Author's Name: Faye Kirkwood
Date: Sun 01 May 2022

Op Shops and Environmental Sustainability


There are many more benefits to frequenting Op Shops other than trying to reduce consumer goods going to landfill.

- Op Shops are very friendly community spaces where it is accepted that you may spent a considerable amount of time simply browsing with no pressure to buy.

- Restoring, repairing, repurposing and upcycling Op Shop items is an opportunity to indulge your creativity while taking environmentally sustainable actions.

- Op Shops are treasure troves of affordable fashion, home wares, books, artworks and unexpected "finds".

- Many OP Shops are not for profit volunteer-run, organisations that use proceeds from your purchases and the sale of goods which you donate, to support their charitable purposes and to put funding into your local community.

- Organizations such as the National Trust of Australia (Victoria) are specialist in what they accept and sell.  The Trust raises funds from the sale of collected Vintage Clothes and accessories.  It now has a permanent retail space at "Vault" in Block Arcade on Collins street, Melbourne.

- Op Shoppers will find kindred spirits on Facebook at such pages as "I Love to Op Shop", and "I Love to Op Shop Melbourne" where Op Shoppers share stories and images of their "finds"

-You can support the development of independent, locally owned Op Shops in Aboriginal communities in remote Australia via the Remote Op Shop Project Facebook page.

Donating to Op Shops 

- Op Shops can only deal in Clean, good quality, saleable items.

- Before donating check with the OP Shop for any restrictions on donations.

- Donate your goods only during the shop's opening hours and at the designated drop off point.


Australia is a consumer driven society.  Not just in relation to clothes, but for electrical goods, devices for communication, home wares, accessories, video games, computers, furniture, books, cars and many other products which are discarded and new ones bought because the consumer wants a new version or fresher look to their homes.  Reducing purchases is a step in waste minimisation. 

eg Buy nothing new month - October see 

or Buy Nothing Community Swap Trade Carnegie-Murrumbeena- Glen Huntly Facebook page


Reusing clothing and accessories, giving them a refreshed life by selecting your wardrobe from OP shops will enable the creation of completely individual and unique outfits.


Op Shops abound with opportunities to buy items, such as furniture, which can be restored to their former attractive state.


Repurposing is a challenge to creativity.  It is to take one particular item, deconstruct or alter it in some way or add it to another item to create a new, but substantially the same type of item, such as a dress created from one or more other dresses or fashion accessories.


St Kilda Repair Cafe - is at the Port Phillip EcoCentre, 55A Blessington Street, St Kilda (cnr Herbert Street).

If is run by volunteers on the second Sunday of every month from 2pm to 5pm  Here volunteer fixers and menders try to do repairs of such items as computers, bicycles, jewellery and clothing.   phone 9807 9653  email 


Upcycling means that items are completely reconstructed into an entirely new item which is not readily identifiable as being for its original purpose  eg.  football scarves joined together to make bedspreads, OR china hand cut to emphasise a completely different form  as per picture on front page.


The internet and rapid changes in technology have been both a boon and created waste problems.  It is easy to buy consumer goods over the internet and have them delivered directly to you. Council's libraries, accept phones and cameras and their cords and accessories, xrays: batteries: CD's and floppy disks" videos: cassettes and cases, fluorescent tubes and light globes.

To obtain the full booklet, send an email to and a copy can be sent to you by email.

We are also getting a video made and having a fashion parade later in the year in conjunction with the Post Op Shop in Elsternwick  more information closer to October, 2022.

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