There was a time when second-hand clothes in Beijing meant expensive vintage imported from Japan and Korea. Today, as more and more people understand the need to live a more sustainable lifestyle, there are plenty of options for people who don’t want to buy new, from community meetups to the Roundabout store in through online platforms like 闲鱼 Xianyu and 转转Zhuǎnzhuǎn. Now there is a major thrift store right in the heart of Sanlitun thanks to the opening of already seen.
déjàvu has been around since about 2017 now, with both an online platform to buy/sell books and second-hand clothes (find it on WeChat by searching WeChat ID duozhuayu), and another offline store in Shanghai. The Beijing store is located in the popular Courtyard 4 area which is also home to Q Mex and The Local and has already gained a strong following among sustainability-minded shoppers.
The store is located up a flight of stairs in a high-ceilinged former factory space, with one side of the room dedicated to books and the other to clothes. The books are mostly in Chinese and cover a wide range of topics, including fiction and non-fiction. There’s plenty of seating for you to flip through books before you buy, and a cafe where you can grab a brew to sip while you cruise. There’s even a sewing counter in-store (sewing is one of the quickest ways to make second-hand clothes feel “cleaner”).
People often associate second-hand clothes with vintage, but that’s not necessarily the case here; instead, they’re pre-loved items mostly from top brands. This does not mean that they are not of good quality. All items are in good condition – clean and with minimal wear – and there are a few high-end pieces to check out, including cashmere sweaters from Chinese brand Erdos and genuine leather jackets from Acne Studios and All Saints.
When you find one of these leather jackets, don’t worry about the lack of a price tag – prices for each item can be discovered by scanning the QR code on each item. To give you an idea of the price, sweaters and shirts cost around 100-300 RMB depending on the brand and we found an All Saints leather jacket for 1,500 RMB (usually around 4,000 RMB new).
Courtyard 4 has become a very popular weekend destination since the pandemic, and déjà vu has already started to draw crowds, so we recommend visiting on a weekday to give yourself plenty of time to peruse the shelves and rails. .
Building 75, Courtyard 4, Gongti Beilu, Chaoyang District (down the street to the right of Q Mex Sanlitun) (185 1582 3202)
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Images: Robynne Tindall, Dazhong Dianping