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Make a social and environmental statement during ADL Fashion Week

A young woman in a stylish yellow outfit smiles and wears sunglasses against a wall. The Lutheran Care logo appears in the bottom right hand corner

Make a social and environmental statement during ADL Fashion Week

As part of ADL Fashion Week, 6-9 October, shoppers are being urged to also look to sustainable fashion pieces to reduce their impact on the environment and update their wardrobe with unique items, while benefiting people in need.

ADL Fashion Week is back in full force after its hiatus due to the Covid-19 pandemic, and Elcies Op Shops, located in Norwood Parade and Tanunda, are encouraging people to complement their style with bespoke wardrobe pieces from the boutique-style secondhand stores.

With the Norwood store rated by broadcaster Peter Goers as “Adelaide’s best op shop”, and the Tanunda store known locally as “the David Jones of the Barossa”, Elcies Op Shops feature higher end labels including the top fashion houses and ‘high street’ brands for discerning thrifters. An outing to Elcies is equal parts retail experience and treasure hunt. Meanwhile, the Lutheran Care-branded Op Shops at Blair Athol, The Precinct (Smithfield) and Smithfield Plains offer a more traditional op shopping experience catering for families on lower incomes and bargain hunters alike, with a range of good-quality and affordable second-hand items.

Staffed by volunteers, the Op Shops are significant fund raisers for Lutheran Care’s life-changing and saving programs for people experiencing disadvantage, living with economic or housing uncertainty, or at crisis point.

A key program is Emergency Relief (ER), which provides immediate assistance such as food, blankets, vouchers and referrals to other supports like counselling and homelessness services. The service is experiencing unprecedented demand, with enquiries up 260 per cent on 2019-2020 figures. Last financial year, the service supported a never-before-seen 1035 clients with 1895 appointments. A total of 35 clients accessed the service five or more times. Demand for ER from struggling families and individuals is continuing to skyrocket this financial year, with the service having already supported over 300 clients to date.

Lutheran Care Op Shops Manager and stalwart of the retail and recycled fashion sectors for more than 40 years, Babs Deane, says op shopping is a fabulous way to support families in need, bring balance to the fast fashion industry and add pieces to your closet that will turn heads for many years to come.

“Op shopping is not just a career for me – it really is a way of life. I love it and purchase the majority of my wardrobe from op shops,” Babs explains.

“You can find beautiful, one-off or rare items and accessories to complete or lift an outfit without the fear that someone else will be wearing the same thing at your workplace or event.”

While fashion is a constantly changing and cyclic trend, it is so much more than something to simply cover ourselves in. Fashion helps to express and define our personalities and identities. It’s about art, but it’s also a powerful means of communication. Your fashion choices can make a social and environmental statement.

With the current cost of living crisis, many families don’t have the disposable income they may have previously had, however Babs warns against being tempted by low prices from fast fashion outlets.

“A second-hand item with high quality fabric and workmanship, where that worker has been paid fairly for their work, is worth hunting for and investing in.

“And, when you buy from our shops, you know that what you spend will be directed to support families and individuals experiencing disadvantage, through Lutheran Care’s support programs.”

In line with Lutheran Care’s sustainability focus, its op shops sell commercial and domestic rags made from portions of cotton t-shirts that may have a stain or tear and so are not fit or resale.

“We are always looking at new ways to reduce landfill and fund-raise for our programs,” Babs says.

When you are looking to purchase a new clothing item, such as a wardrobe staple, Babs recommends investing in the best quality item you can afford so it can be a foundation piece for years to come.

Elcies is proud to participate in the City of Norwood, Payneham and St Peters Day of Fashion as part of ADL Fashion Week on Saturday 15 October 2022 and to celebrate, is offering 20 per cent off all clothing at Elcies Norwood (43-45 The Parade, Norwood) all day (9.30am-5pm).

Elcies is also grateful to be a recipient of leftover items from the inaugural Sip & Swap with The Clothing Exchange event at Don Pyatt Hall, Norwood. Visit: https://www.npsp.sa.gov.au/events/2022_a_day_of_fashion


Before becoming Lutheran Care’s Op Shops Manager, Babs led Vinnie’s Op Shops in SA. Known for her brightly coloured, unique outfits and glasses, Babs previously led a rock and roll infused lifestyle working as a record buyer for John Martin’s. Here are her top tips for this season’s fashions:

Image of Babs Deane
Babs Deane

– Bright colours, floral patterns (think English country flower garden!) and green natural hues.

– The traditional pant suit is making a comeback, but in dynamic colours such as bright yellow, lime green and pill-box red (wear the jacket over a floral sleeveless dress and a belt that tones with the jacket for an outfit to take you anywhere).

– Long oversized shirts and tops in floral and abstract patterns or large spots (team with straight leg pants in the spot colour).

– Sling back platform shoes with a wedge or slide shoes (if you can keep them on your feet!)

– Long, dangling earrings and hoops and brightly-coloured bracelets.

“It’s a fun and bright season, so mix it up and don’t be afraid of colour. Be creative, be outrageous and enjoy the fun!”

Media Contact: For more information or to arrange a photo shoot featuring this season’s stunning sustainable fashions from Elcies, please contact Katrina Ranford on 0420 786 782.