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The Joy of Op Shopping

By Melissa Kane, Eco-friendly Mum

Recycling your clothes, what a novel idea! Hopefully everyone does it when they clean out their wardrobes. If you’re like the majority of people, have you noticed what good quality you are donating only because it’s last season or no longer fits?

The very act of cleaning out your wardrobe, or any cupboard for that matter, is a very liberating experience and you generally step lighter in the world, less is more.

Now let’s consider the other side of the equation, the humble op shop. I love the opportunities offered by op shops, the vast array of choices on the racks, often colour coded, excite me. I admit I do like to march to the beat of my own drum and dress accordingly, and enjoy the endless variety offered versus a conventional store, which will only carry what fashion dictates is in this season.

No need to fear, current trends are on the op shop shelves and changed seasonally.  The shelves are filled with very reasonably priced and good quality items. Clothes include casual, work wear, evening wear, kids and men’s clothes, school uniforms and of course, vintage and dress ups!

As an indecisive shopper, decisions are much easier at an op shop. Question #1 do I love it? yes/no. Question #2 does it honestly fit? yes/no. Question #3 what am I willing to recycle out of my current wardrobe to make room for this? Often the decisions are made for me, the result a few choice items that fit properly that I can afford.

I have learnt over the years to limit my tour of op shops to seasonal trips, to minimise how much I can walk out with. All I need is a few different items to freshen up my current wardrobe, my aim is to minimise my retail addiction. Initially in my op shop shopping career I found the cheap prices too tempting, remember it’s not a bargain if you don’t need it!

I suggest the humble op shop, a fine example of recycling and living more sustainably. As well as being worthwhile, it helps charities to generate funds to help those less fortunate.

Be brave and walk into an op shop for a look, you might be pleasantly surprised and soon you will be accepting compliments on your new outfit! You choose if you brag where it came from or if you give a cheeky wink.