Thursday 18 February 2010

Vinnies too downmarket for Bowal?

lifted from Sydney Morning Herald website

Vinnies is too downmarket for Bowral's shopkeepers

February 15, 2010

Upmarketshop owners in Bowral have joined forces to prevent St Vincent de Paul opening a store in the town centre, deeming the charity an ''unsuitable tenant'' as a neighbour.

More than 60 business owners signed a petition to block the move by Vinnies which would see its charity shop relocate along Bong Bong Street.

The Southern Highlands regional president of St Vincent de Paul, Joseph Buhagiar, said this disappointment had come after five years of looking for a new location. He said arrangements had been made for the shop to relocate on February 1 but he had been approached before the move by a neighbouring shop owner, Linda Dunsire.

"She said 'we are putting a petition on' because she said it would devalue properties," Mr Buhagiar said.

"The next thing I know, she put this petition to council saying 'we are opposed to this move'. On the eleventh hour, the [landlord] pulled out. It was all set but the signature."

The petition, a copy of which was obtained by the Herald, states that the retailers, restaurateurs and businesses were "most opposed" to the move by what they labelled as "unsuitable tenants".

"Bowral has tried to maintain an upmarket shopping destination for tourists and residents alike … a second-hand charity shop does not fit this criteria," it stated. "The more unsuitable businesses that continue to appear in Bong Bong Street will in turn effect tourism and tree changers from coming to our beautiful area."

The petition outlined concerns regarding illegal dumping, stating that the proposed location for the St Vincent's store would provide a "perfect late- night dumping ground".

Mr Buhagiar described the Bong Bong Street location, which already includes a secondhand clothing store, as "not all that flashy" and was adamant that rubbish would not be an issue.

"We've always had a shop in Bowral and we've already had none of that stuff and we're not having a drop-off bin," he said.

"At no stage is there ever a problem with stuff dumped."

Bowral Business Chamber's chief, Tony Springett, disagreed, stating that the expected rubbish "would take away from the streetscape".

"If you've got a shop like Witchery, you wouldn't want a shop like that next door," he said.

The SOHI magazine team  have set up a petition requesting that this decision be reversed and warning of boycotts to shops campaigning against Vinnies.

Wednesday 17 February 2010

Coastal Tip Shops

Taph and i have been down the coast researching op shops and other second hand dealers. We may put up a travelogue of our trip, but here is a quick post about some things that struck me.

Most of the op shops we visited were fairly neat and tidy inside. There was one we visited that looked like a bomb had hit it, but it was not aligned to any organisation.

Recently Vinnies and Salvos have been engaged in a corporate branding of their stores. This seems to be having an effect as most shops we visited were neat and tidy, and had a similar pricing, as they all wanted around $5 for shirts. I also noticed that Vinnies in Bega were attaching a coloured tag to the sleeve of their shirts. This maybe to enable them to turn stock over in a similar way to the coloured tags at Salvos stores.

We visited Shoalhaven, Eurobodalla and Bega Valley Shire areas. While we were not able to visit every tip in the region, all the tips we did visit had a tip shop attached to them. About 18 months ago we stopped at Cooma Landfill, and asked if they had a tip shop there? We were told that they did not, and when we drove past on Monday we saw nothing to say this had changed.

The links below will take you to the webpage showing the tip shops details for each Shire.

Shoalhaven Shire Landfills and Tip Shops

Eurobodalla Shire Landfills and Tip Shops

Bega Valley Shire Landfills and Tip Shops

Jindabyne now has a tip shop at its landfill. while i cannot find anything on the locals councils website about trading hours and location, they are looking for a better name for it, then the Jindabyne tip shop. The competition to name it closed on February 1 and when i hear what it will be called i will post something here about it.

This also means the next time i go skiing i will have to report back about it!

Trio charged with stealing charity donations

I heard this story on the radio, and i figured i should post a transcript of it here.

