Op shopping is one of the things I love to do on the weekends. I don't have to buy anything, it's just the experience of poking around and seeing what I can discover. I love the fact that I'm buying something that is different from what everyone else is wearing, and also more importantly, am minimising my impact on the environment by buying secondhand rather than new.
Here's a few reasons why op shopping is a good thing to do:
vintage finds are often better quality materials and are made to last
encourages more wear from our clothes, rather than excessive consumerism
diverts materials from going to landfill
support a charity through your purchase
chance to discover unique and unusual finds
economical on your wallet
Stats on clothing consumption in the UK suggest that the average person sends 30kg of clothing to landfill every year, with 1.2 million tonnes ending up in British landfill sites just in 2005.
Now that's a lot of clothes going to waste! My grandma would shake her head and say what is the world coming to... But thank goodness for op shops. Even though they don't stop consumerism altogether (this would be impossible given the world we live in today I think), it is a small and easy way to make a positive change.
Picking favourite places to shop is tricky because they all have their own quirks, but I've put together a list of some of my regular haunts that I can always rely on to surprise me with great finds. I'm a sucker for shopping efficiently too so many of my picks have a few op shops in the same area.
This place opened up a few months ago and it is superb. Not only do they have great quality stuff , but it's just the right size. Not too small so you still get plenty of variety but not too big that you feel you're drowning in indecision. They have a great selection of everything – clothes, accessories, brick a brac, books and more. There's also a separate section out the back – make sure you don't miss it – full of bigger items such as furniture, bedlinen and sporting equipment. The last time I was there they had a pair of original Mac computers from 1984!
Address: Shop 9, 600 Sherwood Road, Sherwood 4075. Hours: Mon – Fri 9:00am – 4:00pm, Sat 8:30am – 1:00pm. Ph: (07) 3278 2459.
Red Cross, Sherwood
While you're visiting the RSPCA Op Shop, go for a short stroll down the street to this little gem. From the outside it looks small but it's actually quite roomy. A nice balance between clothes and well everything else. I bought some lovely crochet doilies and curtain rings from here.
Address: 669 Sherwood Rd Sherwood QLD 4075. Hours: Mon - Fri 9:00am – 4:00pm, Sat 8:30am – 1:00pm. Ph: (07) 3278 0344.
McIntyre Centre Thrift Shop, Graceville
Wowee! This place is tin-eee but boy does it pack a punch! After squeezing through each of the store's narrow aisles, the bargain hunter in me was finally victorious! A gorgeous autumn jacket by Sunshine Coast label Boom Shankar for $12 and mustard coloured dress by Mika & Gala for $15, both brand new! Definitely recommend this one!
Address: 307 Honour Avenue, Graceville. Hours: Mon – Fri 9:00am – 4:30pm, Sat 9:00am – 12:00pm.
Of modest size, this shop is in a great location, easy to access by train or bus and there are plenty of cafes, shops and cinemas in the area to make a day of it. There are two separate rooms – the first has a large selection of costume jewellery, children's toys and clothes, while the second contains a good selection of shoes and clothes. I snapped up a pair of Italian leather boots from here for $10 – they were just what I needed for my Lara Croft costume and now I will be wearing them in winter too. Bargain!
There just so happens to be another op shop a few doors up – The Lupus Op Shop. It's far too cramped for my liking – I find it really difficult to look at clothes because they're so tightly packed – but if you're up for a challenge (and not claustrophobic) then have a gander.
Address: 20 Station Road, Indooroopilly. Hours: Mon – Fri 9:00am – 4:00pm, Sat 9:00am – 12:00pm, Sun 12:00pm – 4:00pm.
So according to Opshops.org, there are at least 151 op shops in Brisbane (possibly more). That's 151 reasons to op shop rather than buy new! x