The Joys of Op-Shopping

Yesterday I discovered a new treasure trove of good quality pre-loved clothes. It’s a little Red Cross shop just outside Turramurra Railway Station.

They had lots of great quality jeans and some good tops.  There were also some good jumpers and a lovely fully lined black winter coat (unfortunately too small for me) which was just selling for only A$15!  It would have been very expensive when new, and looked like it had hardly been worn.  The voluntary shop assistant told me that she had just put it out, and didn’t expect it to last for more than a couple of hours.   Considering it has been very chilly lately I could easily believe her.

I ended up buying a great little 3/4 sleeve V neck top which is brown cotton with a bone collar and V lining for only $8.  It fits me perfectly and is just what I needed.

Charity shops such as Red Cross, St  Vincent de Paul (affectionately known as Vinnies), Anglicare and the Salvation Army (Sallies) have a great range of recycled clothing of all sizes.  They sometimes have designer items which look as if they have never been worn.  I like the idea that the money I pay for any items is going to a good cause and helping those less fortunate than myself, and that the clothes are not going to landfill and adding to the already huge mountain of  discarded items.  If I ever have any good quality clothes I need to cull I always take them to an op-shop (opportunity shop) rather than bin them or leave them on the kerb at Council cleanup, where they may get rained on and ruined.

Beautiful old velvet dress bought at Vinnies

I also frequently purchase books and CDs or DVDs  at these shops.  I have come across some great items.  After watching the series ‘The Slap’ on  ABC  TV, I came across a copy of the original novel in a Vinnies for $3!  I really wanted to read it, and have now passed it on to a family member.     I love new books, but they are often prohibitively expensive in Australia, and apart from the local library and occasional secondhand book shops, charity shops provide a great source of reading at a really reasonable price.  I have bought many terrific children’s books there as well.  Lifeline’s big book sales are also a great source of  cheap reading.

I know that many high school girls and boys trawl Vinnies and Sallies looking for something to wear to their Formal, and they are often a good source of vintage wear.

Lovely vintage Audrey Hepburn-style dress
Fully lined fake leopard coat made in France bought at Vinnies a couple of years ago.

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