I like to support my local op shops, but they are often my Joyful Giving place of last resort.
I’ve had a few conversations recently about op shopping, so I thought I would wade into this.
I love op-shopping. I love the thrill of finding a good bargain, I love supporting sustainable fashion and I love the diversity and quirkiness of what’s on offer. I regularly give to op shops, but you might wonder why I don’t give more. There are several reasons, but a key one is that most op shops are struggling to keep up with the demand of their donations at the moment.
A few weeks ago, my son and I decided to donate a box of items to a local Salvos store (in the rain!). We got there, struggled for a park only to find they were not taking donations. Doh! I should have realised. One of the issues is that so many people are decluttering during COVID and usually their first place of call is their local op shop. Secondly, many op shop volunteers are in the age category that are vulnerable during COVID (i.e. older volunteers) and some are opted not to be in shops or volunteer at this time. Accordingly, there are less staff and volunteers to sort donations.
Thankfully for my Joyful Giving campaign, not all op shops have closed their doors to donations. My local Vinnes at Dickson is still taking donations, and recently I’ve dropped off three bags (around 30 items) to them. These were mainly quality clothes from my clothes swap that didn’t meet the Zonta Preloved Fashion Sale criteria and a few items I was unable to give away elsewhere.
It’s important to be respectful of op shops and only do donate what they are able to receive – and ensure your items are in a good condition.
Of course, there’s always a cycle of buying more when giving to op shops. I find it hard just to gift things without stopping in for a look – especially as the Vinnies at Dickson looks just like a boutique! And this time I struck gold in an unusual way: two brand new bras in my size, which I needed and saved me going out shopping. Bargain!
3 bags of clothing and other items with around ten items in each bag.