Charity shop, Op shop or Thrift shop, whatever you choose to call these wondrous, cavernous stores, you are bound to have a story or two to tell. My love for all things ‘vintage’ was reignited last week after a brief Instagram conversation with Laura from Hippy Tat. She posted a beautiful picture on Instagram of a Topshop dress she had found in an op shop, it was a great find and it made me think about all the cool clothes I have managed to pick up in the past. It also made me think of Macklemore. A lot.
My love affair with Op shops started while I was in Australia, although very weighed down by my backpack I could never resist the call of a sale rail. And much to Kerry’s dismay I found it very tricky to pass one by without popping in. And for most of time I’m so pleased I did! There are so many benefits to shopping in an op shop:
- By spending money in an op shop you are contributing to charity rather than big, faceless corporations. Come on, that’s gotta make you feel good!
- The ethical and environmental benefits that come along with buying used clothes and homewares are monumental. By buying second-hand you are preventing goods from being sent to landfill, being fly tipped and you are ensuring the longevity of a product.
- The prices in op shops are a hellavu lot cheaper than regular stores so you can really find yourself a bargain.
- You can avoid being a fashion victim and embrace your own style and image.
- A lot of people who volunteer in op shops are elderly or vulnerable, by shopping in them it ensures the store stays open and gives the staff piece of mind.
- A lot of op shops are now beginning to start their own ranges. Most of these are ethically sourced, fair trade gifts and nic-nacks (kinda my bag!)
- In a dwindling High Street op shops are a definite staple. To keep your local High Street thriving invest in an op shop! There are currently around 11,200 in the UK, 83% of those are in England alone! That’s an awful lot of diamonds in the rough!
- Op shops are now beginning to take on paid staff too, that means more jobs, for more people and hopefully a more stable economy.
- By shopping in op shops you are not only contributing to charity you are also heightening awareness and helping the charity to grow and build momentum. If animal charities are close to your heart I would highly recommend whizzing around one sometime, you’re bound to find something awesome and feel great in the process!
- It’s so much fun! Rummaging around, finding that great, one off piece, chatting to the sales staff, the whole experiencing is so much more gratifying than going in to Zara and walking out with the same top as 10 people before you.
I’d love to share some pictures with you all showing some of my amazing op shop finds. Most of these were found in Aus, with the exception of the brown jumper which I got in NZ. There have been many, many more over the past three years, I just wasn’t lucky enough to capture them all on film and unfortunately most of them have been donated back now. But I do still have the blue dress…. Oh I love that blue dress.
And remember, op shops sell more than just clothes! Bric a brac, cookware, books, homewares, the list goes on and on. I’d love to know what amazing finds you have had in Op shops, or not so amazing if that’s the case! Please leave any comments below and for more fun please check out Without-Cruelty on Instagram ✌ ❤