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Thrift shop treasure hunting

Thrift shop treasure hunting

In the past thrift shops may have been cringe-worthy, but today, with their bountiful offerings of all things eclectic, they’re a veritable treasure trove and considered decidedly cool and trendy. Janine du Pisani set out to discover thrift shops right on our stoep.


The best kind of thrift shops are those with a heart, in fact, they are the most popular in Durban. The largest and most diverse charity shop in the Durban and surrounds is the Kloof and Highway SPCA. The sprawling property houses 11 different charity shops, each catering to a different need including children’s toys, music, haberdashery, household goods, books, plants, clothing, costume jewellery and horse riding gear. If your hubby, sombre teen or busy toddler refuses to be associated with you, no problem, they can head for cover at Marilyn’s Tea Garden for a beverage alfresco style. The kids can burn off the sugary sodas and make new friends as they traverse the incredible play area within a stone’s throw from Marilyn’s. Unfortunately not all the shops are open during week, they are however all open on Mondays, Thursday and Saturdays from 8am till noon.

Nothando is no stranger to SPCA charity swank, “ I love the baking stuff and they always have the most beautiful side lamps. I love it here, they have most unique stuff, you don’t find at other shops and its very cost effective”

The Durban and Coast SPCA deserves a special mention, if you’re a cat lover you can enjoy an experience similar to that of the popular cat café’s in Asia, at the Coffee Cats Café by sitting down for a coffee and kitty cuddle by the many celeb cats that call the café home. Aside from the beautiful charity shop with its adjoining pet supplies store, the monthly mini market, hosted every last Saturday of the month is a hit. Supporters gather by the boatload, at the crack of dawn, to score much-coveted parking and incredible bargains.

Highway Hospice

The Highway Hospice opened its very first charity store 15 years ago, a little home industries shop, run by volunteers not far from the hospice. Today, the granddaddy of charity shops, boasts three impressive stores in Sherwood, Hillcrest and most recently in Pinetown. The entrance of the large, recently relocated Hillcrest branch looks akin to that of an Art Gallery with gorgeous paintings and famous prints adorning the long hallway into the store. Large coffee table books and books of every conceivable genre line the wall, as they tower over a plethora of urban treasures, including vintage vinyls, sewing patterns, ornaments, garments and most recently Christmas decorations, just in time for the festive season.

Hillcrest native and store owner, Keith Chapman, is a veteran shopper at the Hillcrest Hospice charity shop. “There are so many benefits shopping here, the price, value, character and the history of the items” He still fondly recalls his favourite treasure from the store, a beautiful antique scale.


Social Cause Agency

The Social Cause Agency is new kid on the block. This is a charity shop with a twist. Instead of proceeds going to a single beneficiary, it is shared amongst four organizations, The Jes Foord Foundation, Bobbi Bear, Baby Hope House and the SPCA. The popularity of this initiative has grown to such an extent that they recently opened a second, larger store at Paige Place in Pinetown. The Paige Place store has an incredible assortment of adult and children’s clothing, including but not limited to wedding and evening dresses while their store at Paradise Junction in Pinetown boasts a larger assortment of household goods.

Patrons Maureen and her daughter were thrilled by the new Paige Place store. “I love popping in to see what’s available, I’m looking for something that catches my eye and I love how we can help charities with our purchases,” said Maureen.


The Hop Shop

The Hop Shop, nestled in swanky Helen Joseph Road  projects a trendy façade in keeping with the revered restaurants that surround it. The Charity Hop Shop is brainchild of NPO Likhon iThemba. All proceeds generated by shop are used to fund various ongoing projects including HOLAH baby house and Bowl of Plenty. The funds will also contribute towards their upcoming special needs creche, Mini Miracles.

This special organization doesn’t believe in begging for money but giving supporters something for their money. A sentiment Hop Shop supporter, Carol reiterates “I’ve been coming to Hop Shop since January 2017, they have great things and I support a great charity”.

If that doesn’t draw you then this gorgeous home on Helen Joseph Road with its beautifully decorated walls with contemporary, vintage and retro artwork, all for sale and themed rooms, teeming with treasures should. Goods are categorized by rooms; toys, clothing, sports goods, stationery, books, home and kitchenware. Even if vintage, pre-loved clothing isn’t your thing, be sure to browse the exquisite hand embroidered, beaded eastern and ethnic-wear. Browsing can be exhausting, buy a cup of aromatic coffee, kickback and lose yourself in the pages of wall-to-wall of books or chat to one of the warm and knowledgeable staff members.

Many consider thrift shopping an art, entire reality shows such as Storage Wars have been based on it, but if you don’t consider yourself an intense shopper make a day of it. There truly is something for everyone, you can deck out your kitchen, bathroom, mother-in-law and even your cat for a fraction of the retail price. Not only will your pimped out pad be the envy of the neighbourhood, but your hard earned cash will go towards a worthy cause.


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