So I was in a fashion show on Wednesday night.
Let me just clear something up though. Contrary to my extroverted nature, I am not at all comfortable with the idea of everyone staring at me as I strut down a runway… And as a very wise woman once said (yes, I’m quoting Carrie Bradshaw), “I don’t want people to think I don’t know the difference between a model and me”. I understand the difference. I’m 5’4″ and just a tad more than the model standard of 40-odd kgs so its kinda hard not to. But I digress…
When the lovely people at Savers told me they were putting on a fashion show to launch their new Mill Park store, and that I would get to model an outfit of my choosing and take it home with me, I really couldn’t say no. I love free clothes as much as the next person, and I especially love them when I get to promote op shopping and take home second hand treasures all in one hit. (I just blocked out the fact that there would be people there taking photos of me – how could I forget!?)
I’ve always loved Savers, ever since I first walked into the Sydney Rd store during O-Week and discovered all kinds of weird and wonderful pre loved items. It saw me through many weeks when my university level budget was depleted and I needed a wacky costume. I’ll often spend a couple of hours walking down the aisles, occasionally stopping to marvel at having found such a prized item for a stupidly cheap price – the wonders of recycling! It really is a happy place.
Though Savers does not operate like your traditional charity store, it is an interesting business model. They work in partnership with a variety of non-profits (Sids for Kids and Diabetes Australia here and more than 120 world wide) and set up collection facilities for preloved goods on their behalf. They buy these goods back from the charity for a set price per kilogram, and sell them in a retail environment as a for-profit business. Contentious though this may be, consider the following:
- The for-profit model that Savers operates on enables them to divert huge amounts of clothing from landfill annually as a sustainable long term business.
- It also allows Diabetes Australia and Sids for Kids a steady revenue stream that would likely not be possible with the traditional charity store model.
- As they work for profit, they are able to provide paying jobs for their staff members.
Now yes, not all donated items make it onto the shop floor (far from it in fact), so the business model is flawed, but this is the case with all op shops and clothing collection facilities and it certainly isn’t the fault of Savers. We will be discussing this at a future meeting of Gladrags Vox Pops so make sure you get along to find out more.
As always, I was really excited to catch up with some lovely friends of mine on the night. I was lucky enough to walk down the runway with Chloe Partikas (previous Wardrobe Wonderland featuree) and Leeyong Soo (coming up soon). Blogger, snapper, co-conspirator and previous featuree Cheryl Lin was also there and she snapped many of the photos posted here (except, obviously, the one of her).
Between us, we did do quite a little bit of damage at the cash register. But who can say no to a VIP shop at a recycled superstore? Not I, and clearly not Cheryl.