It has been shamelessly lifted from the ABC web site

ELEANOR HALL: In Melbourne police have charged three members of one family with stealing from charity bins.
Police say the accused stole the clothing in order to sell it at a suburban market. Three charities are now cooperating with police to catch people who steal from charity bins.
The Salvation Army says theft and damage to charity goods cost them over $4 million last year.
In Melbourne, Alison Caldwell reports.
ALISON CALDWELL: Police believe a charity subcontractor is behind the theft of at least 12 tonnes of goods collected from bins in Melbourne's south-east.
They've charged two men and a woman with stealing donated clothing, toys and household items and selling them at suburban markets.
It's alleged what was left over would be passed on to the charities.
Police arrested the trio as a result of a raid at a house in Deer Park in Melbourne's west last night. They believe the family run scam had been operating for at least three years.
A 52-year-old man, his 46-year-old wife and their 25-year-old son were charged with theft, handling stolen goods and obtaining financial advantage by deception.
Police claim the man was a subcontractor for the Red Cross hired to collect donations from bins and deliver them to shops around the city.
It's alleged his wife sold the stolen clothing and electrical goods at a suburban market.
The Salvation Army is one of at least three charities working with police to catch charity bin thieves.
Salvos stores CEO Allen Dewhirst.
ALLEN DEWHIRST: It is a general rule that our bins get targeted and people steal from outside of our stores on a regular basis to sell at markets.
ALISON CALDWELL: He says thieves climb into bins or steal bags off the street and that many donations are destroyed when people rip open bags and throw the goods on the ground.
He says the charity loses well over 50 per cent of all donations as a result.
ALLEN DEWHIRST: I would say you would usually have to throw away about 70 per cent of what is left outside our stores because they destroy it. Between what they steal and what they destroy, we only get about 30 per cent left.
ALISON CALDWELL: Allen Dewhirst says increasingly organised gangs are targeting charity bins, more so than random one off thefts.
ALLEN DEWHIRST: Definitely St Kilda store is an example. There was a group who came every single night in a white van and so eventually we were able with the police's assistance to catch them.
We've had people caught at Noble Park, Deer Park in an organised way. It becomes a business for them.
ALISON CALDWELL: What's worse, he says, is the Salvation Army's bottom line takes a hit when donations are destroyed or stolen.
ALLEN DEWHIRST: We spent $4.5 million last year cleaning up other people's rubbish. By rubbish I mean good donations that have turned into bad donations by these kind of people
ALISON CALDWELL: And he has no sympathy for the people who steal from charities.
ALLEN DEWHIRST: If the people who were stealing from us were poor people, they couldn't afford to come into our stores and buy a $5 shirt you'd say, well, that is okay. We are the Salvation Army and we can live with that but it is not those people. They don't steal from us. It is the people who want to make money out of other people's donations and I think that is a disgrace.
ALISON CALDWELL: For now at least, the Salvation Army wants people to avoid leaving donations in charity bins or on the street.
Allen Dewhirst again.
ALLEN DEWHIRST: We really appreciate people's donations but please bring them to a Salvos store when our store is open.
ALISON CALDWELL: The trio arrested and charged last night will appear in court in April.

The transcript has been shamelessly lifted from the
ABC web site

Friday 12 February 2010

Been gone too long...

It's been a hard year so far, op-shopping wise. According to my accounts I spent nothing op shopping in January and, until this week, $4 in February (a copy of the classic Enchanted Broccoli Forest from Vinnies Phillip)

But the combination of pay and an area rich with independent op shops had me off exploring during lunchtime in the last day or two. And this is what I scored (for a total of $17):
* Very large button jar: $2 (Another Chance, Scullin: if you're out that way and see a metal daisy on the path, it's Miss Daisy's much missed key ring thingy...)

* Alison Holst's Meals without Meat: $2 (Hand to Hand, Kippax) My #1 cookbook: whenever I find a copy second hand, I buy it as it always finds a new home pretty quickly. I think this is the ninth copy I've bought...

