Retail therapy that’s good for the community

| August 29, 2014

Op shops raise vital funds for community welfare programs while playing an important environmental role. Kerryn Caulfield encourages us to take the time and visit our local op shop to donate unwanted clothes and household items.

It’s spring! Time to declutter the house and wardrobes and do something good for the community by donating to your local op shops.

Op shops are the public face of the charity recycling sector, arguably Australia’s largest social enterprise network that raises funds for vital community support programs while playing an important environmental role.

Through the annual National Op Shop Week, the sector seeks to create greater awareness of the role of charity recycling in communities to boost donations of quality clothing and household goods that will raise funds or be provided to individuals and families in crisis as emergency relief.

The week also serves to recognise the huge contribution of some 70,000 volunteers who play an essential role in supporting their charity op shop / recycling operations. A highlight for the 2014 Week was a morning tea for volunteers with Margie Abbott, wife of the Prime Minister, to thank the volunteers on behalf of the nation.

Australia’s charity recyclers range from the household charity names such as The Salvation Army (Salvos Stores), Brotherhood of St Lawrence, St Vincent de Paul (Vinnies), Mission Australia, Lifeline, Red Cross Epilepsy Foundation and Aid for the Blind, to one-shop not-for-profit enterprises supporting local church and community programs.

The oldest recycling industry in Australia, they diverted some 300,000 tonnes of clothing from landfill in 2013/14 while raising funds that assisted tens of thousands of Australians in need.

In recent years commercial for profit operators have moved into clothing recycling taking much-needed donations from charities. Charity recyclers urge the public to make an informed choice when donating their household and clothing donations to ensure their donations will be put to good use for the benefit of the community rather than go to for-profit businesses.

When you are looking at your wardrobe, think of the good that those outgrown, no longer worn shoes, handbags and clothes could be doing for the community.

And while dropping off your donations take a moment to discover a gem hidden in your local op shop. It’s retail therapy that’s guaranteed to do good!