Climate change and environmental destruction made apparent in the last few years have made many turn away from fast fashion and seek out more sustainable ways of shopping. As Asia’s shopping mecca, Hong Kong’s own vintage and preloved fashion scene has also been growing. Here are some of our favourite shops with second-hand offerings which will keep the environment, your wardrobes and your wallets happy. Apart from clothing stores, we’ve also included a few great vintage stores with character, which makes for fantastic browsing.
Remember to double check on the opening hours before you head out, as some stores may have flexible and unconventional hours.
Little Dot Vintage1/F, 47 Granville Road, 47 Granville Rd, Tsim Sha Tsui
The quirky and colourful Little Dot Vintage specialises in women’s clothing from the 1950s to the 1980s. The shop is tucked away on the first floor of an old walk-up building on Granville Road, right in the heart of the busy shopping district of Tsim Sha Tsui. Once you press the doorbell, you’ll enter a space bursting with colour. Shop for blouses with bold designs, one-pieces dresses with bright patterns and lace collars sourced mainly from Japan and the United States. Want something to go with your newly picked out preloved outfit? Pick a hat, or accessories or a cute handbag from the selection also available.
Midwest Vintage Store 美華氏Tin Hau shop: Shop 58, G/F, Victoria Centre, 15 Watson Road, Tin Hau
Mong Kok shop: 101A, 1/F, 618 Shanghai St, Mong Kok
Yau Ma Tei shop: Nelson Court, Waterloo Rd, Mong Kok
As the store name suggests, Midwest specialises in American-style vintage. This is the go-to place for 501 Levis, cowboy boots, Hawaiian shirts and military jackets. With locations in Mong Kok, Yau Ma Tei and Tin Hau (the original shop), Midwest’s wooden shelves are amply stocked with clothing from the United States, as well as a section of re-tailored, or “upcycled” clothing made from second-hand garments and designed in-house. It also holds an impressive collection of old concert, summer camp and tie-dyed tees.
If you want to shop online, Midwest offers their upcycled garments at their Etsy shop.
Mee & Gee 美之時裝入口店Mong Kok shops: 55 Tung Choi Street, 64 Tung Choi Street, 181 Fa Yuen Street
Tsim Sha Tsui shop: 67 Granville Road
Central shop: 9 Li Yuen Street West
Wan Chai shop: 3 Tai Yuen Street
Mee & Gee might be Hong Kong’s best-kept thrift store secret. With multiple locations across the city – often tucked away just off a busy major road or behind a hawker-lined street – Mee & Gee has been selling imported vintage clothing since the 1980s. A collaboration with a Japanese vintage chain store also means you can expect a good amount of second-hand clothing imported from Japan. Here you will find everything from Hawaiian shirts, to industrial overalls, to leather jackets and eveningwear, with unbeatable prices. The stores themselves are sparsely decorated with no frills – just hanging racks and bins bursting at the seams with clothing. The amount of clothing might be a bit overwhelming at first, but once you start digging, there are real gems often hidden between the hangers.
The people who shop here are also as diverse as the clothes – on a normal day, you will find housewives mixing with hipster vintage hunters, immigrant workers and students all looking for a bargain and some great fashion.
Redress ClosetG/F, 78 Apliu St, Sham Shui Po
Redress Closet is the storefront for environmental charity Redress, with a mission to change the fashion industry’s unhealthy habit of excess and waste production. After a decade of holding secondhand shop pop-ups, Redress finally opened a permanent shop in May 2021, selling quality second hand clothing. Sales revenue from the sale is funnelled back into the charity to fund recycling, educational and other programmes.
All clothing is neatly arranged according to colour, making it easy for shoppers to sift through the racks. There are also a good selection of bags, shoes and accessories on offer.
Check out the charity‘s other work, which includes a second-hand clothing drive and collection
Rubbish_b 堆填區8/F, 66 Sai Yeung Choi Street, Mongkok
The inspiration behind the name Rubbish_b (or “Landfill” in Cantonese) is from the phrase “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure”. The owners source bits and bobs from around the world – “rubbish” – to be lovingly displayed in the shop. And the end result is an impressively curated collection of restored watches, handbags, jewellery, scarves and handkerchiefs from the world’s most well-known high fashion houses like Celine, Dior, YSL and more. If you’re looking for unique accessories to go with your outfit, or you’re a fan of vintage brand-name items, then you will find Rubbish_b to be your treasure trove.
Owner Milki named Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast at Tiffany’s as the inspiration behind Vintage 1961 (1961 was the year the film was released). She handpicks elegant and classic pieces which will add sophistication to any wardrobe. The shop also houses clothing from their own vintage-inspired label, Femme Libérée, as well as a collection of jewellery, handbags, headpieces and tea sets dating back to the 1880s. Vintage 1961 is also the perfect place if you are looking for outfits from a certain era for a themed party.
Sadly, Vintage 1961’s physical store has recently closed its doors for good. However, the shop lives on through an online store. There are also pop-ups planned for next year.
Vintage but not clothing
Lily Bookshop 莉莉書屋1F-G Kai Fung Bldg, 189 Queen’s Road Central, Sheung Wan
Attention book collectors, because this one’s for you. At secondhand bookstore, Lily Bookshop, you will find classic Chinese literature volumes bound in beautiful traditional silk covers sitting next to a chick lit paperback still currently on the shelves of the massive chain bookstore. And this book lovers’ heaven has every other book in between. From pre-loved novels by Hemingway and Ishiguro, to a well-thumbed Calvin and Hobbes comic book or even the complete scores of the Beatles, the amount of treasures and history hidden on those shelves meant you can easily be lost in the stacks for hours. Lily Bookshop also holds a trove of precious first-edition and out-of-print collectibles and a large section of old books about Hong Kong, China and the region.
Jik Sap 夕拾9/F, On Lok Factory Building, To Kwa Wan
Jik Sap sells vintage furniture, home furnishings and collectibles, with a mandate to “collect items that carry stories from the past”. All of its wares are beautifully collected, restored and displayed in their space within an old converted factory building. Recent offerings include a teakwood chair with a rattan seat, from an old British Colonial-era government office; a Hong Kong-made Pink Colour Plastic Crystal Lamp from the 1970s; and an amber beer glass bottle with a handle, made in Japan. The price tags lean towards the higher end, but the shop and its collection is worth a visit for vintage lovers. The store also does restoration of old things.
However, Jik Sap is more than just a shop. It functions as the heart of a design community and actively holds art and design exhibitions, workshops, doubling up as a rental space for photoshoots and other events.
Select 18G/F, 14 Tung St, Sheung Wan
Select 18 sits on the steps of a small street just next to Upper Lascar Road – Hong Kong’s “antique row” famous for its luxury, top-priced antique furniture. It’s hard to miss – the shop’s boxes of records, collections of knick-knacks overflow from the entrance and onto the pavement. The small shop is filled to the brim with vintage items like eyeglasses, old cameras, leather goods, coins, toys and more.
It is well worth a visit if you want to pick up a unique souvenir or gift, or a quirky piece for your living room coffee table.