Are you tired of throwing money at fast fashion stores that import from sweatshops and hurt the environment? Thrift shopping is a sustainable alternative for updating your wardrobe that won't break the bank or child labor laws.

Lucky for you, Boulder is full of thrift stores brimming with brand-name pieces worn once before being tossed in the donation pile, as well as gently used outdoors goods waiting for their next mountain adventure.

Thrift stores also have their fair share of sales, so you can still get your shopping-induced adrenaline going without having to walk around the Twenty Ninth Street mall.

Here are a few of the best spots for scoring a wardrobe update (and more) that Boulder has to offer.

Anthony Osgood keeps things ship shape at Ares Thrift Store in Boulder.
Anthony Osgood keeps things ship shape at Ares Thrift Store in Boulder. (Cliff Grassmick / Staff Photographer)

Goodwill Boulder

2486 Baseline Road

Let's start with a classic: Goodwill. First off, don't go to the donation center on Walnut Street (Google Maps isn't always your friend). This is at Baseline and Broadway.

Schedule a chunk of time for this stop, because you can spend hours just going through the racks of clothes. You can usually put together a nearly complete outfit for $10 or less if you're willing to do the digging.

Don't skip over the housewares section, either, or the furniture. You can usually find all of the coffee mugs you can fit in your dorm, art for the pasty white walls and storage bins for all the crap you didn't realize you had until you moved.


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Make sure you hit up the furniture and larger items section in the outer room before you leave. They've got some super cheap stuff in there that can make a plain beige box of a dorm room feel like home.

Ares Thrift Store

2536 Spruce St.

Grab some new duds for a night out downtown, or scour the racks for more business-appropriate looks that will score you that internship in the spring. While you're there, you might as well check out the home goods section. You might find something that'll make your drab dorm feel more like home.

Sales:

Monday: Buy one, get one free clothing items

Tuesday: 20 percent off senior discount for 55 and older

Wednesday: Double-stamp day on frequent shopper cards (completed cards earn a $10 shopping spree at the store)

Thursday and Friday: Shop during Happy Hours 10 to 11 a.m. or 6 to 7 p.m. to earn ARES Bucks (you can use those instead of money to make in-store purchases)

Sunday: Student or faculty discount of 20 percent off with a valid school ID

Seasoned Outdoor Exchange

2067 30th St.

If you're in need of outdoor gear — be it clothing, bikes or otherwise — this is the place. You'll find both new and used gear in this store, which was founded in 2011. If you're in need of cash and have some extra gear hanging around, the staff here will put it up for sale for 90 days.

Logan Singletary tests out a small trampoline at Goodwill in Boulder.
Logan Singletary tests out a small trampoline at Goodwill in Boulder. (Colorado Daily file photo)

Sales: Up to 50 percent off retail

Arc Thrift Store

1349 E. South Boulder Road, Louisville

OK, so this is technically not in Boulder. But hear me out — it's worth the 15-minute drive out to Louisville to check out this Arc.

This is where you need to go for books, CDs and outdoor gear.

There's a section at the back right of the store with skis, snowboards, boots, backpacking backpacks, tennis rackets and stuff I don't even know the name of. Soccer cleats? Hockey sticks? Roller skates? Check, check and check — all there.

While Arc has a smaller furniture selection than Goodwill, their housewares are on point. You'll find everything you need to brighten up your cramped dorm or apartment, including lamps, glassware, frames and school supplies.

Madeline St. Amour: twitter.com/madelinestamour