Local Flea Markets Aid in Supporting Sustainability


Eva Smedeby

The Long Beach Antique Market gathers hundreds of shoppers at their most recent pop-up on Halloween morning. The holiday did little to lessen the amount of visitors, where vendors supplied a surplus of books, clothes, decor, and many other trinkets.

Eva Smedeby, Staff Writer

As awareness of sustainable living steadily increases, the popularity of flea markets has risen dramatically. Many individuals in Orange County are now on the lookout for local markets, both for produce and second hand shopping. 

For those in OC who are seeking fresh produce and allergy-friendly goods, The Ladera Ranch Farmers’ Market offers an abundance of options. They are located near the Ladera Ranch Elementary School/Ladera Ranch Middle School campus at Founders Park, and reconvene every Sunday from 9 am – 1 pm. 

This market has gathered over 50 of OC’s farmers and artisans, including  craft vendors and food trucks. It is most favorably known for providing fresh, organic fruits and allergy-friendly products, attracting hundreds of shoppers each Sunday. 

Merchandise like clothes and furniture, however, are not as abundantly filled at this location, but could easily be found with vendors at The Coast Vintage Market and the Long Beach Antique Market.

The Coast, scheduled the second Sunday of every month at the Laguna Hills Mall, is no more than a 20 minute drive from San Juan Capistrano, and features roughly 200 vendors. 

With the exception of a few booths for small business, the vast majority of the market caters to individuals looking specifically for second-hand vintage or antique clothes and furniture.

It’s pretty well priced and I like walking around and seeing even young adults selling their used clothes”

— Sophia Rubio

“It’s pretty well priced and I like walking around and seeing even young adults selling their used clothes,” said senior Sophia Rubio.

For those seeking a wholesale  form of The Coast, the Long Beach Antique Market is essentially the carbon copy of it, just four times its size. With over 800 vendors, this event is situated at the middle mark between Los Angeles shoppers and those in OC, and has gained favorable titles such as  the “Top Flea Market in the U.S.” by various magazines.

Like The Coast, second hand shopping here applies specifically to clothes and furniture — all antique or vintage — with a few artisans. Although less locally based than the other two markets, being around a 50 minute drive from San Juan Capistrano, the name in which the Long Beach Antique Market has made for itself makes the journey well worth the time. 

“I really like how welcoming the vendors are, and the diverse variety of items is really cool to see,” said junior Treslyn Kaminski. 

Occurring a week after The Coast, the vendors in Long Beach are open the 3rd Sunday of every month. With over 800 booths stretching across a wide parking lot, a water bottle and comfortable shoes are recommended when attending.

While waiting for these Sundays, which can at times feel nothing less than an impatient drag, there are still plenty of other options for sustainable shopping. 

San Juan Capistrano and San Clemente have a handful of thrift stores, the most popular being The Salvation Army in San Clemente or OC Goodwill Boutique. For those seeking the more vintage goods at flea markets, merchandise can be found at Landmark Antiques (Mission Viejo) or the Old Barn Antique Mall (San Juan Capistrano).

Both avid second-hand shopper and recently enlightened individuals should look into the San Juan area, as it is not shy of providing accessible options for sustainable consumership.