Copenhagen’s Thriving Thrifting

Inside the Decades Vintage Store Copenhagen. Photo Per: Bella Ireland

Copenhagen is leading the way in sustainability with the city council’s ambitions of being the first ever carbon neutral city by 2025. This agenda can be seen reflected in local’s attitudes towards shopping. Purchasing second-hand clothing or ‘thrifting’ has become a large trend and in Copenhagen it is already an active part of social habits. Copenhagen K hosts some of the city’s most iconic second-hand stores such as Wasteland, Prag, and Episode. 

According to Anette Helligsø, a representative from Blue Cross charity stores, in 2022 more people have been shopping in their shops which they believe is due to inflation and rising prices in society. 

“The more people who shop in thrift stores, the more money we have to help children, young people and adults in need.” , she stated. 

Inside the Wasteland second-hand store. Photo Per: Bella Ireland

The act of shopping second-hand in Copenhagen has also somewhat shifted from charity stores to curated vintage shops, which are businesses rather than donation-based volunteer organisations. During an interview with Theresa Thiele, an employee at Wasteland, who emphasized that thrifting has become not only a sustainable, or affordable choice but also a popular activity. She shared how people enjoy the thrill of the hunt and finding unique pieces that can’t be found in mainstream stores.  

Theresa stated, “It’s really nice to see that teenagers between the ages of 14-20 are the biggest crowd… they care about sustainability.”  

Theresa Thiele outside her workplace, Wasteland. Photo Per: Bella Ireland

This trend of buying second-hand in Copenhagen is yet another action other cities should look at with inspiration. It benefits the environment, charity stores and is a positive sign for the future, especially with younger generations leaning towards sustainable practices considering the pressing global economic and environmental issues. 

This article is for a young urban audience and could be published on

Written by Bella & Erland