A WORLD without op shops is hard to imagine for some.
For others it is impossible.
Life Essential's Matthew Parkinson is one of those others.
"I could never imagine there being no op shops. Bendigo is growing and the need is getting bigger," he said.
Mr Parkinson said more than 150 customers dropped into Life Essentials in Hargreaves Street daily but not all came to shop.
"I suppose they come in because of affordability. It's amazing what you can get," he said.
"But there is no doubt if you have the right staff working, people come in to chat and share their lives.
"It has a community side to it, too."
This week is National Op Shop Week - a campaign focused on shining a spotlight on the role op shops play in the community.
It is an initative of the National Association of Charitable Recycling Organisations.
"Charity op shops are integral to the fabric of Australian society," chief executive Kerryn Caulfield said.
"Whether it is the volunteers that staff them, the diversity and inexpensive clothes they provide or the opportunity to participate by donating, Australians love our charity op shops."
Bendigo's Kelly Robson has op shop blood running through her veins.
"When I was growing up, my mum would dress me in op shop clothes," she said.
"We often go for coffee and check out the (opportunity) shops together."
Ms Robson said op shopping was best suited to those who did not want to spend lots of money.
"The clothes are usually out of season but you get to help out the community by buying," she said.