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By Alana Mitchelson

BARGAIN frocks, suits and formal wear were showcased at Pakenham’s inaugural Op Shop Fashion Parade last week.
Prominent members of the Pakenham community strutted up and down the catwalk, exhibiting affordable and stylish garments suitable for A Day at the Races, Sunday Best, The ’80s, The Winter Warmers and Wedding wear.
Member for Bass Brian Paynter was MC at the fashion show on Wednesday 24 August and prompted audience members to guess how much each outfit cost.
With clothes costing a fraction of their retail price and some garments under $10, residents were encouraged to think about the savings, quality and sense of community associated with purchasing recycled – and sometimes even brand new – outfits from an op shop.
Salvos Stores’ Jane Thorrington said that she has seen customers from all walks of life through their doors.
“Op shops have really developed over time into a trendy shopping option,“ she said.
“There’s a real mix of customers – some people are bargain hunters and others are struggling financially.
“The fact that there are so many op shops in Pakenham shows that there is a real need in this area.“
Other thrift stores showcased were Vinnies, Pakenam Op Shop, Remar and Giving it a Second Chance.
Councillor Graeme More maintained a sense of humour as he strutted up and down the catwalk, striking poses with the aid of props, such as binoculars for his Day at the Races attire, to look the part.
So did Harcourts’ Marcus Washington who adorned a dress and braved walking around in platform high heels to raise awareness for White Ribbon’s Walk A Mile in Their Shoes campaign against domestic violence.

The pride of Pakenham’s op shop fashions were on the catwalk.

 

Yakkerboo (Pakenham) Art Show’s Jillian Ronald, Outlook’s Sarah Kelly and Cr Kate Lempriere showed off a number of sun dresses, gowns, shoes, hats and handbags; some with designer labels.
Mr Paynter said he expected the Op Shop Fashion Parade would become an annual event to celebrate the op shop community in Pakenham.
“Donating to your local op shops helps reduce your impact on the environment ensuring we are sending less to landfill, securing a better future for Australia,“ he said.
“I often donate to my local op shops and know the impact this has in my community, so I wanted to promote recycling and donating in Parliament House throughout National Op Shop Week.“
Throughout the parade, Mr Paynter highlighted the funds that op shops put back into the community and noted that some of the outfits showcased would pass for professional occasions including parliamentary sittings.
The Op Shop Parade was held from 11am until 1pm at Pakenham Hall (crnr John Street and Henry Street), with pop-up stalls for each local op shop.
For more information, visit Pakenham Salvos at 6 Michael Street and 53/55 John Street, Vinnies at 2/70 Main Street, Pakenham Op Shop at 6 Station Street, Remar at 6 Michael Street and Giving it a Second Chance at 6/114 Princes Highway.

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