I have always been an Op Shopper. Sometimes it was a financial reason when I was a student, but mostly it is about both reducing my footprint, sharing the resources we already have and supporting charities. As well, the thrill of the hunt is addictive and you can find top quality items for tiny prices!
Clothing is something I buy most but with more and more Australians using charity op shops to buy clothes, they are in need of good quality donations. Making a donation can help op shops from running short of stock. This is part of the cycle. I donate items no longer needed, that don’t fit me anymore, or that I have not worn for ages.
Boosting donations to charity op shops is the aim of the second ‘National Op Shop Week‘. An initiative of the DoSomething! charity in partnership with the National Association of Charitable Recycling Organisations (NACRO), the event runs from August 25th to September 1st.
It is important to remember that a number of charity community programs are funded by the income derived from charity op shops and their clothing collection bins. Many Australians also visit their local charity op shop to find a bargain or to save money on essentials.
On the Do Something website, Kerryn Caulfield, CEO of NACRO said charity op shops were integral to the fabric of Australian society. “Whether it is the volunteers that staff them, the diversity and inexpensive clothes they provide, or the opportunity to participate by donating, Australians love our charity op shops.”
To make it easier to donate, over 2000 Australian charity op shops have been listed on DoSomething!’s website. Sponsored by ALDI, all that people have to do is type in their postcode to find the contact details for their local charity stores. Perfect for me as I am visiting Sydney all week so will be able to check out some Sydney Op Shops!
Charity op shops listed at the site include Vinnies, the Salvos, Red Cross, Lifeline, The Smith Family, the RSPCA, Brotherhood of St Laurence, the Animal Welfare League, the Asthma Foundation, Anglicare, MS Australia, Uniting Care, Mission Australia’s Big Heart Op Shops and many more.
The website says that in 2012, Australians donated over 300,000 tonnes of items to charity op shop stores (equating to 13,200 40 foot containers). Of that:
– 126,000 tonnes were reused by the community – either given away by charities or sold through charity op shops.
– 30,000 tonnes were recycled (for example some donations are torn into wiper rags – mainly through disability workshops).
– 42,000 tonnes of low grade goods were exported to developing countries.
– 60,000 tonnes were unusable and disposed of in landfill – the cost for this is borne by the charities. That’s why only good quality items should be donated to charity op shops.
Wonderful! Maybe a good time for a clean out, donate and get some new stuff at the same time!
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