Chicago Recycling Coalition

Thrift Shops

Thrift shops are certainly one of the most successful "recycling" methods of our time. Of course, that's because they're really about reuse, which is one step ahead of recycling. And because they benefit so many people without requiring a lot of sacrifice on the part of anyone. You really can't find a better option for giving still usable items a second life than donating them to a charity you support.  It's a win-win-win-win situation. You get your old but still perfectly nice jacket out of the closet, someone else gets to buy it cheap and be thrilled with it, and the cause you believe in gets a financial boost. And in many cases, people get work sorting, cleaning, fixing, and selling your stuff. Oh, and you get a tax deduction. How many "wins" is that? In Chicago alone, there are hundreds of thrift shops. Pick one near you or one that you want to support and drop off your usable stuff. If it's not usable, it will probably end up in the thrift shop's dumpster, and that's not what you want.You might also think about buying things in thrift shops. In addition to benefiting the environment, you can often get higher quality than you could afford buying new.


The Brown Elephant Resale Stores - Although there are many resale shops in the Chicago area (check the yellow pages for a ton of listings), the Brown Elephant Resale Stores are among our favorites. These stores support the work of the Howard Brown Health Center, the Midwest’s premier GLBT health care facility. They also provide great places to donate or to buy used goods. For more information, click here.The Brown Elephant Stores are happy to accept clothing items, furniture, home accessories, and working computers or other electronics, but ask that all donations are in good, dry, clean condition. Among items that they cannot accept are non-functioning electronics, mattresses, textbooks, strollers, large appliances like stoves or fridges, and food. For more information on acceptability or for a pickup of your donations, call 773-549-5943, ext. 1.There are currently Brown Elephant stores at three locations in the Chicago area. Lakeview3651 N. Halsted Street773-549-5943HoursMonday - Friday 11:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.Saturday & Sunday 10:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.Andersonville5404 N. Clark Street773-271-9382Hours10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. dailyOak Park217 Harrison Street, Oak Park, IL708-445-0612Hours10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. daily


Goodwill - Goodwill created the stores and donation centers to fulfill many objectives: employ residents from the communities in which stores are located, process and sell donated goods in the communities in which they originate, and divert useable materials from area waste systems. On average, Goodwill collects 20 million pounds of donations per year from nearly one million donors.  Merchandise collected includes clothing and household goods. For more information call (312) 212-1290 or click here  for the website of the Goodwill Industries of Southeastern Wisconsin/Metropolitan Chicago. There are two Goodwill stores in the Chicago area: 1900 South Harlem Avenue in North Riverside (708) 442-3606 7400 W. 159 th Street in Orland Park (708) 429-9030


Salvation Army - We are probably all familiar with the phrase: "Give a person a fish and you feed them for a day, teach them to fish and you feed them for a lifetime".  The Salvation Army's International Enterprise section adds to the phrase "Teach them how to sell fish and you help feed an entire village." For more information, call (773) 477-1300 or click here . There are dozens of Salvation Army Thrift stores in the Chicago Metropolitan area. They accept donations of usable clothing and household goods, which they sell in their thrift stores. 


Chicago Salvation Army Thrift Stores 


Chicago Ave. (Chicago, Il) Family Thrift Store & Donation Center

5713 W. Chicago

Chicago, IL 60651

773-287-9774

Mon-Sat: 9:00 AM - 7:00 PM, Sun: Closed


Fullerton Ave (Chicago, Il) Family Thrift Store & Donation Center

3837 W Fullerton Ave

Chicago, IL 60647

773-276-1955

Mon-Sat: 9:00 AM - 9:00 PM, Sun: Closed


Western Ave (Chicago, Il) Family Thrift Store & Donation Center

2024 S. Western Ave

Chicago, IL 60608

773-254-1127

Mon-Sat: 10:00 AM - 6:00 PM, Sun: Closed


Oak Park (Il) Family Thrift Store & Donation Center

6536 W Roosevelt Ave.

Oak Park, IL 60304

708-848-1181

Mon-Sat: 9:00 AM - 9:00 PM, Sun: Closed


Clybourn Ave (Chicago, Il) Family Thrift Store & Donation Center

2270 N Clybourn Ave.

Chicago, IL 60614

773-477-1771

Mon-Sat: 9:00 AM - 9:00 PM, Sun: Closed


N Union St. (Chicago, Il) Family Thrift Store, Antique Boutique & Donation Center

509 N Union St.

Chicago, IL 60610

312-738-4360

Mon-Sat: 10:00 AM - 6:00 PM, Sun: Closed


Montrose Ave (Chicago, Il) Family Thrift Store & Donation Center

3301 W Montrose Ave

Chicago, IL 60618

773-588-7343

Mon-Sat: 9:00 AM - 9:00 PM, Sun: Closed


North Ave (Chicago, Il) Super Family Thrift Store & Donation Center

4141 W North Ave

Chicago, IL 60641

773-342-2068

Mon-Sat: 9:00 AM - 9:00 PM, Sun: Closed


Ashland Ave (Chicago, Il) Family Thrift Store & Donation Center

5112 S. Ashland Ave

Chicago, IL 60609

773-737-3335

Mon-Sat: 10:00 AM - 6:00 PM, Sun: Closed


Central Ave (Chicago, Il) Family Thrift Store & Donation Center

2941 N Central Ave

Chicago, IL 60634

773-283-1315

Mon-Sat: 9:00 AM - 9:00 PM, Sun: Closed


Broadway Ave (Chicago, Il) Family Thrift Store & Donation Center

4315 N Broadway Ave

Chicago, IL 60613

773-348-1401

Mon-Sat: 9: AM - 9:00 PM, Sun: Closed


Nagle Ave (Chcago, Il) Family Thrift & Donation Center

6434 W 63rd St.

Chicago, IL 60638

773-586-0178

Mon-Sat: 9:00 AM - 9:00 PM, Sun: Closed


Driving DirectionsAlbany Ave/63rd St. (Chicago, Il) Family Thrift Store & Donation Center

3055 W. 63rd St.

Chicago, IL 60629

773-476-8718

Mon-Sat: 10:00 AM - 6:00 PM, Sun: Closed


Devon Ave (Chicago, Il) Family Thrift Store & Donation Center

2151 W Devon Ave.

Chicago, IL 60659

773-764-0364Mon-Sat: 9:00 AM - 9:00 PM, Sun: Closed


Bridgeview (Il) Super Family Thrift Store & Donation Center

9000 S. Harlem Ave.

Bridgeview, IL 60455

708-982-2376

Mon-Sat: 9:00 AM - 8:00 PM, Sun: Closed


For suburban locations, go to the Salvation Army website.