The Best Thrift Shops in Santa Barbara

Illustration by Christine Ho

Linda Chong
Copy Editor

A rise in sustainability awareness has led to a rise in trendy methods aimed at helping everyday citizens protect the earth. These movements include replacing plastic straws with paper or metal straws to “save the turtles sksksk” and utilizing Hydro Flasks to reduce buying plastic water bottles. However, the most enjoyable and sustainable change that excites any member of Gen Z is thrift shopping. 

Thrift shopping recycles old clothes and lowers your carbon footprint. It creates a circulation that saves waste and thrives on the idea of “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure.” Thrifting is also trendy amongst our generation because it doesn’t require much money and you are instantly respected by peers if you pull up in a vintage jean jacket that says Harley Davidson 1929. 

So where might one find one of these hidden caves of cheap vintage and used clothes in Santa Barbara? 

Uncommon Thrifts

The closest shop for Isla Vistans is the thrift store located within The B Boutique, Uncommon Thrifts (@uncommonthrifts). Founded by Erin Thomas and Kate Reid in June 2019, Uncommon Thrifts has been the friendly-neighborhood-Spiderman of thrifting opportunities, having hosted pop-up events around I.V. and a permanent location inside Isla Vista’s local wax shop. 

Thomas and Reid are former U.C. Santa Barbara (UCSB) students that would sell thrifted items or their old clothes, but now are alumni working towards a permanent option for clothing sustainability. Their main goal is to promote conscious consumption and sustainable fashion by recycling clothes for a cheaper price and lengthening the lifespan of each piece they encounter. Make sure you check their Instagram for open hours!


Destined for Grace Thrift Shop

Located in Goleta, Destined for Grace is a quaint shop with all your dreams. As a nonprofit organization, Destined for Grace aids children of Haiti by funding their education and establishment. Ranging from oversized flannels to 90’s inspired cardigans, the entire store screams vintage, which is why all the Dickies-girls with their cool skater socks practically live there. Your work is cut out for you, because the search is intense. But once you find that perfect fit, Destined for Grace will make you the next trendsetter.


Alpha Thrift Store

Also located in Goleta, Alpha Thrift has the smallest parking space of any store listed, but the largest selection of used goods near campus. Besides clothing, they feature a sizable shoe collection, knick-knacks, kitchenware, books, furniture, jewelry, and even calculators for all the students that need a simple calculator for that one G.E. class. Make sure you reserve an entire day to browse because it will take at least half an hour and you will lose sight of your friends inside.  


Crossroads Trading

As we venture out into downtown Santa Barbara, this is my last honorary mention for all you folks that hate the searching process in thrift shopping. Crossroads is a consignment store, meaning they’re a thrift store filled with brands that you recognize and have already been sorted out for you. This also means you can come in to trade or sell your used clothes. Here you will find those Tommy Hilfiger sweaters and vintage jean jackets that everyone wears, but the price will usually be higher than a regular thrift store. Either way, gems will be found, but you must hurry.