Best Local Back to School Shopping in Vancouver
The nights are getting longer and the days are getting cooler and fall is certainly on its way. Though we’re technically in summer until the equinox in late September, school is right around the corner. Back to school shopping can be stressful and hectic. But making the effort to find your supplies, shoes, backpacks and more at some of Vancouver’s local retailers and independent small businesses may just make it feel a little more rewarding. Here’s some of our top picks for local back to school shopping in Vancouver and the surrounding areas:
Local Back-to-School Shopping in Vancouver
What To Get: Backpacks and outdoor wear
Find Online: https://www.mec.ca/en
Generations of Vancouverites have relied on Mountain Equipment Co-op for their backpacks, rain jackets, muddy buddies, and more. Though this store supplies plenty of technical and expert gear for everything from mountain climbing to kayaking, it also stocks plenty of everyday items – like basic backpacks and rain pants – that are well made and durable. With locations around the region, and online shopping, this is an easy choice for local parents.
Where: Westcoast Kids
What to get: Lunch kits, backpacks, rain jackets, clothing
Find Online: www.westcoastkids.ca
Westcoast Kids is one of the region’s most popular retailers for all things baby – from cribs to strollers to pacifiers – but they stock items for young children as well — perfect for back to school shopping in Vancouver. If you’re gearing up for kindergarten, this might be a great stop for a new lunchbox bento or a small backpack that’s just the right size for your little one. With rain coats and boots, along with plenty of stylish clothes, they’ll be ready for school in no time.
Where: Sparkle and Junebug
What to Get: Clothing
Find Online: https://sparkleandjunebug.ca/
This popular shop on Broadway stocks a great mix of fashion for the small set but they’ve also got a unique shopping option which may be ideal for those on a tight time budget. Rather than traditional online shopping, Sparkle and Junebug offers a personal virtual shopping experience: you let them know what kinds of things you’re in need of, and they’ll curate a selection of items that fit the bill. If you have more time on your hands, pop into the shop and browse away.
What to Get: Backpacks and jackets
Find Online: https://stores.fjallraven.com/bc/vancouver/
Here’s a good one for those older kids and teenagers (and maybe for yourself too.) Well known for high quality and a lifetime guarantee, their backpacks come in at a higher price point but they won’t fall apart after a few months on the playground. They also sell hiking gear – but in this rainy environment, those jackets and pants come in handy for the daily walk to school. The company was founded in Sweden in 1960 with a goal of helping people get out in nature with quality gear.
What to Get: Children’s Books
Find Online: https://kinderbooks.ca/
This shop has made our lists before and for good reason: they’re a hyperlocal and specialty shop focused on one of our favourite things – books for kids. Located in New Westminster’s River Market, Kinderbooks has been open for a decade and offers a selection of books with an eye to unique titles, diversity, and learning.
What to Get: Clothes, rain boots, jackets
Find Online: https://www.beansprouts.ca/
Beansprouts on Main Street offers a wide selection of clothing, shoes, and more, but also has a consignment program with pre-loved clothing and shoes. The brands vary from fashion-focused companies from Europe, to outdoor and adventure companies. So you can find a pretty dress and a great rain jacket, all in one location.
Where: Collins Educational Supplies
What to Get: School supplies
Find Online: https://www.collinseducationalsupplies.com/
Just off Marine Drive in South Vancouver, this store has been a longtime favourite for BC teachers, with a wide array of classroom supplies and materials. From pens to paper, erasers to paint, there’s plenty of options for students of all ages when preparing their supplies. There are also plenty of workbooks divided by age and grade for kids who enjoy brushing up on what they’ve learned at school.