The University of Wollongong’s (UOW) on-campus Op Shop has not escaped the cost of living increases, however, shoppers are told to rest assured with prices returning to normal.
Run by UOW Pulse and Green Connect, the store saw an increase in pricing of clothing items earlier this year. This resulted from the cost of living increase that took the country by storm and left Australians counting their coins.
The Australian Bureau of Statistics latest report from June 2023, revealed that living cost indexes rose by 6.3 and 9.6 per cent, in the last 12 months.
Volunteer worker at the UOW Op shop, Maureen Burt, linked price increases to the necessity of meeting overheads for the store.
“We needed to mainly cover electricity bills,” Ms Burt said.
“It was also essential to cover additional costs in utilities and wages for staff.”
The store has shifted in staffing and now largely relies on support from unpaid volunteers, allowing prices to return to their original rates.
“We’ve brought the prices way back down again so that customers can get their value for money,” Ms Burt added.
“It’s our way of taking care of our customers.”
The pricing drop was an unexpected but much needed surprise for some.
UOW Student, Aimee Scacher, shared her pleasant shock on the news.
“I had no idea about the decrease,” Ms Scacher said.
“The prices were always reasonable but the cheaper the better
“Students like myself get their value for money, especially during a time like this.”
Whilst the economic forefront in Australia remains rocky, volunteer worker, Ms Burt, wants to remind shoppers of the overall greater good thrifting does.
“Thrifting is aso about recycling and taking care of the environment,” Ms Burt said.
“We don’t want any clothes, shoes and everything else to just go into landfill.”
Shopping consciously for clothes is on the rise, however, this can become challenging as not all thrifting shops are embracing a price drop.
Regular thrifter, Kelli Sampson, has noticed a price rise amongst second-hand stores in the Illawarra for some time now.
“You don’t see such reasonable prices anymore, and probably won’t anymore from other larger thrift organisations,” Ms Sampson said.
As a student herself, Kelli, was eagerly awaiting the price drop from the UOW store.
“Every cent off counts, especially for students struggling with rent,” Ms Sampson said.
“I hope this encourages other independent organisation that can afford the price drop to follow in UOW’s footsteps.”
The op shop is currently in the midst of sale on all clothes and Manchester with red tags indicating 25 per cent off, white tags 50 per cent off and pink tags 75 per cent off.
For a virtual tour of the OP shop, check out the video below.