One Easy Tip for Sustainability :: Thrift Stores in Birmingham


thrift stores in Birmingham, AlabamaSummer is approaching and lots of us are looking for ways to improve ourselves and our family. For many of us that includes taking steps towards sustainability. But with tight budgets (hello, inflation) and tight schedules (multiple kids in extracurricular activities), how do you make that happen? It seems so unapproachable especially when so many tips on the internet involve spending more money. It definitely makes my head spin!

I personally love when I can find the intersection between environmentally friendly, budget wise, and schedule efficient. And, let’s face it, low-hassle. One place that happens for me is thrift stores. I know this isn’t a revolutionary strategy, but it might be one that is forgotten. Here is what it looks like for us. 

Thrift smart

My kiddo needed new headphones for school. Instead of heading straight for Amazon or Walmart, I swung by Vapor Thrift on my way home from a meeting.  I found three pairs of headphones that totaled $5.97. Then I got a 10% off discount on top of that because I had points built up in the Clover app. That make the total cost for three pairs of headphones $5.37.

It was environmentally friendly because it reused items already made. It was budget wise smart since  I would have paid $5 a pair at Walmart. It was schedule friendly and hassle free because it took me less time to shop and check out at Vapor than it would have at Walmart. Amazon would have been a couple days wait. 

2 of our 3 headphones

My kids are kind of on the band wagon too. They know if we go into Vapor or Right Stuff Thrift Store (our closest ones), I will say yes to more items than a retail store because it is so budget friendly. They also like that they can get more unique items at thrift stores, and sometimes we find better brands than we would regularly purchase at a retail store. And the whole thing comes with the feeling of a successful treasure hunt.

Local thrift favorites

There are many local options to make thrifting convenient. Some are small and some are large, and at every spot its likely to find a wide variety of items. Its an adventure sifting through everything from clothing to home decor, shoes, electronics, appliances, and more. 

Donating and purchasing with thrift stores benefits some amazing foundations that are avidly working to make a difference in our communities and around the world. It is a win, win, win situation.

Vapor Thrift Store: 5442 US-280, Birmingham

Vapor is one of my go-to thrift stores. They have a lot of selection. They have name brands. There are a lot of cute decor items, tested electronics, and jewelry. They also style outfits on end caps to give your creativity a boost.  The dressing rooms are bright and clean. It is without a doubt a favorite among quite a few teens in our area. They have locations in Greystone, Vestavia, and Westover.

Rapha Ministries Right Stuff Bargain Center: 7480 Parkway Drive #110, Leeds

Rapha in Leeds is my favorite thrift store when I am tight on time. When we need some something in a tight timeframe, they are generally my starting point. Also, the store is a perfect medium size. Large enough for a good selection, but not so large as to be overwhelming. Make sure to check to wall racks and front desk display racks. They have locations in Leeds and Atalla.

Lovelady Thrift Store: 7720 Ludington Ln, Irondale

Lovelady is the super center of thrift stores. They have a huge space so they can carry a lot of stock. It is a great place to score dress clothes. They have lots of furniture and toys. And there are a lot of purses and bags near the checkout. I have even found mobility assistance items there, like knee scooters and walkers. There is so much to see. Go in with a treasure hunter’s mindset. They have locations in Irondale and Clay.

Goodwill: 5287 US-280 #233, Birmingham

The Goodwill in Brook Highland is gathering lots of fans. The store is large, and there are lots of “new with tags” items. This is definitely the new store to check out. In addition to Brook Highland, they also have a location on Green Springs Highway in Birmingham.

Other options to try

Full Circle: 2902 Linded Ave, Birmingham

King’s Home Thrift: 110 Chelsea Corners Shopping Center, Chelsea

Second Hand Rose: 4200 Oakview Ln, Vestavia Hills

Sozo Trading Co: 4 41st Street, Birmingham

What about you?

Have you tried thrifting? If so, tell us your favorite places to shop and how you get your kids involved in the process of finding new treasures.

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Michelle H
Michelle grew up in the Trussville/Pinson area but has lived in Leeds for 22 years. Michelle has been married to Todd for 25 years. They have 3 boys: Erik (16), James (13), and Micah (9). Michelle’s mom also lives with her family. Michelle has a Bachelor’s in Bible and Theology from Southeastern Bible College and worked at her alma mater in institutional and educational research for 14 years. Michelle works a couple hours a week teaching preschool childcare for The Church at Brook Hills. She also teaches a ladies' Bible study class and provides leadership to some ladies' multigenerational classes. She also volunteers with Leeds Elementary School and the Leeds High School marching band. In her spare time she likes to read and play around in the arts and crafts.


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