Did you know that the fashion industry produces 20% of global wastewater and 10% of global carbon emissions? That’s more than all emissions from international flights and shipping. Every year, more than 100 billion clothes and accessories are sold worldwide.
But there is an environment-friendly alternative to the environmental consequences of fast fashion —second-hand fashion. Paris has been surfing that fresh wave for a while now, and you’ll find plenty of vintage shopping options across the city.
So if you want to save yourself another guilt trip, follow us through the slow fashion hubs of the French capital. Come and spend lots of time and little money at the 3 top vintage shopping areas of Paris.
1- Old vintage at the Puces de Saint Ouen
The Marché aux Puces de Saint-Ouen finds its origins in 1885, following the order of the prefect Eugene Poubelle —it means “dustbin” in French, prohibiting the deposit of garbage at people’s doors in Paris. The rag pickers would then settle at the edge of Paris in what is now the world's largest art and antiquity market, with 5 million visitors a year, and a major hub for clothes and garage sale items. People generally access the market from Paris through the Rue des Rosiers, coming from the Porte de Clignancourt (metro line 4) or from Garibaldi (metro ligne 13). In the area you’ll find stalls for every type of second-hand clothes. For thrifted pieces, try Malik and Le Plateau, for vintage clothes, you might like serpette, Paul Bert, cambo, Vernaison or Dauphine. We suggest you come here early in the morning, when Parisians from all walk of life showcase their collection on the ground or in makeshift trestles. Just please be careful of pickpockets…
Marché Dauphine, Flea market, Saint-Ouen, France
2- Stylish second-hand garments at Le Marais
Not yet found what you were looking for? Welcome to the temple of vintage style! Le Marais is one of the most hipster area of the French capital, and you’ll find people dressed up in all sorts of attires around there. From the 1980’s, the neighborhood has become a hub for the LGBTQ community of Paris around the street Sainte-Croix-de-la-Bretonnerie, visible through the dedicated bars, restaurants, and clothing stores. But nowadays, gay shops have been progressively replaced by many different types of commerce, including the best second-hand stores of Paris. Whatever your style is, you should find something for your taste here. We suggest you go to the Rue de la Verrerie for all things kawaii, biker, and hippie.
Rainbow pedestrian way, Le Marais, Paris (pinterest.fr/theparisguy)
3. Low cost clothing on the Rue de Charonne
By now your shopping budget might not be what it was at the start of your shopping trip… Don’t worry, you’ll find some cheap options on the Rue de Charonne! In the 11th arrondissement of Paris, this is one of the most animated streets of Paris. You’ll find handicrafts of all sorts, art galleries and several vintage stores on the same lane. And surely you might want to stop at the biggest and most beautiful Emmaüs shop of Paris. Opened in 1991, the oldest shop of the association offers a large choice of clothing and accessories, small items and linens. And since it’s a charity, all the money you’ll spend on clothes there will benefit the poor and deprived. So shop as much as you can and feel good about yourself!