CAN you feel the op shop challenge momentum building? I have started a list of bloggers who have taken on the op shop challenge. Check out...

CAN you feel the op shop challenge momentum building? I have started a list of bloggers who have taken on the op shop challenge. Check out the katiecrackernuts sidebar to see what wonderful treasures have been unearthed and keep the posts coming. And, thank you.

I did mean to post earlier today and wish you all a very happy environment day. My day didn’t go quite as planned, but no complaints here. Life is busy, but good. And, as it turns out, my belated environment day post is also my final op shop challenge post and a call to action.

For me, op shopping is about my power as a consumer. By buying second hand I am not placing pressure on precious resources. I am also, when shopping in regular stores, thinking through whether I can buy the article second hand – or repair something I already have – whether I really need it and whether it’s of a quality that will stand the test of time.

Beth, of Cloth and Fodder, emailed me to share a fantastic online resource using material sourced by companies in exploring and reducing their own carbon emissions. The site listed the environmental cost of items such as a T-shirt, pair of jeans and a pair of leather boots.

Production of a T-shirt, for example produces 4kg C02 and puts at risk 3.1m2 of natural habitat. About 49 million T-shirts triggers the loss of a species. Now, I know, I know - 49 million T-shirts is a lot of T-shirts, but how many have you got in your wardrobe? It does make you think about buying another one, doesn’t it?

The thongs got me. Sydney-siders alone have wiped out a species, maybe two or three. Production of a pair of thongs produces 44kg C02. Count up 4.4 million pairs and, pfft, one species gone.

The numbers do kinda stack up, don’t they? All we have to do is exercise a little consumer muscle to cut carbon emissions, a kilogram at a time if need be. If you can’t buy second hand, buy better, be selective and check the labels for an indication of the environmental cost of the good. If all that fails – as it sometimes does – donate. Pass your goods on to op shops and let them live a second life in someone else’s home. And, while you’re at it, check out the 1degree website's carbon calculator and start counting the carbon savings.

TIP #4: Hand it on. Once finished with a garment, return it to an op shop so it can live another life with someone else. If it’s not in a fit state to be worn, cut the fabric up into cleaning rags or use it in a craft stash for quilting or to be refashioned into something new. If looking to buy uniform pieces, do think about buying from a uniform pool and donating old uniforms to clothing pools. My Girl Guide unit has a free uniform pool. If there is a uniform piece that fits one of the Guides, the parents take it, with the understanding they will return the item, and any other uniform pieces once their daughter grows out of the garment or leaves the unit.

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  1. AnonymousJune 06, 2009

    Good idea about the rags! I never thought of that!

  2. all these op-shop, slow fashion posts are so incredibly inspiring katie! I've been op-shopping for years and have many favourites. will post soon and let you know.

  3. p.s - i'm damn sure that black belt was the one i left at the op-shop. i knew deep down it wasn't for me!

  4. I love everything about the 1 Degree Op Shop Challenge. Mostly because it's another prompt to question every habit; every 'take-for-granted'.

  5. I am loving your Op Shop posts. I have a big bag to take to my local shop today and knowing me will come back with something - will post about it if I get a bargain or two

  6. Thank you for your Op Shop challenge, your posts are very inspiring!

  7. Yes, yes, yes. I'm loving these Op Shop posts. Good on you.