Ten Op-Shops by Christmas as RSPCA South Australia ride sustainable fashion wave

Growing awareness about the need to stop tonnes of discarded clothing ending up in landfill is being credited as a major contributor to the ongoing success of RSPCA South Australia’s Op Shop network, with two more stores set to open before Christmas.

The next store to open will be the charity’s 9th Op Shop and the first in Adelaide’s north-eastern suburbs. Located at 1149-1155 North-East Rd, Ridgehaven, the new store will open its doors to customers on Saturday, October 19.

RSPCA South Australia’s Ben Dawson, who has already overseen the opening of one new store (located at Sefton Park) since taking on the position of Commercial Operations Manager five months ago, hopes the latest store’s launch gives animal lovers added motivation for the traditional Spring clean.

“We’re always keen to receive quality, pre-loved items to sell in our Op Shops, and soon residents in Adelaide’s north-east will have a local drop-off point,” Mr Dawson said, adding that acceptable items are any things you would be happy to give to a friend. (A full list of accepted items can be found here.)

While the slow fashion movement is gathering momentum, a 2017 survey1 found one demographic group lagging behind. Millennials – also known as Generation Y (those born 1982-2002) – were found to have the least environmentally-friendly habits as clothing consumers. Just 69% of millennials said they gave their unwanted clothes to charity (compared to 86% of baby boomers), and 38% reported that they had bought more than half the clothing they owned in the past year, a clear indication of high wardrobe turnover.

“We know there are a lot of animal lovers among millennials, so hopefully having more RSPCA Op Shops to drop off to will encourage this group to think of us the next time they’re clearing out clothes,” Mr Dawson said.

“We really don’t want people wasting quality clothing by throwing it into a bin destined for landfill.

“If they give it to us instead, it’s a win for animals and the environment.”

RSPCA South Australia’s animal care and rescue work is totally funded by donations from the community. Last financial year, the charity cared for more than 8300 animals, and RSPCA South Australia’s four rescue officers responded to more than 1800 animal ambulance callouts.

“Our animal rescue and care is vital but it’s also costly – last year we spent just over $5 million caring for animals in need,” Mr Dawson said.

“Of the almost 4500 animals adopted last year, there were many that required extensive rehabilitation including veterinary care before they were well enough to rehome.

“We depend on our community’s ongoing support, and our Op Shops provide another avenue for caring South Australians to give that support – either as donors or shoppers.”

RSPCA South Australia’s existing Op Shops are located in Kidman Park, Blackwood, Brighton, Warradale, Semaphore, Marden, Prospect and Sefton Park. The location of a 10th store is yet to be confirmed, with a site on the Fleurieu Peninsula currently being considered.

Information about RSPCA South Australia’s Op shops, including the opportunity to volunteer, can be found at: www.rspcaopshops.com

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