The average person in Australia buys 27 kilograms of clothing every year and only wears an item seven times before throwing it away.
The enormous environmental impact of fast fashion and consumerism has prompted these women to make change and inspire others while doing so.
Op shop faithfuls and are spreading their message of sustainability through their love of fashion.
They are seeing more women interested in shopping this way and taking up the challenge of buying nothing new.
Meg Rayner took on the challenge to buy nothing new for six months last year, as part of her 2018 New Year’s Resolution.
The fashion lover made the resolution after feeling she was ‘accumulating too much’ and was becoming increasingly concerned about the impact of fast fashion and clothing waste.
“From January to June I didn’t buy anything new,” she said.
“I really shopped my wardrobe and made use of what I had already. I also realised there were a lot of things I didn’t need or didn’t like and I donated those on to op shops and to friends who I knew would like them to give them a second life.
“For anything I needed or wanted I would pop into op shops and keep a mental catalogue of what I was looking for. When you pause and you shop a bit more mindfully I think you realise how impulsive you are and how you’ll want something and buy it straight away at the shopping centre.
“Taking time to recreate a look by shopping second hand is so much more satisfying and so much more fun and you end up finding better things along the way. Pieces mean more because you have sought them out and you treat them with a bit more love because you have gone to the trouble of finding them rather than just walking into a store and pulling your size off a rack.”
Ms Rayner’s challenge this year is to sustainably furnish an entire apartment by purchasing second hand from op shops and online marketplaces.
Meg’s top tips for a sustainable wardrobe:
Meg’s favourite op shop buys:
I have found some amazing things over the years. I found a Gucci bag recently for $14 at an op shop. I find I pick up a lot of dresses. Recently I have got lots of jewelry, some fun Mimco pieces people have tossed away. And you can pick up some really great Levi jeans. I love picking up leather boots from op shops. You just give them a wipe out, get them re-heeled and you have a brand new pair of boots.
Hunt for a bargain in greater Bendigo and support local charities and a sustainable future to boot.
There’s hours of fun to be hard looking around for that special pre-loved something.
Central Victoria has an abundance of op shops and second hand places where you can bag a bargain. It’s easy to spend a day doing the op shop hop.
They can be great places to pick up quirky furniture which can shine with a bit of renovation, or a vintage piece.
Look closely (and know your brands) and you could pick up some truly priceless bargains.
Victory Op Shop - Garsed Street, Bendigo
Salvos Stores - High Street, Bendigo
Vinnies - Chapel Street, Bendigo
Red Cross Op Shop - Lyttleton Terrace, Bendigo
Community Storehouse Thrift Store - Mitchell Street, Bendigo (might go under a new name - orange building)
RSPCA Op Shop - Queen Street, Bendigo
Vision Australia Shop - Wills Street, Bendigo
Salvos Store Whip Court - Whip Court, Bendigo
Julie's Vintage Clothing Boutique - View Street, Bendigo
Salvos Stores - Strath-Hill Centre, Bendigo
Vinnies - High Street, Kangaroo Flat
Salvation army thrift shop - Thistle Street, Golden Square
Victory Op Shop - Garsed Street, Bendigo
Book now (book shop with used books) - Farmer Lane, Bendigo
Vinnies - Barker Street, Castlemaine
Salvation Army - Barker Street, Castlemaine
Liberty Christian Life Centre Op Shop - Barker Street, Castlemaine
Mount Alexander Animal Welfare Op Shop - Johnstone Streeet, Castlemaine
Castlemaine Vintage Bazaar - Walker Street
Big Shed - Shadforth Street, Castlemaine
Maine Second Hand Centre - Templeton Street, Castlemaine
Kyneton Caring Community - Mollison Street, Kyneton
Salvo store - Mollison Street- Kyneton
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