Ready to grab your glad rags and donate to a good cause at the same time? National Op Shop Week is raising awareness of the importance of supporting op shops in our community.

A joint initiative of DoSomething! and the National Association of Charitable Recycling Organisations (NACRO), National Op Shop Week, running from August 24 – 31, celebrates all things thrifty.

NACRO Chief Executive Officer Kerryn Caulfield explains that “it is an opportunity to celebrate the important and multi-faceted role of op shops in our community: the fundraising to support the vital work of the charities; the volunteers that staff them; the bargain shopping; the social connection they provide to the charities and their contribution to the environment – promoting re-use and reducing waste going to landfill.”

She also adds that “charity op shops are integral to the fabric of Australian society. We love to know that items we donate will be put to good use and that the proceeds from our purchases go to help others in the community.”

Op shops have been a part of our communities for a long time but when we researched more about them, we found out some amazing facts.

Did you know that Australia’s charity op shops…

  • Are a vital source of funding for the charities’ community support programs
  • They help tens of thousands of people in crisis and in need in our communities each year through the money they raise
  • There are more than 3000 charity op shops across Australia
  • More than 70,000 Australians volunteer their time to support charity op shops
  • Charity op shops are the oldest recycling industry in Australia, tracing their beginnings to World War I fundraising for the Red Cross and returned soldier welfare programs
  • They diverted more than 300,000 tonnes of clothing from landfill in 2013/14
  • Re-use of clothing saves 4kg of CO2 for every kilogram of donated clothing (source Danish Technological University study published 2010.)
  • Around 30% of clothing in the average wardrobe has not been worn for at least a year, most commonly because it no longer fits.

Ready to get involved? Here are some local events happening in Brisbane.

Monday 25 – Sunday 31 August 2014

Opt in to Op Shop with Lifeline – Join the LifelineShopsQld Facebook challenge. Bring a friend who’s never had an op shopping experience to one of 130 Lifeline Shops in Queensland and share your stories on Facebook #lifelineopshopping. Somewhere in Australia, there is a new call to Lifeline every minute. When you donate and buy with Lifeline, you’re helping save lives.

Tuesday 26 August 

Op Shop Fashion Week Brisbane – showcasing the amazing donations in local charity op shops

9am to 3pm Lifeline Brisbane Pop Up Op Shop at the Glass Marque Area, Mercedes Benz Fashion Festival | King George Square, Brisbane.

11.00am Fashion Parade at Salvos Store Kallangur |1469 Anzac Avenue, Kallangar QLD | followed by sausage sizzle | 40% off all clothing for the day.

Thursday 28 August

6.00pm – 8.00pm Vinnies Kenmore Spring Fashion Parade | 8 Brookfield Road, Kenmore.

Friday 29 August

Noon – 2.00pm Aid for the Blind (Qld) Fashion Parade | Centre Stage Queen Street Mall, Brisbane | hosted by Campo from Radio station 97.3FM

Saturday 30 August

10am – Noon Endeavour Foundation Fashion Parade of amazing recycled clothing plus discounts all day | Endeavour Foundation recycling centre, 3/16 Central Park Ave, Ashmore

For more information and tips on how to op shop like a pro, head to NACRO or DoSomething!