Okay! Tell me more.

Thrift shopping is a skill and one that we have honed for close to two decades. We don’t just like thrift shopping – we live and breathe it!

With our expertise and guidance, we'll help you navigate the world of second hand and uncover those treasures you've been longing for. It's time to elevate your style and home while making a positive impact on the environment.

Imagine there was a way you could shop sustainably that wouldn't leave you 
absolutely broke.

dream with me

Not in the Hamilton area?
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This resource is crucial for those times when you find something that's almost perfect but requires minor adjustments. These recommended professionals can turn a "great find" into "absolute perfection."

Lastly, we'll provide you with a curated list of trusted seamstresses and tailors in the (GTHA).

Step Four

Together with Heather, you'll explore specific sections and racks while keeping your end goal in mind. Get ready to learn invaluable tips and tricks, such as what to look for, what to skip, effective search techniques, utilizing helpful shopping apps, and much more.

Then, we'll schedule a two-hour shopping trip at a thrift store in Hamilton, ON.

Step Three

Over the course of at least one week, Heather will start by pinning suggested clothing items, styled combinations, trend replications, and interior design aesthetics based on your goals. Your input through pins will shape our shopping direction.

Next, we'll create a shared Pinterest page as a collaborative space.

Step Two

Whether you're looking to revamp your home with thrifted home goods, update your wardrobe after childbirth, incorporate more natural fiber pieces, or find specific staples like blazers, trench coats, or vests, this discussion will guide our shopping trip in the Hamilton, ON area.

We'll begin with a 30-minute introductory Zoom meeting to clarify your end goals.

Step One

the process

Book a 101 Appointment

  • Which racks to look at. 
  • How to read clothing tags. 
  • What origin countries and fabric contents to take note of. 
  • What store sections to spend time in and why. 
  • The difference between vintage and modern vanity sizing. 
  • How to replicate a trend using thrifted pieces.

    Who knew shopping second-hand could have such depth! Seriously though, the list goes on.

what you'll learn

Introducing Thrifting 101 —our service that empowers you to master the art of thrifting. Remember the timeless proverb about teaching a man to fish rather than simply giving him one? Well, that's the essence of our approach.

Thrift shopping is a skill, and one that we are confident we can teach. 

Thrifting 101


Available May 2024

The biggest difference between shopping at your local thrift shop and shopping for vintage pieces specifically is that typically vintage pieces are sold at highly curated, well merchandised vintage specific stores. These pieces have been carefully sourced, cleaned, repaired and merchandized in a boutique setting. These items are also, understandably, significantly more expensive.

The Thrifting 101 service is focused on learning how to locate those gems for yourself. Much of what we sift through will be vintage. Some will be brand new. Some will be fast fashion. Some will be gross. This is the nature of thrift shopping!

Someone who is solely interested in vintage shopping.

The simple truth is, thrifting is a long game. You likely won’t find your entire wish list on the first trip.

Over our two-hour shopping trip together, we are going to be chatting, googling, referencing and comparing notes. You may not leave with an armful of gems, but you will leave with the knowledge on how to find quality pieces, on an ongoing basis, in the thrift stores of 2023.

Someone who is expecting to leave our trip together with something specific or a cart full of incredible finds. 

In order to provide affordable rates for our Thrifting 101 service, we are unable to travel outside of the Hamilton, ON area for shopping at this time.

In addition to the distance constraints, it is worth noting that after having lived and thrifted in multiple cities across the province, we have found that mid-sized cities (like Hamilton) meet the sweet-spot. Not too large to face significant competition from re-sellers and droves of hipsters, but large enough to be on the radar of head office(s) when it comes to product redistribution.

Live too far from Hamilton to make the trip?
Be sure to sign-up for our newsletter in order to stay tuned for virtual service offerings.

Someone who is not local to Hamilton, or is unable to travel
for this in-person service.

This might not be for you if you are..

Schedule Your Service here

Feels like a good fit?

