Whilst Macklemore made thrifting popular in 2012, op shops have been providing sustainable shopping opportunities for decades.
Generally connected to a church or charity, op shops are volunteer-run stores which are basically treasure troves for vintage clothing items, cheap vinyl and eclectic home wares.
When op shopping it is important to remember that it is okay (and fun) to dig out the sewing kit. While some items can be evidently soiled or damaged, purchasing a coat that was originally $300 with a button missing for $20 is still a huge saving. Perhaps even consider choosing a contrasting button to reattach.
Plan an op shop hop between the 200+ op shops in South Australia. The Red Cross Rundle (284 Rundle Street, Adelaide) is a must-visit for fashion bargains and vintage collectors. While you are in town, take a bag of your unwanted goods down to SWOP Clothing Exchange – 34 Hindley Street, Adelaide – who swap for in store credit and cash for donations.
If wearing your grandpa’s clothes isn’t your cup of tea, trawling op shops in affluent areas will generally produce newer and brand name clothing that has been donated and often never worn. Seeking out stalls at local markets where vendors are selling their own clothes or clothes that they have scoured op shops can also be an alternative option.
Don’t forget it’s all for a good cause, too! Most op shops are for charity, so you can feel extra good when you’re shopping.
Next time you see that dress in your wardrobe that looked great on the mannequin yet it just doesn’t look right on you, consider donating or SWOPING it.
Images via SWOP & Red Cross Rundle