Sustainable gifting this holiday season

As the holiday season looms, many of us may be tempted to put off our preparations and the dreaded shopping centre run for gifts that awaits.

Those hard to buy for family and friends continue to suggest you gift them the elusive ‘I Don’t Know’, which you somehow never seem to be able to find online or in stores.

Then, there’s the arduous task of collecting all the plastic, wrapping paper and packaging from toys and other items to feed through the bin, as you try not to think of how much will end up in landfill.

Luckily, there is a way to shop for even the pickiest person and combat the hustle and bustle of shopping, all while also being kind to the Earth.

Pop into your local mecwacare opportunity shop to make this the easiest festive season yet.

With an array of eclectic, unique and more meaningful gifts available, perusing op shops will ensure that you don’t have to fight for a car park, that you lessen the amount of waste your family produces, and that you find something for the friend that already has everything.

Brand new festive and greeting cards are almost always available at op shops, as are gift bags, wrapping paper and festive decorations. For a special touch, wrap a gift in a pretty tablecloth or scarf your loved one can then keep!

For those that think op shop gifting is inappropriate or uncomfortable, give these stores a chance and you’ll be surprised at the number of new items for sale. Your money goes to a worthy cause, and you save the environment just that little bit of extra waste.

Below are some fun ideas for sustainable op shop gifting this festive season.

For the bookworm: a carefully curated selection of five of your most-loved novels will thrill them and give you both something further to bond over.

For the sports nut: diehard sports fans will appreciate biographies of their favourite players and memorabilia of their favourite teams. You can also often find signed items in op shops, so keep your eyes peeled for a thrillingly unique gift.

For the foodie: vintage cookbooks provide a window back in time for the cooking-inclined pal, while most op shops will be overflowing with beautiful kitchen items, crockery and glassware to hold delicious dishes. All the better if you gift a platter full of delicious home cooked food, and they get to keep the serving plate at the end!

For the fashionista: the gifting options are endless. Shoes, sunglasses, clothing, bags and other accessories in new or near new condition make up much of the racks at op shops! If you can define their style, select a lovingly designed head-to-toe outfit that just screams them. Alternatively, gift them a handmade voucher for an op shop visit where you build the outfit together, and foot the bill at the end of the trip!

For the creative: you can find all sorts of arty items at op shops. Blank canvases, paint, mosaic tiles, fabrics, you name it, they can make something out of it. For those that can sew, gift them a pattern and fabric in their style for a real custom outfit!

For the animal lover: tennis balls for puppy pals, rolls of wool for their cat, books about their favourite breed, and framed prints or paintings to hang in their home are all wonderfully thoughtful gift ideas for the one with the furry friends.

For the athlete: sporting goods such as golf clubs, weights, soccer balls, basketball rings and tennis rackets are abundant in op shops, with many often in new or near-new condition. The same goes for high quality, branded sportswear.

For the music fan: forget music streaming, records are back! If your friend doesn’t have a record player, give them the gift of a lifetime with this special op shop find. If they already have one, pick out a few records that you think they’d appreciate, and make a time to enjoy them together.

For the photographer: much like records are back in style, so are film cameras. Op shops have an abundance of wind-up cameras, film and accessories for your photo-loving friends. Alternatively, find some beautiful frames for them to adorn with their own images.

For the historian: old relics, leather bound books with browned pages, and postcards from decades gone by will fascinate and delight. Rare and one-off items can often be found in the locked displays at op shops.

For the interior designer: high quality home décor items available at mecwacare op shops ensures a gift you know nobody else will have, with beautiful handmade or unique vintage items for them to enhance their home.

For the kids: books, toys, clothes, games, and more. Op shops are a goldmine for children’s gifting, with new or near new items keeping kids busy for hours. If you can’t decide what to gift them, take them to the op shop, set a budget and time limit, and let them go wild selecting their own gifts. The time pressure will make it exciting, and the budget will help them learn about money and how to ensure they can work with a limit.

Best of luck, enjoy your holidays and happy thrifting!

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