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Savvy Second Hand Shopping


April is Earth Month so Sophie, our invaluable intern, decided to accept the challenge and show people how to reduce waste by supporting local Op-Shops and second hand stores. She wanted to see what $20 could buy her across The Hills and The Hawkesbury region. These are the results.

In Australia the average person purchases about 27 kg of clothing per year. As shocking as that number is, consider how much this adds up nationally: about 350,000 tonnes of textile waste per year. With excess consumption of fast-fashion accelerating the effects of climate change, reusing and repurposing garments is a sure way to reverse our impact. This Earth Month inApril, make the switch from fast fashion to these affordable organisations who give back to our community through their incredible work across homeless and mental health support.

Anglicare Op Shop Buys Copy Savvy Second Hand Shopping
Anglicare: a cute polka dot frill dress and a pair of golden bedazzled sandals for under $20

Anglicare Op Shop Interior Copy Savvy Second Hand ShoppingAnglicare Op-Shop Castle Towers
Tucked away in Castle Towers is a community hub that offers vintage fashion, toys and secondhand homewares at a fraction of the regular price. Anglicare Op-Shop is a treasure trove of preloved goods and is currently stocked up on the recent fashion trends for young people.

Through shopping at Anglicare Op-Shop, you are also supporting Anglicare’s youth programs and funding for their community pantry, as all goods are bought from a food bank. Other initiatives Anglicare provides is electricity bill support as well as petrol vouchers for those doing it tough.

The lovely team at Anglicare can connect customers with Anglicare support services in the local area, especially concerning mental health support and food or financial advice. Lisa Grzunov, the store manager at Castle Hill, Rouse Hill and other stores, expresses why she fell in love with volunteering:

“We serve the people, with good quality clothing at a low price. Other local Anglicare stores have a community pantry for affordable goods to uplift those in need. We are even just here for a chat, as sometimes people have those days where they need someone to talk to. “Everyone is welcome here”.

Although the Anglicare at Castle Towers is a small store they are accepting donations of clothing and bric-a-brac (but no electrical).

Come by and make some new connections at Level 3, Store 446 at Castle Towers at 6-14 Castle Street, Castle Hill. Anglicare has over 26 retail locations across Sydney and the Blue Mountains including the newly opened Anglicare Op-Shop Rouse Hill and Anglicare Op-Shop Richmond.

Salvos Store McGraths Hill
The newly opened Salvos Store at McGraths Hill is a new addition to the Op-Shop Market. It opened in September last year and is hidden away on Industry Road. Don’t be fooled by the industrial buildings beside it, inside Salvos Mcgraths is a warm and welcoming shop filled to the brim with hand-selected goodies such as toys, books, clothing and new items. Its modern and trendy environment aims to transform the narrative of what an ‘Op-Shop’ looks like with bold and bright signage displayed.

The Salvation Army is an International Christian-based charity with a range of services including Aged Care, Employment Plus, Youth Services and their ‘Salvos Stores’. Salvos’ Op-Shops’ give back to the community through investing all profits back into their community service. In 2023, Salvos’ programs distributed over 1.63 million meals, which is reflected in the store as they have a small community pantry at the entrance.

The incredibly bubbly store manager, Lauren Austin, is well-informed about her products and is caring about her regulars, who often pop by weekly. Compassion is at the forefront of her approach to her work as she believes Op-Shops’ give back to the community;

Salvos Store Mcgraths Hill Savvy Second Hand Shopping
Just in time for mother’s day the salvo’s store roundup for $20. Self-care mantra cards, pomegranate soy wick candle, rose bath salts and rose diffuser, as well as a pack of shower steamers, for an ultimate care package.

“Op-Shops’ are a cheaper alternative, we get donations from the community for some great things including brand-new items with price tags. There’s just such a variety, our kids’ clothing is $1, which you can’t really get anywhere else. It’s part of the circular economy as well, we are trying to reduce waste.”

At the moment, they’re running a ‘Donate for a Discount’ program until the end of July, giving donors a 20% off voucher in store for their Winter donations. The store always accepts donations in-store and are particularly looking for toys and clothes over the school holidays.

However, Lauren advocates for donors to practise ‘Donor Care’; “If you wouldn’t give it to a family member, then an Op-Shop might not be able to sell it”. She also advises against dumping outside of the store trading hours as dumped donations cost Salvo’s stores approximately $8million in removal annually.

Visit Lauren and her fun team at 32 Industry Road, Vineyard NSW 2765. Other Salvo’s Shop locations include Salvo’s Richmond at 27 Windsor Street Richmond.

Lifeline Shop Castle Hill
Another hidden gem at Castle Towers, the Lifeline Shop offers a bright and bubbly environment filled with homewares, quality second hand garments and lots of books to browse.

Op Shop Lifeline Store Interior Copy Savvy Second Hand Shopping

Situated on Level 2 next to Katie’s and nearby Cotton-On, this Lifeline Shop is tucked away and offers a relaxing experience from the hustle and bustle at Castle Towers. This store in particular paid great attention to detail, from its clear signs and to the alphabetization of its extensive DVD and book range.

At the moment, brown and pink highlighted items are 25% off and blue highlighted tags are 50% off, creating a very affordable destination.

Lifeline Store Purchases Copy Savvy Second Hand Shopping
Spoiled for choice at lifeline, but for $20 you can get a groovy 70s princess highway dress, beautiful fairy plate (which i bought) and a sweet porcelain bear.

