If you needed convincing that thrifting is widespread, imagine our surprise at finding four thrift stores in the market town of Cootehill in County Cavan, Ireland, population 1,853.
Three of them, the Palliative Care Charity Shop (run by the Irish Hospice Foundation), Vincent’s (run by St. Vincent de Paul) and New2U Charity Shop (run by Cootehill Christian Fellowship) are nonprofits that support health and other local services. The newest shop, From Good to Good, is a for-profit shop that opened this past winter.
All four are small shops with women’s, men’s and children’s clothing and shoes, and a smattering of housewares.
New2U, run by volunteers, describes its clothing as “pre-loved.” Items were well arranged, and we were attracted to the hardy school uniform sweaters, with their attractive embroidered crests.
Purses for sale were priced according to size, from $1.50 for wallets, $2.50 for clutches and about $3.50 for full-sized bags. We found a black pleated fabric bag, on a chain link, that is the perfect size for evenings out, with sufficient room for a cell phone and keys, for about $2.25.
The offerings at all the shops are in very good condition, especially the shoes. Coats and sweaters are in abundance. This well-made Jaeger blazer was a find at Vincent’s for under $12.
Vincent’s also had a full rack of women’s down vests, a staple wardrobe item in Ireland, from 2 to 5 euro ($2.25 -$5.64). There were 1 euro ($1.13) racks with even bigger bargains. As always, we found several items that were brand new with original tags still attached.
Football windbreakers, usually lined and with embroidered team names and crests, are perfect for watching games in the winter and spring chill. The one we bought at From Good to Good was 10 euro ($11.27) and carries the emblem of the “Maroubra Lions” a rugby club in the eastern suburbs of Sydney, Australia. As we’ve found many times before, expect the unexpected in thrift stores.
At the Palliative Care Charity Shop, clothes were very nicely arranged by size, and we all found must-have items. The full-length black cashmere coat at the top of this post, for example, was a bargain at about $23.
The Irish Charity Shops Association “the voice of charity retail in Ireland” has a useful website, icsa.ie, where you can search shop locations by county and for categories like bridal, vintage, books and furniture. Its 39 members groups (including the Irish Cancer Society, Irish Wheelchair Association, Oxfam Ireland, Irish Deaf Society, Ark Housing Association) run 450 shops in the country and are registered with the Irish Charities Regulator to ensure ethical fundraising. However, not all charitable shops are members. Of the four we visited in Cootehill, only Vincent’s was on the website registry.
Palliative Care Charity Shop, Market Street, Drumaveil North, Cootehill, County Cavan, Ireland
Open Monday through Saturday 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Vincent’s Cootehill, 77 Market St., Drumaveil North, Cootehill, County Cavan, Ireland. 049-555-6972
Open Monday through Saturday 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
New2U Charity Shop, 66 Bridge St.,Cootehill, County Cavan, Ireland
Open Friday and Saturday 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
From Good to Good, Bridge Street, Cootehill, County Cavan, Ireland
P.S. If you missed this article in yesterday’s New York Times, check it out. It’s a profile of one dedicated thrifter who is putting her practiced eye to work by pulling together outfits to send to online customers. https://www.nytimes.com/2019/07/09/style/internet-girl-depop.html