Wednesday, December 09, 2009

why I love opp shops


I've written about this before, but I'm so passionate about it that I can't help myself, so here I go again...

Opp shops (short for Opportunity Shops) as they are known in Australia, are second hand stores run by organizations such as the Salvation Army, the Brotherhood of St Laurence, and other local churches and charities. I love them because they fulfill so many useful functions at the same time:

1. They raise money for charities.
2. They provide affordable clothes, furniture, books, toys etc to families in need.
3. They make sure that stuff gets re-used instead of being thrown away.
4. They provide social interaction for the volunteers who work there, most of whom are elderly.
5. They are a super cool place to find funky retro fashion good for dress-up parties and generally being an uber-hipster. (Like this adorable t-shirt I found for my son yesterday - it was made in Australia and even has a "No Sweat Shop" label!)

But my favorite reason for frequenting opp shops is that they are the best way to get clothes that are not covered in nasty chemicals such as formaldehyde, which you find on most non-organic new clothes. The trick is to wash the clothes at least twice, until you can't detect any trace of the laundry detergent that the previous owner used. Then you have a nice, affordable, low-chemical wardrobe!

And sometimes you find some rather expensive, almost new, brand name clothes that you can sell on ebay and make some money :-)