Sunday, 6 October 2013

OP Shopping

Opportunity shops (Op-shops for short) or Thrift shops, are those shops that donate a portion of their profits to charity, and are mostly staffed by volunteers. Apart from helping the needy, they also help the environment by recycling items that would otherwise go to landfills.  

Their merchandise comes from public donations or from overstock or faulty items donated by commercial stores. 

(A Good Sammy's warehouse - photo from net)
Since their stock is donated, articles can be sold at low prices to those on a budget or the disadvantaged.

In Australia, op-shops are very popular among the young and old, and it seems to be quite fashionable to shop there for vintage clothing for example. Those clever with a sewing machine, can also refashion items of clothing to fit their body shape.
Most of these warehouses are actually quite modern, their clothing racks sorted by colour, etc. to give the shopper a boutique style shopping experience.

Every once in a while, when I decide to cut down on our far too many possessions, I take a couple of bags of clothing, bed linen, crockery, etc to the "Good Sammy's", a huge warehouse not too far from me.
The Samaritans also do a lot of charity work of course, as I mentioned in this post about the Salvation Army.

On one of these occasions I walked around and found a couple of Corning ware bowls.
If you are from my generation you will be familiar with this name, I remember getting a couple of bowls as a wedding present. Sadly they didn't last the long haul.

With prices ranging from $4 to $8, I bought the 2 or 3 they had there. Once in a while I pop around and see if there is another bowl on display and buy it. 

I know own about 12 of them, and I think I need to stop, otherwise I will become a hoarder of cooking ware. In fact I have donated some of my otherwise good bowls, as I didn't have the space to store the ones I was buying....

My favourites are these round deep bowls

On my last stop at The Good Sammy's I saw a beautiful pair of trousers with some embroidery on the window model. I was just on the lookout for bowls, but I couldn't help asking the saleslady what size the trousers were. I figured if they were too small or too big I might be able to turn them into a skirt. She told me there was no size on the label, but they cost $8. I bought them nonetheless and after washing, I tried them and they fit perfectly! They are 80% cotton, 20% linen,  made in Bali, so there were a good buy.

Detail of the embroidery on the trousers

Clothes sold at Op-shops are all in perfect condition and washed and pressed before being put on the racks. There are quite a few blogs around of people that just buy their clothes from op-shops. In fact during the month of August there was a op-shop Restyle challenge with some bloggers restyling an outfit daily. Those involved also took part in the Perth fashion parade, with other fashion designers. There are some crafty and inventive ladies out there...

I had once purchased a lovely black and cream lace dress in a fancy Op-shop in Fremantle. The dress was also on the window model and I asked if I could try it on. 

It fit perfectly, the price was $20, and it is a very fashionable and contemporary dress. I have only worn it on one occasion though, I might wear it again next New Year's eve.       

Black and cream lace dress
This week I went to a another neighbourhood and popped into the Salvos Stores on the lookout for a small bookshelf or similar piece to renovate, to enable me to store my shoes in the bedroom, as my wardrobe is far too small. 

There was a huge amount of furniture, but this little trunk caught my eye. When I opened the door I was so excited to see it was a shoe cubby. This would be ideal to be placed at the foot of our bed, a place to sit on when putting on our shoes in the morning and where my shoes could be hidden. How lucky was I? The price was $50, but the unit was in good condition and I reckoned the money was going towards a good cause...

Fluffy tries out his new perch

The inside of the shoe storage unit

You will have to wait and see how I'm going to renovate this little gem.

How do you like my op-shop purchases? Have you ever found something wonderful and quirky at Op-shops?


  1. Gostei muito das calças. Lindas!
    Sou fan deste tipo de lojas. Encontramos sempre coisas diferentes e bem giras e ajudamos quem precisa.
    Agora estou curiosa para saber como vai ficar o móvel...;-)

  2. Obrigada Sandra. De vem em quando gosto de ir dar uma olhada numa aqui perto e encontro sempre coisas engracadas, nao compro pois ja nao tenho onde por.

  3. I do like your op shop choices Sami, the dress is fabulous and would be perfect for New Years Eve. I can't wait to see what you do with your latest purchase..

  4. Looks like you found some great stuff there! I haven't found any good second-hand shops here in Cape Town. Shame.

  5. As far as I know we only have few of those kind of shops over here. They look cheap and not welcoming. They´re rather addressed to those who can´t afford much and they also have staff with disabilities, that´s a good thing, for sure.
    They´re kinda hidden shops.
    Guess when I come to Perth soon I´ll have a look at op-shops - your choices sure look great :-)

  6. Love that frock! And your thriftiness :) We should all recycle where we can. Most of my clothes come from charity shops these days.

  7. Hi Iris - our Op shops look quite good, some are just like boutiques. I just don't have the patience to rummage through the mountains of clothing, so unless I see something that catches my eye because it's the right colour or is hanging on the mannequin, then I don't bother.

  8. Thanks Joanne, that dress just jumped out at me, I find the lace very feminine.

  9. Hi Sami! the dresses looking beautiful..such sounds a good choice of the shop for the shopping..
    Interesting post.

  10. By mere coincidence I am working on a post about the treasures to be found at an antique/curio market I visited last weekend here in France. They love there various antique markets, flea markets, "empty-attic" markets. It's great fun for me because many things are quite unique for me.

    Re those Corningware dishes, I used to have some. They are EVERYWHERE in the American second hand shops and fleamarkets.

    Fun post!

  11. Thanks for visiting Miss Footloose.


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