Fast Fash­ion

Emma Clarke re­veals how to bag a bar­gain Op Shop­ping

QT Magazine - - WELCOME -

POPPIN’ la­bels with $20 in your pocket will leave some change. About $14 change to be ex­act as the art of op-shop­ping, thrift­ing, good­will, bar­gain hunt­ing and all its other def­i­ni­tions is mak­ing its rise to re­tail re­al­ity. Moc­casins that some­body else has been walk­ing in, racks lined with one-offs, retro and vin­tage pieces and the odd hid­den gem are re-defin­ing fash­ion. One man’s trash is most def­i­nitely an­other man’s one-up as na­tional and in­ter­na­tional de­signer pieces hang on plas­tic hang­ers hid­den deep be­tween rows of chain store pieces, wait­ing for their new owner to re-in­vent them. Choose a full out­fit, add a bag and throw some shoes in the bas­ket too for no more than $16. Op-shop­ping has its fi­nan­cial in­cen­tives but the thou­sands of pre-lovedof vol­un­teers items mean cleaned,fast fash­ion­sorted an­dis hav­ing neatly an pre­sented eco-con­scious,by an army recycled face lift. As global con­sumers churn through 80 bil­lion pieces of cloth­ing each year, up 400% from two decades ago, thrift­ing is the ideal al­ter­na­tive to cookie-cut­ter fash­ion. St Paul’s Va­ri­ety Mar­ket man­ager and church parish­ioner Elaine Dren­nan is part of the process which sees the com­mu­nity chang­ing up their look with a few loose coins. She said a new out­fit was some­times enough to change some­bod­ies life. “I had a gen­tle­man who had to go to a funeral and had hardly any money and we just decked him out and let him go. I felt re­ally good about that, I don’t think he had any­body else to help him,” she said. “We have a lot of peo­ple who can’t af­ford the prices you pay in a shop and they be­come our reg­u­lar cus­tomers. That’s an­other rea­son we all love be­ing here, we’re help­ing peo­ple who re­ally can’t af­ford any­thing else and that way they can have nice clothes. “It’s lots of fun be­cause ev­ery­one is here be­cause they love be­ing here, we have it to heart.” Elaine has spent the last seven years deck­ing out Ip­swich with vin­tage and retro pieces. She said she had seen ev­ery­thing from real fur, jew­ellery and ball gowns to un­der­wear and cos­tumes snapped up for next to noth­ing. “There is al­ways some­thing un­usual and in­ter­est­ing,” she said,. “You wouldn’t even know you’re wear­ing sec­ond hand, quite a few things come in and they still have the tag on them. It’s brand new and they’ll go out for a pit­tance, noth­ing like a $150 frock. “We’ve had ladies buy ball gowns and go to the re­ally fancy dances, wed­ding guests, peo­ple look­ing for a cos­tume to wear on a Satur­day night. “You can buy a man’s suit for $6.” We raided St Paul’s Va­ri­ety Mar­ket racks for six out­fits to get men and women through the sea­sons for un­der $20 each. Here are the re­sults. Clothes and ac­ces­sories: St Paul’s Va­ri­ety Mar­ket. Mod­els: Ben Wil­mott and Therese Jones

PHOTO: ROB WIL­LIAMS

BAR­GAIN HUNT­ING: Cryil Wheeler, Elaine Dren­nan, He­len Wheeler and Kerry Walker at the St Paul’s Vari­erty Mar­ket.

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