The pandemic situation, the year end and the upcoming spring-cleaning new year period; there is no better time to reconsider your wardrobe/floor-drobe. Some of us have way too many garments than opportunities to wear them, while others might have outgrown their once-fitting dresses and pants. But, don’t just fling them into the dumpster; take the chance to earn karma points by donating them (clean and wearable ones, please) to non-profit organisations and those who might find a better use for them. Here are a few you can look to, to pass on your second-hand bests.
The Salvation Army
One name springs immediately to mind when it comes to donating old clothing: The Salvation Army.
Aside from raiment, its social enterprise arm, Red Shield Industries, takes in both pre-loved and new items such as furniture, electronic devices and toys, which it then sorts out and resells those in a good condition at its Family Stores, to help raise funds for the charity organisation and its community-centred programmes.
Drop your bundles off at any Donation In Kind booths found at some of its centres (look up its website for the list and opening hours). And if you really must shop for new-old garb despite having donated your old ones, then head into the Family Stores to see what treasures can be found. Besides, you can be sure that you are getting a bargain (the stuff here are sold at super-affordable prices), helping the environment by buying pre-loved goods, and funding the charity at the same time!
Though this non-profit project is not meant specifically for the donation of clothes, it does help connect members of the public to the needy via the Voluntary Welfare Organisations (VWOs). It provides a web platform where the hundreds of VWOs registered with this online portal can request for items that they need, and individuals can help fulfil these requests by donating the specific items. At the same time, the Pass-It-On website also allows the public to post up the items that they wish to give away to these VWOs. So what about old clothes then? Pre-loved maternity or childrens’ clothing are good items for donation, but please do not think of Pass-It-On as a disposal, distribution or drop-off company. Look up its website to see exactly how it works.
New2U Thrift Shop
Run by the Singapore Council of Women’s Organisations (SCWO), the New2U thrift shop sells loads of fashion wear – all donated of course. You can contribute to its merch by dropping your past season goods at its Waterloo Street store. All sales proceeds go to Star Shelter, a secular crisis centre and safe temporary refuge for victims of domestic violence, and other SCWO’s initiatives. Note: While the physical New2U store is open, it has stopped taking in donations until further notice, so look up its website and social media pages for updates.
You can do more good than just donating in-kind here. MINDS Shop is a social enterprise programme of one of SG’s oldest and largest social service agencies, the Movement for the Intellectually Disabled of Singapore, where its trainees get to have pre-vocational training in retail and customer service. These trainees get to work in the four thrift stores under the programme, learning about sorting and selling items such as musical instruments, furnishings and clothes donated by members of the public to those who shop here. Bring your duds down to the store’s staff or place them in the collection bins at three of its stores – its MINDS Shop Plus outlet does not accept donations – during operating hours. And if you do, take the time to shop and talk to the trainees, because doing good is not just about giving away unneeded goods.
MINDS Shop is at multiple locations.
Visit www.minds.org.sg/for-adults/social-enterprise-programmes/; www.se.minds.org.sg/minds-shop; and www.facebook.com/weloveMINDS
Singapore Freecycle Network
While this network neither benefits charities directly nor is there a guarantee that your donated pair of denims will definitely go to someone in need, you will know exactly to whom your jeans will have gone to. What it does do; it is a non-profit movement, promoting the notions of recycling, reducing waste and reusing by connecting people giving goods to others seeking the same goods, and is great if you only wish to donate one or two items at a time. Simply look up the sgfreecycle Facebook group to start posting your unwanted threads, have interested parties contact you directly, and then work out the finer points of collection.
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