One of the more practical trends in retail has been a move toward sustainability and repurposing. While the environmental benefits are obvious, I think we as Montanans can appreciate the idea of getting as much use out of something as possible. I personally have enjoyed buying secondhand, so when I started to look into how many options there are in Missoula, I was delightfully overwhelmed.

Compared to other towns in Montana, I think Missoula has a robust secondhand scene. I had the privilege of speaking with Finley, a senior at Sentinel High School who works at ReStyle Clothing Exchange, about the nature of sustainable fashion and why it's so popular in Montana.

“I think that, honestly, Montana is so unique in the way we appreciate our planet and our land. Secondhand is such a good way to be more conscious about the bad effects of the fast fashion industry...You're creating a local impact when you buy secondhand.”  

But secondhand fashion is about more than just sustainability, Finley explains. “With (Montanans) being outside so much, clothes can be a tool. I think that’s really important to people. Clothes can also be a form of expression and art. Thrift stores give you more variety and options, rather than what is being chosen for you through chain stores.”  

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Missoula's vintage clothing suppliers are creating a retail landscape that supports the idea of clothing as expression.

"We don't do a men's and women's section," Julia Battisti, General Manager for Pink Elephant says. "We like to organize pieces by what they are. Like sweaters with sweaters and t-shirts with t-shirts." The clothing in Pink Elephant is also organized by color which naturally leads to some creativity. Pink Elephant also highlights visual artists in their space and will have live music for First Friday on March 3, 2023.

With an abundance of used and secondhand options in Missoula there certainly may be places we've missed. You can tell us about them in the comments on social media or via our app. Otherwise, enjoy these great options.

Great Options for Used and Second Hand Stores in Missoula

Missoula Montana embraces sustainable shopping and there are many good options for finding used and secondhand goods in town.

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