the good old opportunity shop
by emma taylor, WESTERN AUSTRALIA-BASED MEDIA STRINGER
This week we highlight the good old opportunity shop in National Op Shop Week which runs from Monday September the 30th through to Sunday October the 6th. The week prompts us to reflect on the importance of op shops and to “remind us that we can all make a difference and lend a hand, “by donating high quality goods, volunteering, or purchasing op shop trinkets.
Hundreds of these treasure troves dot the streets of Australian cities and country towns. They play a special and vital role in local communities.
Being a passionate op shop advocate I compiled a list of reasons why we should celebrate and be thankful for the humble op shop…without which I would not have discovered my $9 suede leather jacket, my $5 cashmere jumper, my $2 oversized converse tee and my favourite denim jacket of all time, all of which regularly feature in my clothing rotation!
On behalf of many a bored, broke student (I classify myself in this category) I’d like to thank op shops for the opportunity to spend hours trawling overflowing shelves and walls.
I’d also like to the thank op shops for:
o The hundreds of thousands of dollars they contribute to Australian charity organisations every year from their sales.
o The volunteers they give a sense of purpose to, and the opportunity they provide to those in the disability sector.
o Being the perfect rainy-day activity and for all the days that have been made by that very special, funky, vintage find.
o Furnishing endless share houses, baby rooms, first homes, forever homes and for being the ultimate furniture to up-cycle.
o Preventing 780, 000 tonne of clothing and goods being put into landfill every year, and encouraging a resourceful, ethical way of getting a retail fix.
o Providing an affordable and inclusive option for everyone.
o The cackles of laughter at dress up parties, and the joy of hunting for the most perfectly horrendous outfit.
o Clothing thousands of Australians in a sustainable way.
Many homes have been decluttered, and re cluttered thanks to the op shop and National Op Shop Week is a great time to show our gratitude for these little stores of goodness, and remember to donate in a respectful and mindful way.
Op shops – we love you, don’t ever change!