However, Lifeline doesn’t just offer savvy deals. Purchases in store fund critical counselling services such as the Suicide Prevention Hotline. Lifeline Shops’ also support programs for people affected by suicide and ongoing suicide prevention.

The team at Lifeline Castle Hill are incredibly friendly and down to earth as Store Manager, Margaret Templeton, who expressed her love for working at this Op-Shop;

“Op-Shops’ offer people the chance to get more expensive items. For example, bigger families can come here and get branded items or toys which their kids are always after. Our Op-Shop also brings the community together from people donating and people buying. Our new store allows this especially, as there’s easy access to public transport like the metro and buses”.

At the moment, the Castle Hill branch is looking for book, DVD, kids toys and handbag donations (though no furniture due to space constrictions). If you have some spare hours, they’re always welcoming new volunteers to serve the community and bring some joy into the lives of others.

Recently moving from its Victoria Avenue location, you can now find the Lifeline store on level 2, Shop 302 at Castle Towers at 6-14 Castle Street.

Save The Children Vineyard
Around the corner from Salvo’s is this newly opened warehouse Op-Shop in McGraths Hill offering a wide range of affordable clothing and a great selection of kids toys. It only opened four weeks ago but word of mouth has brought hordes of people to this hidden gem.

Save The Children Men S Outfit 20 Copy Savvy Second Hand Shopping
In their groovy change-room (decorated with vinyls as pictured), here is a full men’s outfit for under $20: pale yellow button up shirt paired with dark-denim jeans, doc-marten look-alike boots and a simple belt.

The pricing here was standardised across everything, with amazing deals such as tops and bottoms for $5 each, as well as dresses and jackets for $7. There was a great selection of men’s and women’s clothing, including a few pairs of corduroy pants I was eyeing, as well as a variety of reduced vinyl records for only $2.

Save The Children is Australia’s largest aid and development agency dedicated for the wellbeing of children internationally. Funds raised in store are allocated towards their emergency and humanitarian relief programs and Australia’s leading child right’s organisation; ‘54 reasons’, named after the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.

Beautiful and kind staff members, Jodie the warehouse manager and Bernice, bring a fun and welcoming energy to the store. Their welcoming and bubbly attitudes are reflective of the Hawkesbury community, as they truly want to help every person that walks into their store. Ian Moore, NSW State Retail Manager for Save the Children believes that Op-Shops’ are a fundamental part of the community;

“Op-Shops’ are an important space for the local community, especially for our customers and valued volunteers, as they can connect and shop sustainably while supporting a worthy cause. Funds raised through the sale of donated items in our Op-Shop support our lifesaving programs in Australia and overseas, helping kids when they need it most”.

As a fairly new store, still awaiting their grand opening ceremony, they would love your donations and would encourage people to find out what donations they are accepting by calling (02) 8202 0439.

Peruse the wide variety of clothing racks at Save the Children at 11 Rob Place, Vineyard.

Ninas Preloved Goods
On the corner of George Street in South Windsor, you’ll find a charming and oldfashioned second hand shop, brimming with vintage items, books and hidden gems. Nina’s Preloved Goods focuses on promoting sustainability and reducing waste, through repurposing and regifting books, furniture and clothing starting from just $2. Nina advocates against our current culture of disposable consumption, wanting to give things “a second and third life as not everything has to go to landfill”.

Nina S Pre Loved Good Page 35 Copy Savvy Second Hand Shopping

But for many of the local residents, Nina Martelli and her store offers more than a second-hand shopping experience. Nina’s Preloved Goods, acts as a beacon of hope for her local community, connecting residents with support services and offering an open ear.

“It’s my own personal business. My shop is a magical little place where people are welcome to come to have a chat to check in, cry and receive a hug”.

Nina’s dedication to her community extends beyond the doors of her shop. Her tenacity and compassion shines through her list of volunteering services such as supporting local residents affected by the 2020 floods and even participating in the first Clean Up Australia Day in thirty years.

Nina touches the lives of all her residents, who visit from Texas NSW, Western Australia and even London. Everyone here is made to feel like family.

Nina S Preloved Good With Her Chatting Copy Savvy Second Hand Shopping

Nina is passionate about revitalising tourism in the Hawkesbury region, believing that there are so many wonderful women-owned businesses in the area who desperately need support from visitors.

With declining tourism, Nina has ambitions for those from the Hills Shire Council to experience the magic of the Hawkesbury, whose natural beauty and serene getaway experience is worth making the trek.

Whether you’re in search of a unique decor piece or simply craving a friendly chat over a cup of tea, Nina’s Preloved Goods is the place for you. You can drop in at 483 George Street in South

Windsor or check out her Facebook where she regularly updates new promotions and community partnerships.

Vinnies Stores
Unfortunately we were able to visit the numerous Vinnies Op Shops in the area but there are a lot of them offering a range of great bargains from homewares and clothes to some furniture and china as well as books and CDs and more.

Local Vinnies Locations are at: Vinnies Rouse Hill at 13/40 Panmure St.

Vinnie’s Baulkham Hills at 9a/9B Old Northern Rd. Vinnies Dural (at Round Corner) Vinnies Richmond, Vinnies Windsor and Vinnies Pennant Hills. Currently, they are welcoming donations of clothing, bric-a-brac and kids toys.

Make the switch to Op-Shops’ and you might just find your forever piece!

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