Many charities sell second-hand goods and clothing via shops. They're great places to pick up a bargain and help a great cause at the same time!
If they're in good condition, many charity stores will also accept unwanted household items such as clothing, accessories, bric-a-brac, books and even furniture.
Before setting out to donate unwanted items to a charity shop, however, please contact them first to ensure that they can accept your unwanted items.
If your workplace or business has large quantities of clothing, textiles and other second hand goods to recycle, visit BusinessRecycling.com.au to find suitable collection or drop-off service options.
Worn / Damaged / Unsaleable Clothing
Some charities are able to sell worn / damaged / un-saleable clothing to companies that recycle the clothing/textiles for industrial rags or other textile byproducts. Please contact your local charity to find out if they accept clothing for recycling. Otherwise, search for a commercial clothing recycler on BusinessRecycling.com.au.
Items that are suitable for industrial rags should be:
- Clean - no dirt, oil, grease, paint, blood
- Absorbent materials only - no denim
- Suitably sized - the minimum cut size for rags is 400mm square. Children's clothing is usually too small.
Preferable items include T Shirts, towels, flannelette, sheets - especially white materials. If your items do not meet the above criteria, please do not put them in charity clothing banks/boxes. Unsuitable items will be sent to landfill and the charity will incur a disposal cost.
Some clothing (preferably natural fibres) can be used for weed matting. A community garden, Landcare or Bushcare group near you may have a use for worn clothing. Contact your local council to find out if any of these groups operate in your area.
Other Clothing Donation Programs
Dress For Success and Fitted For Work are both programs in Australia that help women experiencing disadvantage to find work and keep it. They do this by providing free professional attire, career mentoring and development, and transition-to-work programs. Visit their websites to find out what type of clothing is suitable to donate or other ways that you can help.
Shoes For Planet Earth is a non-profit organisation that works with local and international communities and companies to provide reused running shoes to those in need around the world. They have drop-off locations in NSW, VIC and QLD. As well as running shoes (no broken soles or holes please) they're also happy to accept insoles and spare laces.
Uplift Bras collects new and second hand bras and sends them wherever needed. For women in the developing world a bra is often unobtainable or unaffordable. In 2011, bras were sent to the Philippines, Vanuatu, Fiji and the Northern Territory. Uplift Bras have drop-off collection points in all state/territories in Australia.
To donate furniture to a good cause, contact your local charities to see if they accept donations of furniture. To search for commercial second-hand furniture shops, go to this page and enter your location details.
About Charity Stores
The National Association of Charitable Recycling Organisations (NACRO) ensures that all the collected goods and proceeds are used exclusively for their welfare programs. (*) If there are NACRO members in your area, these are listed above and marked with an asterisk.