It's important to note here that this not a zero-sum exercise. You can learn how to thrift more efficiently AND make impulse purchases – like ordering onesies online for your newborn baby in the middle of the night after realizing nothing you got at your baby shower fits (been there!)

Personally, we don't ascribe to an all or nothing mentality but we try to abide by more of an 80/20 rule when it comes to our consumer practises.

Someone who is committed to integrating more sustainable shopping practices into their consumption patterns.

This accounts for time spent on an introduction call, contributing to the collaborative Pinterest page and the two-hour shopping trip. 

Someone who has the time to commit at least five hours to the process.

This sounds obvious, but for clarities sake,  we help you source pieces by giving you the tools to know what to look for, we don't at this time source them for you. 

Someone who wants to go thrift shopping. 

This is a great solution for you if you are..

Before you get discouraged looking at all of the stained and shapeless office shirts you've found, know that those timeless gems are there; it just takes a little knowledge to find them.

We promise.

How many times have you complimented someone on their beautifully crisp tailored dress shirt, only to hear them respond

"Thanks, I thrifted it!"

Let's Get Started!

Here's the real deal: I used to peg slow fashion to a specific vibe—hemp jewelry, Birkenstocks, the whole shebang. But, to my surprise I discovered that slow fashion can look a lot more like a personal style adventure!

You can ride the trend wave, stay true to yourself, and be an eco-warrior without breaking the bank. Thrift shopping, a sprinkle of DIY magic, and presto—I've fashioned a wardrobe and home that shout "me" while staying eco-cool. 

Love fashion and design, but feeling the eco-anxiety and budget pinch from inflation? I totally get it. Let's dive into slow fashion—where style meets sustainability and your wallet stays happy. Think quality over quantity, a high-five to the planet, and keeping your unique vibe intact.

I've been exactly where you are.

Got an awesome blazer from the men’s section (which I never would’ve thought to go to without your recommendation!) Thanks for inspiring me! I’ve been hating my whole closet recently (post 2 kids and a pandemic), so it feels nice to have some new pieces that I feel good about, and that didn’t break the bank to buy.”

“So I started following your thrifting series after following your jewelry for quite some time. Today I went to Value Village with confidence and bought some stuff that I’m pretty excited about. 

I thrifted a spectacular Canadian-made long coat; wool-with-leather-accents. She needs some shoulder pads dug out, but is otherwise a dream.” 

“I’ve officially
been influenced. 

Thanks to you, I know how to look for where it’s made, fabric content, etc. Thank you for all of the advice! Ok- follow-up… I found a black DIOR blazer that fits me like a glove. I don’t know who I am anymore… this thrifting has been life changing!”

“I have been LOVING following along your thrifting stories. I am actually at a Value Village right now because you have inspired me. 

This Could Be You

Book an Appointment

It's time to put those words into action!

change happens one step at a time.

frequently asked questions

If you have been a follower/customer of ours for any length of time, you may have noticed a price increase with our most recent collection launch. There are a couple of reasons for this;

We have begun to utilize Gold Vermeil in the majority of our jewelry. See below for specifics on this material and what it means for the durability and lifespan of your pieces. In shifting our products from gold plating to hypoallergenic gold vermeil, our costs have increased and so, too, have our prices. We feel confident that this decision supports our slow fashion mantra, as Gold vermeil is a more durable material for our demi-fine jewelry.

The second reason for our price increases has to do with our commitment to paying a living wage, according to the Ontario Living Wage Network, (OLWN). We were recently certified by the OLWN and this commitment requires that we pay more than the provincial minimum wage. Precisely how much more is a city-specific calculation, derived in response to rising inflation and living costs. It is imperative to us that the women working in production, assembly and
fulfillment are remunerated fairly for their work.

Sustainable jewelry takes time! Given the made-to-order and small-batch production mantra at our studio, production can take up to 5 days for orders. This is in addition to the shipping timeline. We offer rush service on orders for a small fee, please see details at check-out.