*Lovely coloured vintage Patonyle: $1.50 for 3x25g balls (Re Runs op shop, Charnwood). Much as I'd love to keep this, it's heading

It came in a very cute plastic bag:
Not sure if I'm nice enough to pass it on or not...

* Two Tupperware plates: $1 each (Another Chance, Scullin). Another

* 4 balls "New" Caressa: $5 total (Hand to Hand, Kippax) I have a friend who deserves a pair of
lounge socks and likes purple...
* Vintage Queen sized cotton sheet: $2 (Hand to Hand, Kippax). This find made me very very happy.

* And, finally, bag of vintage ric rac: $2.50 (Hand to Hand, Kippax).
This is the smallest ric rac I've ever seen. I suspect it will end up living elsewhere...

Thursday 11 February 2010

Women’s Legal Centre Bags ‘n’ Bling - 6 April 2010

What is Bags ‘n’ Bling:
For those of you who are new to this game, it goes something like this - stylish gals donate handbags and jewellery they don't wear or love anymore to our sale. Then women from all over town come along on the night to grab a bargain from somebody else's clean out.

Donations Needed:
Now is the time to start your early spring cleaning and dig out all those much loved handbags, clutches and satchels as well as any sparkly baubles you don't wear anymore for a great cause.

Drop Donations:
Donations can be dropped off at the Centre, please email or phone for address. 6257 4377, 0404 801 810 or

Start encouraging your friends to donate items you have been admiring in their handbag or jewellery stash so you can buy it for yourself on the night!

All proceeds from the evening go to the WLC to assist us to keep providing a quality legal service to women in the ACT and region.

Thanks for your support.

Wednesday 10 February 2010

On the road

TOF and I hit the road early tomorrow for a long weekend of op-shopping and relaxing. We're heading north to Nowra, then down the coast, ending up in Eden then back via Cooma.

We've prepared a hitlist of likely opshops using the telephone directories (love public library collections!), the Vinnies and Salvos lists and Yellow Pages Online, but we've probably missed a few.

Anyone got any South Coast favourites?

BTW - did you see you can now follow us on Twitter?

Saturday 6 February 2010

Project Remake Workshop

Project Remake workshops are for anyone wanting to make the most out of their wardrobe by deconstructing and stitching with love and thought to create new items with interesting twists.

Join us, the Project Remake team – Paula, Michelle and Lee on Monday February 8th 7-9 pm for our first workshop of the year to see the potential in your loved, but unused/underused, clothes.

OR drop in to see what we are doing and see some of our new creations.

When: Monday February 8th 7-9 pm

Where: Federation Room (next to reception) Havelock House

Corner of Gould St and Northbourne Avenue, Turner

Cost: $20

No textiles/sewing experience necessary! Please contact us for information on weekly workshops if you are interested but cannot attend this day.

To RSVP, please email with ‘RSVP Workshop and the date in the subject line. Places are limited, so be quick!

Visit project remake at

Lifted from Canberra Handmade.

Friday 5 February 2010

Vinnies Shoe and Handbag Sale

Vinnies Phillip, Queanbeyan, Gungahlin, Narrabundah and Dickson are having a shoe and handbag sale

Monday 8th - Saturday 13th February.

Shoes $4, handbags $3.

The woman at Phillip said she'd ordered in 5 huge cartons of handbags for the first day.

Pop Up Op Shop

Say that title after a Bailey's or two!

Today's Canberra Times reminds me that the Imanuel Lutheran Church Women's Guild has an op shop open tomorrow.

Imanuel Lutheran Church Hall
Cnr Corinna Street and Melrose Drive

9am - 12 noon.

Wednesday 3 February 2010

rit dye - can't find any stockists in Canberra

Perhaps this has been asked before - but the only fabric dye I can find in Canberra is for top loading machines, and in very limited colours (at Riot, Spotlight, etc).

I want to renovate a cream silk top and have always had success with 'Rit' brand - but no-one seems to stock it anymore. Any leads on this?