Whether you’re looking for vintage pieces to complement the current fashion trends, or to go completely against them, investing in recycled fashion is more than just a way to make you look a million dollars – it’s also a way to give back to the local community.
Over the past few years, the thrill of uncovering a rare gem has propelled fashion tastemakers to hunt out retro pieces from decades gone by, with online specialist vintage boutiques and retailers trading on eBay and ASOS Marketplace cleaning up from the new surge in interest in pre-worn threads.
However, as St Vincent De Paul’s Leanne Robinson attests, there’s still much to be gained by paying a visit to the gold ol’ local charity shop.
According to Robinson, shoppers who take the time to scour the second-hand racks at charity shops – such as St Vincent De Paul’s Vinnies shops – are often rewarded by finding unique items that are not generally available in mainstream retailers.
“Customers at Vinnies can express their individuality with a one-of-a-kind outfit, reducing the fear of someone else wearing the same dress,” she says. “We have many hidden treasures in our shops and many customers are excited to find designer labels amongst our other clothing at bargain prices.”
While the ability to physically try on items of clothing and save money on online shipping are the obvious key advantages to shopping in store, Robinson says there is another, often unrecognised benefit for bargain hunting at charity shops such as Vinnies.
“By shopping at Vinnies the customers are comforted knowing that their purchase goes towards funding our many charitable works within WA,” she says.
All Vinnies shop profits are used to fund St Vincent De Paul Society’s services and programs, which aid and assist the homeless, disadvantaged youth, those living with a mental illness and refugees, among others.
With many of the shops run by volunteers, Robinson encourages people looking for a unique way to give back to the community to put their hand up for a shift or two.
“If you can offer a few hours, a day or a few days per week we would love to hear from you. There are many fun jobs that can be done in our stores – everything from the sorting of donations to displaying stock on the shelves to helping customers,” she says.
Fashionistas looking to clear out their wardrobes can also make donations of good quality (i.e. not damaged) clothing directly to any Vinnies shops (during trading hours) or to the Vinnies Osborne Park depot at 59 Edward Street, Osborne Park.
While fashion trends come and go quicker than you can say ‘Kate Moss’, giving back to society’s less advantaged will never, ever, go out of style.
To find your closest Vinnies shop, visit here