Joburg Itinerary: Writer and photographer Heather Mason’s guide to Joburg’s top thrift shops – 2Summers

10 Jan 2024
Over the years, life according to @2Summers has become one of Joburg's most popular blogs. We are long-time fans, and love following Heather Mason on her adventures through our favourite city, South Africa and the rest of the world.

In her recent blog post, Mason wrote about her infatuation with Joburg Thrifting. She reckons there’s no need to buy brand-spanking new items when you can grab everything you need for less than its retail value, the quality is higher and the experience overall is better.

All you need is a little patience and you’ll find anything you can imagine (and then some) – from one-of-a-kind art pumps at a reasonable price to a decades-old Art Deco butter dish.

Over the past two years, Mason has discovered several excellent spots to get your thrift on. From a Harry Potter-style “closet” tucked behind a shopping centre to walk-ins at a designer’s home, here’s a rundown of her exploration of Johannesburg’s vintage stores.
Do we need an owl plate? No, we don't. But how could you resist? Heather Mason at Trouvé. Photo: 2Summers.



Trouvé Vintage Merchants & Coffee is at the end of Randburg's famous Long Road antique strip, and it's one of the more high-end (and less dusty) spots. What makes Trouvé stand out on the strip is its wider range of merchandise and little coffee shop at the back, if you feel like a refresher or sandwich.

The family-owned business boasts a stylish collection of lovingly curated furniture and décor from vintage, industrial and painted pieces to farmhouse and repurposed items. The store also stocks Annie Sloan chalk paint products if you’re ever looking for some, and there are a few workshops and custom painting sessions available now and then.

Says Mason, “I love to just wander through all the different rooms at Trouvé, picking things up and putting them down again. I don’t think I’ve ever left without buying something.”
Trouvé also has a small café in the back. It’s nothing fancy but I had a nice sandwich there the other day. Photo and caption: 2Summers.


Ietsie is derived from Afrikaans – where iets means "something". Ietsie Thrift is a small clothing shop in Linden, in a little centre across the street from Arthur Bales. It mostly has items for women but there are a few men’s racks, as well as some houseware goodies.

It has a great vibe and a beautiful selection of vintage jewellery but is in the pricier range (most of the clothing ranges from R100 to R350). Sale items, of course, are cheaper, so it’s just a matter of getting there at the right time before the good stuff gets sold. Oh, and make sure you ask for a bag when you’re paying, they make gorgeous shopping bags out of recycled shirts.

Ietsie Thrift is one of Mason’s favourite Joburg thrifting spots, she says: “I like shopping at Ietsie because it’s so well curated; if I need a last-minute outfit, I know I can walk in there and quickly find something cute.”
There are so many great places in Joburg to shop for used clothing, furniture, jewellery, shoes and homeware. Photo: 2Summers.


In addition to being one of the best vintage clothing sellers in town, Frayznix Rack is also a fashion designer. His studio (and sales room) is in his historic home in Brixton, right across the street from Breezeblock Café. Even so, Frayznix is usually open for walk-ins so make sure you check out his Instagram feed (@frayznix_rack) to find out when to pull through. The majority of his stock is casual menswear, with lots of well-known brands, but most of it can be considered unisex.

Frayz is also Mason’s neighbour. She’s mentioned Frayznix Rack in a few blog posts including one on the Brixton Youth Day fashion show, for which he both MCed and featured as a designer. “Both Thorsten [Mason’s partner] and I have bought clothes there. All of Frayz’s clothes are impossibly cool and affordable.” Read more about Brixton here


Some of the best thrifting in Joburg exists not inside brick-and-mortar shops but on Instagram.
Vintage butter dish (probably almost 100 years old) displayed on a vintage table (designed by acclaimed South African furniture maker John Tabraham). Photo: 2Summers.


Pretty Old Thing is run by photojournalist Madelene Cronje who carefully curates vintage treasures on her Instagram (@pretty_old_thing_za) and sells them to the first person interested. There are some absolute gems in her feed and, honestly, we don’t know how she gets her hands on all these exquisite antiques, so it’s worth it to keep an eye out for the next rare find. Pretty Old Thing sells mostly dishware and home décor but you’ll get the occasional piece of furniture here and there too. She offers delivery around Joburg and elsewhere at an additional cost.

Mason recently reconnected with her photojournalist friend, Cronje, saying: “I asked Madelene if she could find me a butter dish, as our old one broke, and she found me literally the coolest Art Deco butter dish ever made.”



This upmarket vintage store on Jan Smuts Avenue has been in business for three decades. The rails at Rags and Lace are stuffed with pre-loved clothing from all eras – many of them from high fashion designer brands. All items come with a ‘sell by date’ meaning that they become cheaper the longer they remain on the rails.

“Rags and Lace sells lots of very fancy designer shoes (and designer clothes in general), all of excellent quality and condition… I recently snagged one of the most fabulous pairs of shoes I’ve ever owned [there],” says Mason.
These Europa Art pumps weren’t cheap at about R1,800, but they are beautiful and comfortable and I’ve never seen another pair like them. I have no regrets. Photo and caption: 2Summers.


Yellow Pre-Loved is a tiny shop (really more like a large closet) tucked into the back of Bamboo Lifestyle Centre in Melville. They have a small but lovely collection of high-end women’s fashion on consignment. It’s sustainable, affordable and available via Instagram (@yellow_pre.loved) and Yaga too, so you can buy online if you don’t feel like taking a drive, but you might miss out on some gems in-store.

Mason has no regrets when it comes to buying items that she'll never find anywhere else, and Yellow Pre-Loved is no exception. “I bought a spectacular pair of black leather boots there recently,” she adds. 


Mason put together an entirely thrifted outfit to prove that you really don’t need to buy the newest fashion. “Here is a photo of me wearing a 100% thrifted outfit that I put together for a recent murder mystery night at the Rand Club (my assigned character was a 1950s Drum magazine journalist)."
I didn’t solve the murder but I was pleased with my ensemble. Photo and caption: 2Summers.
"The hat is from Kensington Trading; the scarf, brooch and pants are from Ietsie Thrift; the jacket is from Germiston Vintage Clothing; the shoes, of course, are from Rags and Lace. You can’t see them but I’m also wearing Art Deco earrings from Trouvé. I hope this post inspires you to do some Joburg thrifting expeditions of your own. It’s good for the earth and also way more fun than buying new crap in malls. The end.”


Connect via social media
google sign in button
Leave a comment using your email This e-mail address is not valid
Please enter your name*

Please share your location

Enter your message*
Put our app in your pocket
This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Find out more here. AGREE