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I was asked by the Thrift Collective to do a city guide of thrift spots in Cork City. I started by looking at  other city guides thrift guides, mainly cities in America. Initially, it made me very jealous but  when I thought about it Cork has a lot going on in the thrift department. Cork city has a population of about 119,000 which might seem small but I think we can hold our own with the best of them 🙂

First up, is charity shops. These will have clothes, bags, shoes and a generally a small household and book section. The place to go for charity shops is North Main Street in the city centre. There are seven charity shops on this street, all of which are small but because they are on the one street it is convenient to pop in and out of all of them.

My favourite is the Irish Cancer society, Castle Street,Cork. It’s just around the corner from North Main Street. They collect similar themed items to create great window displays, see the image above, then announce a set date for their window sale. So for example, they had displays of old cameras and equipment and one that I was very sorry to have missed was vintage tea sets.

I think this has raised the bar for other charity shops and others on North Main Street are starting to do the same.

A full list of the Cork cities charity shops are available here.

Vintage Clothing and Jewelry

Photo Credit: Miss Daisy Blue Instagram

In vintage clothes there is Miss Daisy Blue in Market Parade, just beside the famous English Market. Downstairs you’ll find vintage day wear for men and women and upstairs you’ll find occasional wear with a sparkle. The shop itself looks great and is fitted out with some great salvaged pieces.

A few doors down from Missy Daisy Blue is Peacock and Ruby also in Market Parade. This is a small shop filled with vintage jewelry and bits and bobs.

Oxfam charity shop on Cook Street has a railing devoted to their vintage clothing finds which is well worth checking out.

Next up on Drawbridge Street is Mercury-Goes-Retrograde, here you’ll find vintage fashion for men and women and lovely jewelry and accessories. As a side note, she does fantastic gift wrapping! I bought a brooch for a friend a while ago and she gift wrapped it by cutting pretty pictures she cut from a magazine and stuck them to a box she found in a bag of goodies. Up cycling on the fly and friendly too!

in Brocade and Lime you’ll find some vintage pieces among new items. While your there why not step into their retro beauty parlour for some vintage hair styling:, they even have cocktails on a Friday. What more could you ask for) Also check out their fun website here.

Three drawer chest with mirror


Image Credit CJM Furniture

Second Hand Furniture

There are two second hand furniture places on Pope’s quay Cork. Both are messy and packed to the brim. I often leave these out because I can’t get in the door with a pram but if you are pramless then dive right in.

The Irish Cancer Society furniture shop on Cornmarket Street is not huge but they are selective about what they display and you can get some good bargains, plus it’s for charity so you can’t really go wrong.

My favourite second hand furniture shop, possibly my favourite place to wander in Cork, is CJM furniture. It is a bit out of the city center but it is by far the best. They have a large warehouse and good turn over of items too. The prices are reasonable and the owner is open to a bit of bargaining. They also have a small household goods section.

Car Boot Sales

Image Credit : Facebook Cork Car Boot Sale

This is how I spend my Sunday mornings. For those of you not familiar with car boot sales they are like markets in a field. In Ireland they generally involve rain or talk about if it will rain.  People drive their cars in, open the boots/trunks and sell their household goods or clothes that they no longer want. The seller pays a fee and buyers pay a small entrance fee. They are generally run as fundraisers for community resources. They are great for bargains, banter and a chat.

Car boot sale locations and times change regularly but this website  is a trust worthy guide of upcoming sales. I recently found this facebook page on Cork car boot sales and would have saved myself a lot of wasted trips to cancelled sales if I had checked out their updates.

Flea Market

Image Credit : Mother Jones Flea Market

Mother Jones Flea Market  is a relatively new weekend market on York Street Cork. They have vintage clothing, furniture,books, jewelry, records and household items. It’s a lovely place filled with nice people, a little cafe, music and vintage treasures galore. I LOVE this place and think Cork City is even better since it has opened. You are guaranteed to want many things from here. 


Images: Style 25, Quay Designs and Funky Junk Interiors

I didn’t include these in the original post because I was asked to do a post on thrift stores but I have included them here because the upcyclers of the world work with the old to make it new again. Having only tackled a few upcycling projects in my life I know that it’s time consuming slow work. The pieces these shop produce are unique, beautiful and labours of love. In the city check out Quay Designs and Style 25 (beside Mercury-Goes-Retrograde). These are both really nice shops with pretty things that make you go ohhh.

While this is a city guide I’m going to go a bit outside the city to recommend Funky Junk Interiors if Carrigaline for upcycled pieces mixed in with some lovely vintage finds.

This post isn’t sponsored, I’m just sharing the love for Cork vintage, and maybe trying to lure the world to Cork!

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