15 Mar 2018

How to get the most out of op-shopping

4:24 pm on 15 March 2018

Young New Zealand women would better embrace op-shopping if it was less difficult to do and cheaper, a new study suggests.

Blogger, Lucy Revill.

Lucy Revill, the creator of Wellington-based blog, The Residents. Photo: RNZ / Rebekah Parsons-King

As part of an Otago University study, young women aged 18 to 25 were asked about what would encourage them to use more sustainable fashion options.

The clothing industry is currently the second biggest polluter after oil.

Associate Professor Lisa McNeill said many of the participants found second-hand clothing prices too high for what they were getting.

"Many of the participants talked about how they found second-hand clothing overpriced from the bottom end and even at the top end, purchasing designer clothing online etc.," she said.

Ms McNeill said the layout of the shops also made it difficult for people to pick items they would like.

"What they really indicated to us is the smart second-hand store owner would really assort and segment-based on where they were targeting their customers.

"You would have a particular style and items you would present in Wellington, than Auckland for example, and if you didn't and just had a grab bag of absolutely everything, you're just going to put people off," she said.

While many people thought about sustainable food production and waste they did not look at fashion in the same way, she said.

However, Lucy Revill, the creator of Wellington-based blog, The Residents, said that had started to change.

"Much like how organic food was really marginal in the early 90's, sustainable fashion is the future for so many people and I think it comes down to accepting and appreciating we don't have infinite resources," she said.

Glassons' mannequins.

Glassons' mannequins. Photo: RNZ / Rebekah Parsons-King

Ways to get the most out of an op-shopping expedition

She recommended people think about which pieces they wanted to focus on when they entered a second-hand store.

"I will maybe come in with a key piece in mind like a three quarter length coat, for the upcoming autumn season, or perhaps an oversized jumper.

"Generally it helps not to go in with a completely blank mind, but equally I think we should always be open to spontaneity and surprise when coming into an opshop," she said.

Lucy Revill, blogger.

Lucy Revill finds a $189 pair of jeans for $28.75 with the original tag still on at Recycle Boutique. Photo: RNZ / Rebekah Parsons-King

While places like Recycle Boutique focused on designer brands, there were still bargains to be had, especially with their weekly $4 rack.

The shop was also laid out in sections and colours, which was useful, she said.

She recommended looking out for quality materials.

However, she said recommended people examine their wardrobe before going shopping.

"Sometimes going through and organising or appreciating what you already have, might make you feel happier than stuffing your cupboard with more Zara or Asos, it's a real quick fix."

But for those wanting to add to their wardrobe, she said a vintage coat was always a good purchase.