The value of Op Shops PT2 - social responsibility

In my last post, I spoke about how our Op Shops are actively involved in caring for others. Today we’re back for Part 2! The value of Op Shops as a tool for social responsibility (which is absolutely one of my favourite topics ever!).

Have you heard of the “no new clothes” challenge? That’s what I did for 2020, so I feel somewhat qualified to write this. Just like how it sounds, the “no new clothes” movement involves not purchasing items new from stores. This means buying second-hand by thrifting at op shops, using online platforms like Depop and Facebook Marketplace, or straight up borrowing things from friends.

There are so many ways Op Shops help us fulfil our social responsibilities. It’s retail therapy that’s good for the environment, your community and your wallet:

  1. It’s a weapon in the war on exploitation and waste. The fast fashion industry is an incredibly cruel beast, both on the people who make the garments and on our environment. By committing to use the clothes you own or thrifting for your needs, you’re creating a sustainable and ethical production and consumption cycle for each of your garments. Yay! Op-shopping shows brands that you’re saying “No” to slave labour, ”No” to excessive waste and ”No” to fast fashion. Here in Anglicare land (and beyond) we love investing in slow and circular fashion through our stores.
  2. Thrifting produces a return investment to your community. Most stores in Australia, and certainly our Anglicare Op Shops are run not-for-profit. This means that the money we make in-store is funnelled back into our programs. When you buy from us, you’re funding emergency housing, family care services, financial relief and mental health support to those in need. So, keep donating to charity, but please keep purchasing too! The more we sell, the more we’re able to give back to the community.
  3. It’s fun and good for your wallet! Thrifting is an opportunity to find low-cost, good quality items and an opportunity to grab that cool vintage thing you’re super interested in. I’m not a thorough must-see-every-item type shopper but I still love browsing through the racks to find a rare gem that’s just my size. I’ve found some phenomenally good items at Op Shops, from limited edition Timberlands, to leather jackets, to expensive home décor pieces. Let us know what your best ever op shop find is!

Now that I’ve convinced you to get out to your nearest Anglicare Op Shop, I’ll leave you with my top tip: don’t go with someone your size. It will save you a lot of arguments!

Now, before you object with “What about the Take Love merch?” Like our Op Shops, all of the proceeds go straight back into the work that Anglicare does for the community. Also, if you’ve grown out of your Take Love merch, put it in your nearest Anglicare donation box and we’ll keep on using it!