With National Thrift Shop Day coming on August 17th, Lawn Love ranked the best cities for thrifting in 2023 and our very own Chicago ranked fifth on the list. Coming in behind New York City, Los Angeles, Houston and San Antonio; Chicago scored 31.37 cumulative score across five grading categories. Let’s break down what went into the ranking and what makes Chicago so great for all of your thrifting desires.
The study compared the 200 biggest U.S. cities based on five categories: General Access, Clothing, Antiques Access, Furniture, and Local Interest. In total, Lawn Love looked at access to thrift stores, consignment shops, flea markets, and specialty reuse stores like Goodwill and Habitat for Humanity ReStores, amongst others.
Here’s how Chicago ranked by category:
General Access: 6
Antiques Access: 7
Local Interest: 3
Not bad overall, but Chicago is clearly a furniture city. I mean, who does’t love an old antique couch from Brown Elephant? Vintage is the new wave, and you can find incredible vintage all around the city.
Per Lawn Love, here is the methodology behind the rankings.
First, we determined the factors (metrics) that are most relevant to rank the Best Cities for Thrifting. We then assigned a weight to each factor based on its importance and grouped those factors into five categories: General Access, Clothing, Antiques Access, Furniture, and Local Interest. The categories, factors, and their weights are listed in the table below.
For each of the 200 biggest U.S. cities, we then gathered data on each factor from the sources listed below the table.
Finally, we calculated scores (out of 100 points) for each city to determine its rank in each factor, each category, and overall. A city’s Overall Score is the average of its scores across all factors and categories. The highest Overall Score ranked “Best” (No. 1) and the lowest “Worst” (No. 200). Note: The “Worst” among individual factors may not be No. 200 due to ties.
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