In addition to dedicated vintage clothing shops, you can also find great thrift shopping at Joburg’s many weekly markets. On Saturdays head to Braamfontein and visit the Neighbourgoods market before popping over the street to browse the rails at the pop up vintage market in Kitchener’s Carvery Bar. On Sundays Market On Main in Maboneng has an enticing selection of quality vintage clothing stalls both on the first floor of the Arts On Main building and at the street market outside.
Meanwhile Rosebank Sunday Market is a particularly good place to find chic vintage accessories and jewellery (look out for the huge stall specialising in antique jewellery) and on the last Sunday of the month you’ll find the biggest range of second-hand clothing and other bric-a-brac at the Vintage Sundays car boot sale.
Other great places to find interesting vintage clothing shops include the bohemian suburb of Melville - take a stroll down the main drag 7th Street and take a look in the quirky shopping centre 27 Boxes, the huge long-running second-hand clothing shop Rags & Lace on Jan Smuts Avenue and downtown Joburg's 'dunusa markets'.
Joburg's downtown 'dunusa markets' are set less than 2km apart, easily accessible from Park Station. The inner-city’s best shopping open secret - the dunusas are sprawling informal outdoor second-hand clothing thrift markets. Dunusa is an isiZulu word meaning to bend down and point your bum, alluding to the way shoppers bend down and hunt for clothes.
Controlled by the African Traders Associations, the dunusa traders and clothes come from all over Africa and as you shop you are surrounded by a cacophony of languages from Swahili and Igbo to isiXhosa and isiZulu. With clothing prices starting at R2 per item, the dunusas offer a haven from the high cost of living in Joburg, affording the student population and the underprivileged affordable, stylish and quirky fashion options. Joburg's three main downtown dunusa markets can be found on Diagonal Street and De Villiers Street (behind Park Station).
Each stall in the market consists of a trolley filled with clothes. There’s often a standardised price on each stall. If you’re looking to spot designer pieces, look in the stalls with higher price tags, the most expensive stalls, are usually no more than R150. Note that all stalls are cash only and might not have small change. Be mindful of your belongings and pickpockets and only carry a small amount of cash with you.
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