When hosting friends from out of town, a frequent request is a place to buy an authentic Norwegian sweater. You know the kind, itchy with the blue and red snow flake pattern known as ‘marius.’ Before arriving in Norway I always thought of these as somewhat of an artificial stereotype- that no self respecting young person would be caught dead in one outside of an ironic sweater party. Not true. Once autumn rolls around, they’re ubiquitous. So of course someone visiting Oslo is going to want to grab one to take home. Why wouldn’t they?
The problem is that these typically handmade sweaters usually run north of 2000 NOK at one of the several sweater shops downtown. Instead, I send my friends to UFF – a secondhand vintage store just a couple of blocks from Central Station. Here’s the great part – UFF is a charity organization that supports foreign assistance “from people to people.” They collect shoes and clothing and either send them directly to people in need in developing countries – or sell the items in this shop to raise money for further assistance.
This isn’t just a few bins of old clothing, but well curated items spread out over a large basement shop. Wool sweaters range from around 150 NOK to 600, but there is plenty more to explore- especially if you’re into vintage clothing. So have a look around and know that your purchase goes to a great cause.