Old is the “new”, new!

Samaritans Retail Coordinator, Pauline Sellers has been working at Samaritans Shops for eight years and in that time she has seen a significant shift in the purpose and perception of op-shops. She explains that while the shops were once primarily perceived as an affordable option for people experiencing disadvantage or for the odd costume shopper, today she sees a myriad of customers flocking the stores.

“Over the years we have seen a real shift in the perception and clientele of our shops.  There is no “typical” customer now.  We see hundreds of customers a day – uni students, vintage shoppers, families, environmentally conscious recyclers and pensioners all enjoying what our stores have to offer,” she said.

When it comes to op-shopping old is the “new”, new.  Trendsetters peruse clothing collections in search of the perfect vintage piece.  So, if you are hanging onto a bag of clothes you wore thirty years ago, now is the perfect time to donate!

Pauline explains how the war on waste is also influencing a new generation of environmentally conscious shoppers.  “We are seeing more and more shoppers giving new life to clothes by repurposing pre-loved items.  I’ve seen shoppers hunting for ties to create a handbag, or turning jeans into a rug. Environmentally aware shoppers enjoy supporting our stores knowing that we avoid items going to landfill by on-selling unwanted clothing and linen to third world countries.”

When considering donations to your local op shop – the quirkier the better! Pauline explains “Whilst we need everyday donations such as linen and clothing, the quirky or unusual items are often the hidden gems.  For customers on the hunt for collectibles, your trash could become their treasure!”

Behind every Samaritans Shop is a team of dedicated volunteers sorting donations and manning the store.  Volunteers come from all walks of life ranging from young people to retirees, but are united in that they all enjoy contributing to the community in a friendly, supportive team environment.  If you are interested in volunteering please contact Samaritans on 4960 7100 or click here to learn more.

Samaritans Retail Shops operate at four locations so pop by and find yourself a new treasure!

Hamilton – 19 Beaumont Street
Mayfield – 131 Maitland Road
Wallsend – 145 Nelson Street
Boolaroo – 15 Main Road