De Kringloopwinkel: Thrift shops in the Netherlands
To me, there is nothing like browsing my local thrift shop or charity shop (or in Dutch: kringloopwinkel)! The smell (reminiscent of my grandma’s house…)! The sights (do they really think that obviously haunted doll will be sold?)! The bargains (only 50 cents for that vase!)!
Now, chances you’ll find a priceless heirloom during your thrift shop adventures are pretty slim. But, ever heard of the saying: one person’s trash is another person’s treasure? Well, that certainly holds up in thrift shops. Some of the second-hand items you will encounter during your browsing, you will not even look at twice, but I guarantee you, they will get sold eventually. And that’s a good thing!
How often do we mindlessly buy new stuff, while our old stuff is still perfectly fine? Usually, the stuff found at thrift shops just needs some extra love, a new layer of paint, or a new set of buttons, for instance. I have found some amazing things at thrift shops, such as vintage art nouveau mirrors from the 70s and a cute retro cabinet for only 50 euros!
Thrift shop chains in the Netherlands
Are you ready to give cast-aside things a second chance? There are a few thrift shops chains that can be found throughout the Netherlands - these are the most popular ones:
RataPlan was founded in 1982, and back then it was called Stichting Kringloopwinkel. Its mission? “To counter the enormous waste of raw materials and energy in society and the associated pollution of the environment.” RataPlan’s first store opened in Den Helder, but nowadays, the organisation has 30 thrift shops in North Holland, South Holland and Flevoland and provides work to people struggling to find work.
What can you find at RataPlan? Well, almost anything really. Clothes, furniture, bicycles, toys, household items, books and more. New stuff comes in every day. Oh, and some stores even have a bicycle mechanic to fix your bike!
You can find RataPlan in the following places: Alkmaar, Amsterdam, Almere-Haven, Almere-Stad, Berkel en Rodenrijs, Capelle aan den Ijssel, Delft, The Hague, Den Helder, Diemen, Haarlem, Heerhugowaard, Hoofddorp, Maassluis, Monster, Naaldwijk, Rotterdam, Schagen, Spijkenisse, Tuitjenhorn and Wieringerwerf.
Noppes is committed to a green world where everyone is included. Every year, Noppes collects more than seven million kilograms of textiles and household goods - about 76 percent of these products are reused and rehomed and the rest is recycled! This reduces CO2 emissions by roughly five million kilograms!
Furthermore, Noppes is a social enterprise; they immediately reinvest all their proceeds in realising their goals: sustainable reuse and work for everyone. More than 400 employees work at Noppes, as well as volunteers, students and interns. Their aim is an inclusive labour market in the Netherlands in which everyone can participate fully.
You can find Noppes here: Purmerend, Wormer, Zaandam, Volendam, Hoorn, Grootebroek, Opmeer, Velserbroek, Santpoort-Noord, Beverwijk, Uitgeest, Nieuwegein, Houten, Woerden and Gouda.
In the Netherlands, Emmaus consists of 14 residential and working communities. Together, these operate 20 thrift stores.
All branches are focused on giving people the opportunity to fulfil their lives in a meaningful way, to help them get out of a problematic situation, to improve the environment by sorting and reusing discarded products as much as possible, and to give people with a small budget the chance to buy things for little money. And what’s also great is that the money that’s leftover goes directly to charities at home and abroad!
Terre des Hommes
Founded in 1960 by Edmond Kaiser in Lausanne, Switzerland, Terre des Hommes ("Land of People" or "Land of Men") is an international children’s rights charitable organisation, located in Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg, Spain, Syria, Switzerland and the Netherlands.
To raise money for their cause, and to help better the environment, Terre des Hommes runs over 40 thrift shops in the Netherlands. With your purchases at their shops, you help the fight against the exploitation of children, as their proceeds go to their programmes.
To see if there is a Terre des Hommes shop near you, enter your postcode in their site’s shop finder.
In the Netherlands, the Leger des Heils (Salvation Army) has been collecting second-hand clothing and textiles for over 100 years. Today, you can find these clothes in the ReShare Stores.
ReShare focuses on growth and innovation with benefits for people, society and the environment. They also strive for circularity within the textile industry. To achieve this, ReShare works together with municipalities, innovators, other textile re-users, fashion designers and retail producers.
Contributing to a thrift shop
All the chains mentioned above also accept donations. So, is your attic looking a little messy or did you just Marie Kondo your closet? Take your old clothes and furniture to one of these shops to give them a second chance. Oh, and some of these stores will even pick up your things, so there is no need for you to drive anywhere if you can't. How handy is that?!
Have you ever shopped at a thrift shop in the Netherlands? Let us know in the comments below!