Melbourne, June 7: Sometimes being a superhero isn’t about a cape and x-ray vision. Sometimes all you need is a woolly jumper and a tartan scarf.

This winter Red Cross is asking Australians to be their superheroes by donating warm clothes they no longer need to the op shops. Our shops sell these items to raise money to help people in need around the country and overseas.

Fashion stylist, op shop devotee and our ambassador Alex van Os is getting behind the Red Cross winter woollies superhero campaign this year, with some tips to help streamline your wardrobe and find what you can donate.

Alex has worked with a host of celebrities, from singer Ricky Martin, to the cast of Home and Away, to contestants on The Bachelor.

Australian Red Cross spokesperson Kate Dear says everyone can be a superhero and help us help people in need. “The money raised from your knitted scarves and fleecy jumpers can be turned into a daily phone call to help elderly Australians stay safe and independent at home.

“They could be used to provide a shower and a hot meal for a teenager facing homelessness, or clean drinking water for communities living in poverty.”


Not sure what you can donate? Can’t find your scarves among the coats? Check out Alex van Os’ tips:

  • Three ways rule: got a piece you love but haven’t worn in a while, try styling it at least three different ways. If you can’t make at least three outfits, it’s time for it to go.
  • One year rule: that vintage bolero may be fabulous, but when was the last time you wore it? If you haven’t worn it for a year then ditch it.
  • Organisation: group everything in your wardrobe by colour and category, and at the same time make a donate pile and a keep pile. Put the keep pile away neatly and give the donate lot to a charity shop.
  • One in, one out: if you buy something new then remove an existing piece. It’s not about fast fashion –wearing something once and throwing it out – it’s about clearer and smarter choices.
  • 10 minutes a week: once you’ve got your wardrobe under control commit 10 minutes a week to make sure everything is in its right place. It can save hours of decluttering later.

Red Cross relies on the support and donations of generous Australians – “we couldn’t do what we do without them”.

Find your nearest store to donate your winter woollies:

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