Trying to shop zero-waste? Check out the Georgetown Flea Market, D.C.’s powerhouse of sustainable living

Vendors offer a variety of second-hand goods, from home decor to fashion-forward finds

Trying to shop zero-waste? Check out the Georgetown Flea Market, D.C.’s powerhouse of sustainable living

Vintage posters, golden frames and eye-catching silver line the market off of Wisconsin Avenue in Georgetown. Vendors from mom-and-pop boutiques across the Washington, D.C. area join together every Sunday in the name of thrifting and fashion. The market offers everything one could desire, from shoes, scarves, sports merch and silverware. 

In D.C., residents produce about 8.89 pounds of trash per day, according to Zero Waste DC. Comparatively, in America one person produces almost five pounds of trash each day, according to the EPA. Markets, small businesses and on-the-street retailers offer recycled and refreshed items that can bring new life to objects that may have been considered “trash.” 

Not sure where to start? Here is a list of our favorite second-hand, vintage or upcycled items to check out and find some unique pieces while shopping entirely zero-waste.

1. Instruments

One special aspect of the market is the vast instrument collection. New and old electric and acoustic guitars lined the steps of Hardy Middle School, which shares the parking lot of the market.

In addition to these musical vendors, others offer a portal to the days of rock and roll, jazz and hip hop. Some shops specialize in these antique records, usually by the box  full, while others have smaller collections with more limited options. 

2. Posters and Art

Posters and wall decor are the main centerpieces of the market. 

Some posters are art deco, while others are reminiscent of local art galleries. Some vendors even sell their own works of art alongside copies of famous pieces, like a Frida Kahlo self-portrait. 

3. Trinkets

There are bins of watches, pins and international antique coins — you must know what you’re looking for before entering the market.

One vendor specializes in cameras of new and old models, as well as short and long-range lenses. 

4. Jewelry and Fashion

The highlight of the market is the display of jewelry and accessories. These products are common in most shops, but each vendor brings their own taste to the selection. For instance, vintage pins and campaign buttons are in abundance at the market, alongside modern pieces of silver and stone rings. 

Along with jewelry and accessories, the market also caters to fashion-friendly shoppers. Many vendors offer vintage clothing. One clothing vendor offered a vintage corset — a revived style due to the Netflix show Bridgerton. Another vendor offers recycled pieces, like vintage dresses and skirts that were once stained, but made new with red, blue or green tie dye. 

The unique selection of the Georgetown Flea Market is guaranteed to satisfy any new and old thrifty soul.

The Georgetown Flea Market is accessible via MetroBus at the Wisconsin Ave. NW and 34th St. NW stop and also has limited nearby parking. 

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