Knots and Pipes ships across Canada and mainland USA from Hamilton, ON Canada, using Canpar Express. The particular Canpar franchise that we utilize is female-owned, contributing to our goal of supporting female entrepreneurs whenever possible. Tracking numbers for all
orders will be provided after check-out.

Once dispatched from the studio, the shipping timeline for domestic orders range from 5-7 business days. Orders shipped to the USA range from 7 to 15 business days. This range is a guide, not a guarantee.

At this time, we are only able to ship to Canada and mainland USA.

We want you to love your Knots and Pipes jewelry. While we handle refund requests on a case-by-case basis, we are committed to finding a solution for any issue you may

have. Not happy with your order? Please send us an email with your order number and a description/photo of your concern, to info@knotsandpipes.com, within 5 business
days of receiving your order. Please note, shipping fees are non-refundable.

Please send us an email with your order number and a photo of the issue, to info@knotsandpipes.com, within 5 business days of receiving your order. We will work
hard to send a replacement out as soon as possible.

Yes, absolutely we do! Whether you need a lobster claw replaced, a pearl necklace restrung or a jump ring closed, we are happy to offer complimentary repairs out of our
Hamilton, ON studio. Please email info@knotsandpipes.com to schedule a shipment or repair appointment.

90% of our jewelry is made of gold vermeil. Far superior to standard gold plating, gold vermeil requires a 925 certified sterling silver base with a hefty layering of 18k gold.

Our gold vermeil products have over 5 times the average amount of gold used in the standard gold plating process. This increase the durability and longevity of your
jewelry. The sterling silver base ensures that pieces are hypoallergenic.

The exception to this standard is recycled items used in some of our designs, and our vintage collection. Product descriptions will specify when anything other than gold
vermeil is utilized.

Yes, all of our pearls are genuine pearls, carefully selected from oysters and freshwater mussels. When designing our pearl pieces, we knew we wanted a fresh take on the pearls of yesteryear. Rather than round and uniformed, we chose baroque pearls; known for their irregular, one-of-a-kind shape. The lack of uniformity is the point. Perfectly imperfect.

Wouldn’t you like to know?!?! :)  Just kidding. The majority of vintage pieces in the Knots and Pipes Vintage Collection (and the recycled materials harvested from vintage jewelry used in select designs) are sourced at estate sales and consignment shops across Ontario.

All of our jewelry is tested for standard day-to-day wear. This means that the durability of all of our pieces (excluding the vintage collection) was tested against standard day-to-day activities. Please note, these activities exclude working out, swimming and showering.

Our jewelry is demi-fine. While durable, it is not solid gold and therefore extra care needs to be taken in order to prevent tarnishing. Avoid showering, applying lotions and excessive sweating while wearing your jewelry.

All orders are shipped with a polish cloth. Use this for regular, gentle maintenance and ensure to store your pieces in a cool, dry place.

The specifics surrounding “waste colonialism” and “thrift store gentrification” are nuanced. The Jezebel article by Hazel Cills, “The Complicated Reality of Thrift Store Gentrification” and the Clotheshorse Podcast series, “Examining the Ethics of Second Hand Resale” Episodes 159 through 162 both do a great job at working through just how problematic (and patronizing) it is to ascertain that thrift stores should be accessible only to those under a certain income threshold.

They also flesh out how, in the age of Fast Fashion, one of the most environmentally friendly things you can do to alter your consumption practises is to shop less and shop second-hand.

It is also important to note that most thrift stores are for-profit corporations. The few entities that are not-for-profit make their charitable contributions in the form of financial support and employment opportunities (both of which are often entangled with some degree of religious affiliation). Fiscal donations are derived from final profit margins.

All of this is to say, the best way to support non-profit “charity” shops?

Shop them.

I'm real into Pinterest 

Get on the list 

Follow along 

If you're into buying second hand, learning how to shop sustainably, great style, and gems I've found at estate sales. You've come to the right place.