If you’re anything like us, nothing makes your heart sing more than a well-stocked retro rail at your local op shop. Whilst the standard racks give you the chance to rummage for gold, the retro area is like a pre-rifled, expertly curated selection of the coolest vintage pieces on offer. IMAGINE THEN, if you will, an ENTIRE OP SHOP FILLED ONLY WITH THE VERY BEST YE OLDE TREASURES. We know. It’s a lot. Maybe have a sit down before we continue. Because that place is not only a real thing, but everything’s $5, there are MULTIPLE free racks, an outstanding coffee shop is literally attached to the store, and all money raised goes directly towards a charity that helps vulnerable people living on the streets. The existence of Brisbane’s Studio Thrifty4 essentially proves Belinda Carlisle was right on the money – heaven really is a place on earth.
We wanted to bring back the old-school op shop, where everything is amazing quality at prices everyone can afford.
The brains behind this paradise (and its Melbourne twin sister St.Co) are Michael and Ryan, the legends who run Pay a Sack Forward (PASF) – an initiative that provides support to the homeless in the form of ‘survival sacks’ containing basic food and hygiene essentials. For Michael, the store’s a way to Make Things Better on a number of levels. “Studio Thrifty4 started because I believe op shop prices have gotten out of control. We wanted to bring back the old-school op shop, where everything is amazing quality at prices everyone can afford. The shop covers the running expenses of PASF, and the rest goes directly into PASF. A sack coasts $5, and that has all the basic survival items for someone living rough. We encourage our customers to head out to the packing station in the cafe and pack the sacks while they’re here, so they can really experience what the whole Pay a Sack Forward ‘thing’ is about.”
Customers at coffee shops across Brisbane and Melbourne have long been making donations to fund the creation of these sacks, which are packed communally and taken straight to those most in need. Now, with the advent of The Most Wonderful Op Shop That Ever There Was, thrift shoppers can snap up some awesome threads and then pack a sack (and maybe kick back with some amazing eggs and a celebratory flat white afterwards). We’d write more but we’ve got some shopping/packing/eating and drinking to do…