Op shops contribute a great deal to society in Australia and here we explore some of the ways that they can benefit you, both financially and personally.
Benefits of decluttering
You’ve probably heard of Marie Kondo, the ‘celebrity of tidying’, who has a book and Netflix series devoted to decluttering and organising. In summary, go through everything you own, starting with clothes, and ask yourself if they spark a feeling of joy. If not, it could be perfect to donate them, which is where op shops come in. Donating clothes and other items to an op shop has many benefits, including more space in your own home and the joyous feeling of helping others and recycling.
Reducing moving costs
There are so many costs associated with moving out of home. Whether it’s the bond, first month’s rent or home deposit, you might be strapped for cash even before you move into your new place. Many op shops sell pots, pans, plates, bowls and other kitchen appliances at a fraction of the cost of buying them all new. It doesn’t have to be for a place you’re living in either; op shopping can go a long way to furnishing your next investment property too.
Kids clothes and toys
Op shops are perfect for kids clothes and toys. Vintage toys can be picked up for a bargain price and, as kids grow up so quickly, they may require different sized clothes every six months. Most op shops have something for every generation, so they can be a great place to take kids for a day out, not to mention the educational benefits of finding a bargain and sticking to a budget too.
In terms of school uniforms and shoes, State Schools’ Relief also have a range of school uniforms, shoes and educational resources for kids. You can view their range of options here.
Supporting the community
Most op shops are not for profit and use income that they make to support people in need. The Salvation Army supports over 30,000 families each year from counselling services, to crisis responses and women’s refuges. Another example is the St Vincent de Paul Society, which assists people experiencing poverty and inequality.
Buying clothes from an op shop reduces your own carbon footprint and helps prevent clothes from ending up at a landfill. The positive environmental impact of op shopping is not just limited to shopping, but donating clothes that you don’t wear anymore too. There are various other ways that the environment benefits from op shopping, such as reducing chemical pollution, boosting the development of local charities and aiding water preservation, which is a big part of producing cotton for new clothes.
We’ll always do our best to support the environment, through our ethical approach to investing, reduced printing and incorporating more efficient business practices in our offices.
Needs versus wants
As always when shopping, it’s important to consider your own needs and wants. After sorting through the racks of clothes at your local op shop, you might find an abundance of items that are heavily discounted and are tempting to buy. Do you really need to buy three pairs of jeans because they work out to be the same price as one new pair of jeans at a designer store? If you buy extra clothes because they’re cheaper but are not really needed, you won’t end up saving as much money as possible, and will instead have an array of clothes in your wardrobe not getting used.
Wherever you are, chances are there’s an op shop near you. There are hundreds right around Australia and for a comprehensive list of Australian op shop listings you can visit https://opshop.org/.