Rebecca McNaught, Ocean Shores
It’s official. Op-shops are no longer opportunity shops – they are ‘opulent shops’. I can now pay more for a second hand Kmart t-shirt in a Byron Shire op-shop than a brand new t-shirt in Kmart.
We buy the bulk of our family’s clothes at op-shops because: 1. We believe in recycling and reusing wherever possible to reduce waste and resource use. 2. New clothes = more carbon miles and higher emissions 3. New clothes = more sweatshop labour 4. It is really expensive to clothe kids – they grow so fast that we have to buy a new wardrobe of clothes for them twice a year; one for winter months, one for summer months. This really adds up – even at op shops! 5. The money we spend at the op-shops goes to really good causes.
Just because some people might be able to pay higher prices at op-shops doesn’t mean that op-shops should charge high prices. Op-shops provide really important services to the community in reducing waste and keeping families clothed. They shouldn’t be exclusionary and nor should they inadvertently encourage the purchase of ‘fast and cheap fashion’.