It’s National Op Shop Week! Time to freshen up our wardrobes and do good at the same time. But just in case you need a reminder before you hit the shops, here are our top 5 reasons why Op Shopping is so good.
1. Good for the environment
We don’t need to be super heroes to help save the planet. Sometimes doing good is as simple as walking into our local Op Shop to buy our next pair of jeans.
They say about 6 billion pairs of jeans are produced globally every year and their environmental impact is high. Whether it is the production of cotton which requires vast amounts of water, fertilizers and pesticides to the dyeing of yarns which drenches the cotton in more chemicals before it is dyed, the humble denim comes at a great cost to the earth on which we live.
One pre-loved denim jeans bought at an Op Shop means one less pair needed to be purchased new. The more we think sustainably about what we wear, the more it can have an impact on demand and the way our clothes are produced.
2. Good for the Community
This is another great thing about bargain hunting at your local Op Shop. Most stores run by Not-For-Profit organisations plough whatever surplus they make back into the community.
Whether it goes to fund programs or assist job seekers gain experience in retail, we can be sure these places exist to support others. It’s not just about the quick sale to reach daily revenue targets. Some stores encourage us to stay, chat to the staff and volunteers, and have a cuppa while our kids play.
When an Anglicare shop opened in Lithgow, the organisation’s head of retail highlighted the space was there for people to connect. The shop was to be a welcoming place where people’s needs were met and links with the wider community were made.
They were there to assist families and those who may be socially isolated build that network of people who could walk beside them and help them. Their aim was for customers to leave the store, not only with affordable clothing, but also feeling like they were emotionally and spiritually cared for.
3. Good for your budget
We all know Op Shopping can often save you a packet. You can grab last season’s t-shirt for $2 if you time it right and get to it first. Big brands, vintage finds, they’re all there for a bargain at times.
What is lesser known is that some Op Shops run by larger Not-For-Profit organisations can also offer help when you need it most.
Some Anglicare shops for instance provide food for people on low incomes. For $10 anyone who needs it can purchase a bag of long lasting pantry items to help stretch their budget further.
Many Op Shops will also connect people to financial counsellors or other services should they need it.
We may think we’re ok until we realise we’re not. It’s helpful to know in those times we have some where to go for support.
4. Good for treasure hunting
It is amazing to see what people no longer want! One person’s supposed “trash” can definitely be another’s treasure when it comes to Op Shopping. Some stores have new stock arriving every day and it is worth popping in to your local shop to have a look at what’s on offer.
Chat to the staff and sometimes you’ll hear stories of people who have nabbed a find. Whether it is someone walking off with a Zegna suit worth thousands of dollars or a pair of Jimmy Choos, there are treasures there to be had behind those shop doors.
Anglicare’s Marrickville store often stocks high-end brand items. Gucci jumpers, Oroton accessories, Mimco purses, Alexander McQueen dresses are common. But those one in a million finds can be found there as well. Vintage pieces that we know will never be made again. Like the delicate 1950s evening dress that was donated directly to the store and bought by a customer who recognised its value and was happy to pay a high price for the piece of history.
5. Good for you
Finally, Op Shopping is a lot of fun! There is something that appeals to our senses as we hunt around for that perfect find. There’s also that sense of satisfaction as you walk out the door with clothes that speak to your individuality. Clothes no longer found in fashion stores that reflects the colours and style you love.
So, let’s put on our comfortable shoes, get out there and have a go. It’s retail therapy that can only do us, our community and the world some good.
Use the location finder below to find an Anglicare Shop near you.