PRE-loved fashion is increasing in popularity, prompting local charity "opportunity shops" to put a call out for quality donations.
Lifeline SE CEO Eve Barratt said less than 14 per cent of the items received by op shops were actually suitable to re-sell.
"There is a huge amount to get sorted through," she said. "The rest we still use in other ways...so we don't waste anything. We are a huge contributor to recycling.
"We accept items that are something you would be happy to give a friend or accept yourselves.
"We would really like the community to understand that we are not a rubbish tip."
Proceeds from Lifeline go to support a 24-hour counselling help-line, which Ms Barratt said was called every 50 seconds.
She referred to it as a "cycle of care".
"It's life saving work," she said. "We can all do something...it's a chance to pay it forward."
August 26 to 30 is National Op Shop Week.
Now in its second year, the aim is to boost good quality, acceptable donations to charity op shops.
It was founded by the 2010 New South Wales Australian of the Year recipient Jon Dee and is an initiative of the DoSomething! charity in partnership with the National Association of Charitable Recycling Organisations.
NACRO CEO Kerryn Caulfield said charity op shops were integral to the fabric of Australian society.
"Whether it is the volunteers that staff them, the diversity and inexpensive clothes they provide, or the opportunity to participate by donating - Australians love our charity op shops," she said.
"We like the fact the items we donate and the money raised from them will be put to good use. Giving clothes is a great way to help out the community."
Tips for donating clothes:
- Make sure clothes are clean, undamaged, and reasonably wrinkle-free. Clothing can be folded and packed in sturdy boxes or bags. Where possible avoid hangers.
- Items that come in pairs (shoes, gloves, socks) should be kept together (shoe laces can be tied together, gloves and socks can be stuffed inside each other).
- Pockets should be emptied and belts fastened to their appropriate items.
- Check that your local charity store wants what you're giving them.
- Before donating, call the op shop and ask them whether you should take your clothes to a drop off centre or take them directly to the shop.
What's your best op shop buy? Tell us in the comments below.