A new guide to op shopping in Ballarat is helping encourage consumers to kick the fast fashion trend.
Grampians Central West Waste and Resource Recovery Group has released Op Shop Adventures, a guide to help visitors and residents of the Grampians Central West Region to discover a treasure or a bargain on the op shop trail.
Ballarat sustainable fashion advocate Bianca Flint said the release of the guide was timely, with many women in particular shifting their attitude to shopping.
“Once upon a time we wouldn’t brag about the fact we went to the op shop, now it is something we are proud of and wanting to tell our friends about,” she said.
Everyone should start to think carefully about their net clothing purchase.Bianca Flint, sustainable fashion advocate
The guide features more than 30 op shops in Ballarat and surrounding suburbs, nine in Hepburn shire, three in Maryborough, two in Beaufort and many more in towns further afield, as well as tips for successful op shopping.
The ‘fast fashion’ trend of recent years ensures there is a high turnover of items in consumer’s wardrobes.
Ms Flint said the environmental impact cannot be ignored.
“Research shows op shops can’t cope with the amount of stock they are getting. Change needs to start back at the beginning where people make informed decisions when they are choosing garments to stop the vicious cycle of fast fashion,” she said.
“Everyone should start to think carefully about their net clothing purchase. If they made it preloved it would have a major ripple effect. We have the power as the consumer.”
The average person buys 60 per cent more items of clothing and keeps them for about half as long as 15 years ago, according to Greenpeace.
Australia is the second-largest consumers of new textiles, each person buying an average of 27kg of new textiles, Textile Beat data reveals.
Grampians Central West Waste Resource Recovery Group chief executive La Vergne Lehmann said op shops help divert useful materials and resources from landfill.
“Op shops are a great way to make sure items can continue to be used after you have finished with them,” she said.
“It is important to highlight there are other ways of dealing with those unwanted items beyond curbside recycling.”
Read the Grampians Central West Op Shop Adventures guide below
Top tips for op shopping featured in the guide include to check for faults before purchase, shop midweek as most people clean out their cupboards on weekends, know labels and style, invest in a sewing machine for easy mends and alterations and know your needs, don’t get sucked into buying an item because it is cheap.
The Grampians Central West op shop guide is available in visitor information centres around the region and online.