By Natasha Fujimoto
THE second largest consumer of textiles in the world, Australians on average purchase 56 items of clothing per year, most of which are made from non-sustainable, non-durable materials. While the fashion industry churns out ever more inexpensive clothing, the negative impact on the environment continues to increase.
The fashion industry is responsible for an estimated 10 percent of global CO2 emissions.
While the average Aussie only wears 40 percent of their clothes, the throwaways clog landfill in developing nations, taking up to a hundred years to break down, releasing methane and sometimes microplastics into the soil and eventually polluting waterways.
Taking a stand against the needless waste but still enjoying ‘the thrill of the hunt’ while shopping for fashion garments, Carli Lappin has been a zealous op shopper for over 40 years.
Beginning her long-love affair with oppies in a quest to save money as a young mum, Carli soon discovered the joy of finding hidden gems just waiting to be loved in Shepparton’s numerous thrift stores.
“Right from the very beginning I could see that you could go and buy quality clothes in op shops, as well as books, toys and really beautiful homewares all for little money.
“But now, op shopping is about so much more. It’s about recycling and reusing and not just throwing things away. It’s also about helping people out; when you go to Vinnies and Hospice for example, you’re actually making a contribution.
“So, it’s about reusing, but it’s also about the unrivalled quality of the clothing and the crafted items that you can find, which would be such a tragedy to throw away.” Carli said.