OP SHOPS are places of mystery and adventure, treasure troves waiting to be discovered.
The quality of goods within the 10 listed Gladstone op shops are unrivalled for quality and choice.
This weekend marks the launch of National Op Shop Week, highlighting the worth of buying second hand.
Bindaree Garage Sale vice-president Ian Anderson said that through the donation of unwanted goods and their subsequent resale, the group had raised an incredible amount.
"Over the past 12 months we have raised a quarter of a million dollars," Mr Anderson said.
"Just through the garage sale alone."
And upon speaking to Chris Jaffray, who was browsing the racks at Bindaree, the consensus is that second hand is best.
"For most of my life I have been an op shopper," she said.
"I've been coming to Bindaree for about six years now. The people are friendly, the clothes are awesome and in great condition and the funds go towards a good cause.
"I love it here and I try not to miss a week."
Op shops support our community's neediest, fund essential services and allow customers to bag a bargain.
The celebration of op shops is an initiative of the National Association of Charitable Recycling Organisations and Do Something!
NACRO chief executive officer Kerryn Caulfield said that in every community, op shops play a critical role in bridging divides between social classes.
"National Op Shop Week is an opportunity to celebrate the important and multi-faceted role of op shops in our community,'' Ms Caulfield said.
"The fundraising to support the vital work of the charities; the volunteers who staff them; the bargain shopping; the social connection they provide to the charities and their contribution to the environment - promoting re-use and reducing waste going to landfill.
"Charity op shops are integral to the fabric of Australian society. We love to know that items we donate will be put to good use and that the proceeds from our purchases go to help others in the community."
- Australian op shops generated $256 million in revenue in 2013
- Op shops are experiencing a consistent annual growth of 9.1%
- Op shops employ almost 10,000 people nationwide
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