Recycling in Style: the “Recycle Shop”

After playing changing room parkour and handing over upwards of fifty dollars for a cardigan or somesuch, I am often so overwhelmed by the exhausting nature of the exercise, plus residual guilt at trading the month’s phone bill for an assembled-in-Taiwan product, that said item rarely leaves my closet. Ultimately I am forced to admit that the appeal of “newness” is simply not worth the expenditure of energies.

As secondhand clothing disciples may already have realized, the term means something a little different in Tokyo, where “secondhand” usually also stands in for “vintage”, “trendy”, and thus, “exorbitant”. So-called recycle shops, on the other hand, are the real deal. This particular store, an NPO run by the city government in Fuchu, offers mainly adult clothing alongside children’s toys and clothing, jewelry, shoes and bags, some household goods, and assorted bric-a-brac  (in conditions that can be described as gently used to practically new. Not a moth hole in sight).

Pants fetch little more than 4-500yen, and rarely over 1000yen—I have on occasion unearthed a pair of Levi’s for 500—and for something in the 350-900yen range, it’s possible to find a yukata for the summer months or as an inexpensive omiyage.

For a one-time fee of 100yen, residents may also apply to become members and sell their self-priced goods through the recycle shop, which will retain a 20% commission…Convenient not only to avoid those badge-of-shame closet lurkers, but also to turn a profit on your own used goods.

The store is located on the second floor of Green Plaza Keyaki Hall, directly aross the street from the west exit at Fuchu station—perhaps a two-minute walk from train door to door.

 

Name: Fuchu City Recycle Shop
Location: Green Plaza Keyaki Hall 2F, 1-1 Miyamachi, Fuchu-shi, Tokyo

府中市役所 府中グリーンプラザ
東京都府中市府中町1丁目1−1
Closest station: Fuchu (JR, Keio); be sure to take the west exit
Phone: 042-460-3751
Business Hours: 10am-5:30pm, every day of the week except for Wednesdays

Location Map:

Mine takes pride in the fact that at any given time 75% of the clothing she's wearing has been lifted from campus "free boxes", used clothing stores, friends' closets, and sundry locations of varying credibility (if it was left in a plastic bag on the curb, then surely it was my responsibility to give it a good home). Her top ten travel destinations include Ithaca, NY, where dumpster diving is a seasonal sport. A graduate of the American School in Japan, she is currently studying to be an English major at Bryn Mawr College, which is sure to set her on the path to bankruptcy--or, as she prefers to think, adventure.

  • kokoskote

    Do you know if there are similar shops in other cities or wards in the greater Tokyo area?

    • CheapoGreg

      That’s a good question! This one is kind of special since it’s run by the local government, but there are privately run second hand clothing shops all over the place. You can find a few of them here -> http://tokyocheapo.com/category/shopping-2/

      • kokoskote

        Thanks! I’ve since found other, really cheap second-hand shops in Tokyo! I don’t know if one of your writers wants to cover this, but based on this blog
        (http://www.takenbythewind.com/2009/02/06/five-ways-to-save-money-in-tokyo/)

        I googled “ファッションリサイクル” and found other shops, also with good quality clothes, even in their large, 100-yen sections.

        There are locations in various places, perhaps under different names, but just as cheap.