Community! (Stockholm in my American Heart) »

"It’s mid- July in Stockholm, and with much of the city on vacation, things can seem a little quiet – the streets, the bus, and the grocery store. One thing that has not paused for a summer break, though, is preparation for Stockholm’s Pride Festival, which will take place from July 28 to August 2...." READ »


22 July

Det (The Swedish Teacher) »

"Hej! “Det” is a personal pronoun that can be used in many ways, and it might me confusing if you always translate “det” to English “it”. In this article I will do my best to guide you to how to use “det”. Det replacing a word, a phrase or a clause Let us begin with the less confusing..." READ »

Swedish organic sales enjoy 'amazing' growth
Photo: Johan Nilsson/TT
What's On in Sweden
People-watching July 23
Swedish cops elect not to shoot 'angry elks'
Business & Money
New alcohol retail rules threaten micro-breweries
People-watching Båstad
Business & Money
Sweden falls to third in global innovation index
Swedish ornithologists keep webcam watch
Photo: Andreas Nordström/Image Bank Sweden
Top ten Swedish beach hot spots
Swedish Wiki vet sets new content record
Photo: Fastighetsbyrån
In Pictures: The Local's Property of the Week
Photo: Finest.se
People-watching July 15-16
Photo: Ola Ericson/Image Bank Sweden
What's On in Sweden
Photo: Lisa Mikulski
Hope springs eternal for expat pet shop owner
Princess Estelle steals limelight at mum's birthday
Swedes risk infants' lives by covering up prams
Swede runs for office just using Bitcoin funds
People-watching July 11-13
Sponsored Article
Introducing... Your finances in Stockholm
Sponsored Article
Introducing... Housing in Stockholm
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Germany

More news from Germany at thelocal.de

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

jobs available
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions is an innovative business company which provides valuable assistance with the Swedish Authorities, Swedish language practice and general communications. Call 073-100 47 81 or visit:
If you want to drink, that’s your business.
If you want to stop, we can help.

Learn more about English-language Alcoholics Anonymous in Sweden. No dues. No fees. Confidentiality assured.
PSD Media
PSD Media is marketing company that offers innovative solutions for online retailers. We provide modern solutions that help increase traffic and raise conversion. Visit our site at: