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Those well versed in the art of consignment shopping know that the maxim “one person’s trash is another’s treasure” rings particularly true in the second-hand shops peppering America’s alpine boltholes. From humble donation-based thrift operations to swankier boutiques that re-sell designer “detritus” amassed from locals’ closet purges, these stores serve up stylish ski and apres togs at a fraction of retail prices. It gets better. Consignment shopping is ethically responsible. Beyond nabbing fabulous vintage Bogner or tags-still-on Fusalp, purchasing previously loved apparel reduces waste, recycling discarded clothing that could be headed towards landfills.
Here are a handful of our best bets for discount deals at American ski resorts.
In Aspen, land of mink chapeaus and ski concierge culture, one would not expect to find a sanctuary for discount skiwear. But, tucked away on Main Street a few blocks from luxury shops like Moncler, Gucci, and Louis Vuitton is Susie’s, a designer resale emporium brimming with high-end sportswear with fast-fashion prices. For thirty years Susie’s has been a hub for locals and tourists who share a passion for hunting down high fashion on the cheap. Wealthy consignors plus local retailers who use Susie’s to sell overstock keep racks filled with tags-still-on Authier, Kjus, Jet Set, J. Lindeberg, and Obermeyer along with barely worn boots, and bins upon bins of cashmere goodies. On top of ski gear, you’ll find Armani and Moncler sweaters, Lululemon workout gear, and snappy Eisbar hats.
Nearby, Aspen Thrift Shop sells donated clothing and household items to fund nonprofit initiatives throughout the Roaring Fork Valley. Here, you’ll need to dig through the chain store schlock to uncover the gems. It may take a few visits but super-affordable (think $10-$40) Icebreaker base layers, Helly Henson fleece, and The North Face and Patagonia ski jackets are available more often than not.
Susie’s Limited Consignments
600 E Main St #8, Aspen, CO 81611
Aspen Thrift Shop
422 E Hopkins Ave, Aspen, CO 81611
In Sun Valley, locals spread their passion evenly between powder and supporting the town’s literary heritage. Much of this support comes from The Gold Mine, a sixty-year-old thrift shop that uses 100% of its proceeds to fund cultural happenings at The Community Library. With donations flowing from swanky residents, sartorial treasures are tucked into mounds of athleisure and denim. An hour of scavenging could reveal killer Toni Sailer and Kjus ensembles, Icebreaker base layers, vintage onesies, chunky, boiled wool Nordic sweaters, and, perhaps a brand spanking new Arc’teryx shell. There are also sections for children’s snowsuits, backcountry gear, and winter boots.
A second location, Gold Mine Consign, has more of a luxury focus. There are Louis Vuitton handbags, Golden Goose tennis shoes, a Versace quilted leather trench coat, and Alp n Rock sweaters. For skiwear, you’ll find Perfect Moment, Bogner, Lindsey Vonn for Head, and lots and lots of Moncler.
Shopping here means not only scoring a deal, but also supporting the valley’s speaker series’ featuring acclaimed writers such as Susan Orlean, Tobias Wolff, Tara Westover, and Rebecca Makkai.
Note: Pulitzer Prize-winning author Anthony Doerr will be speaking on January 14th.
The Gold Mine
331 Walnut Avenue, Ketchum, Idaho 83340
Gold Mine Consign
591 4th street East Ketchum ID 83340
To Jen Johnson, old school is the best school. For the past 20 years, she has been procuring vintage ski apparel—the louder the better—for her shop Creative Consignments. You’ll find statement pieces like 80’s era Bogner, Patagonia, Spyder, and The North Face along with contemporary pieces from Burton, Columbia Sportswear, Barbour, and L.L. Bean (classic boiled wool sweaters are particularly popular). Boots? She’s got them, from Frye to Technica, Sorel, and Timberland. Prices are generally 75% off of retail.
393 Mountain Road
Stowe, VT 05672
Salt Lake City, Utah
In 2020, Ben and Katy Johnson opened Lone Pine Gear Exchange as a resource for affordable ski gear and to make a statement about protecting the environment. The shop traffics in new, closeouts, samples, and consigned technical clothing (often from industry professionals) such as Arcteryx, Flylow, Patagonia, Strafe, Mammut, Atomic, The North Face, Armada, Picture, and Dynafit. Prices are half of retail. When not shopping, locals are hanging out in the sleekly reimagined bank building or its expansive roof deck views of the Wasatch Range. Sustainability is a focal point. There are eco-friendly packaging materials and carbon neutral shipping methods for online orders, price tags crafted from recycled beer box cardboard, and a plastic-free refill station for household goods like soaps and detergents. Additionally, the Johnsons committed to planting a tree for every order. To date, 17,000 trees have been planted.
Lone Pine Gear Exchange
2835 East 3300 South, Salt Lake City, Utah 84109