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Where to donate your old clothes in Singapore (instead of recycling them at H&M!)

Where to donate your old clothes in Singapore (instead of recycling them at H&M!)

  • Do you have a lot of clothes you want to donate but you don't know what happens when you recycle them at H&M?
  • Check out these places in Singapore to donate and recycle your old clothes, so you know for sure that these clothes get a second life.
H&M recycling initiative greenwashing where to recycle and donate old clothes in singapore

If the new year has spurred an interest in closet detoxing, you might be left with bags of clothing wondering – now what? However, going to your nearest H&M might not be the best option. While H&M has been fiercely promoting their ‘sustainability efforts’, with their ‘conscious collection’ or recycling bins, we must take it with a pinch of salt. Why? Because greenwashing still exists, and H&M’s primary goal for consumers to drop off their clothes is to shop more – without feeling guilty for it. 

h&m recycling donate clothes singapore

But what’s wrong with H&M’s recycling?

H&M advertises their recycling program to make consumers believe that all the clothes will be remade into new clothes, or their recycled clothes are 100% post-consumer recycled materials. This is, unfortunately, not the case. 60% of these clothes go into resale in other countries and then 35% of these clothes are downcycled as insulation. Only maybe 5% are recycled into new fibres for their clothing, and those clothes aren’t 100% recycled materials either. Recycling natural fibres such as cotton or wool reduce their quality, and have to be mixed in with more virgin fibres. 

Author and environmentalist Elizabeth Cline is sceptical of H&M’s recycling initiative for many reasons. “The reason why H&M is focusing on textile recycling is that it’s an easy sustainability win for them. It doesn’t involve them changing their production model at all.” So if we’re focused on recycling being the solution to sustainability, we’re advocating for a waste-based model – and that needs to stop.

So what can we do with our old clothes, in good and poor condition? Well, we’ve shaved off some time and effort for you with this list of things you can do with your old clothes. However, if you want to give donating and recycling a try, read on to see where your old belongings will truly have a second life! 

donate old clothes singapore sustainable closet detox

Donate

1. Salvation Army

The Salvation Army is dedicated to meeting the needs of the poor and marginalised in the community without discrimination. You can pass on your pre-loved or new belongings and also have a look at what they have! Drop off items to their Donation In-Kind booths in these locations.

What they take in: Clothes (men, women, and children), books & toys, bags & accessories, shoes in new or used condition. Please do not send wet or mouldy items. Kindly donate clean, laundered items.
Facebook | Website

2. MINDS

MINDS Social Enterprise is run as part of the MINDS Employment Development Centres. Here they provide vocational training to adults with intellectual disabilities. MINDS learn the day-to-day operation of managing the store and sorting of goods. This then gives them the opportunity to interact with customers and develop social skills. Recycle items in new or pre-loved conditions by donating them, all sales proceeds go to their MINDS trainees as allowance.

What they take in: Clothes (men, women, and children), books & toys, bags & accessories, shoes in new or used condition. Please do not send wet or mouldy items. Kindly donate clean, laundered items.
Instagram | Facebook | Website

3. Something Old Something New

Something Old Something New (SOSN) is a social enterprise thrift shop and a platform to train and equip persons recovering from mental health issues. They train them with retail and logistic skills to boost their employability. It’s also a “green” enterprise which operates with the “reduce, reuse and recycle” principles. SOSN would be accepting donations of new or preloved items at Farrer Park, Pasir Ris, Woodlands and Yishun outlets.

What they take in: Clothes (men, women, and children), bags & accessories, shoes in new or used condition. Please do not send wet or mouldy items. Kindly donate clean, laundered items.
Website

New2U secondhand thrift shop donate old clothes singapore

4. New2U

New2U is a thrift shop that sells pre-loved clothing, accessories, household items, ornaments, books and etc. starting from as low as S$1.00. This is an initiative by the Singapore Council of Women’s Organisations to encourage customers to steer away from fast fashion brands at a similarly low price, towards more unique finds that make fashion circular. Proceeds from the store go towards the Star Shelter and the various SCWO Initiatives.

What they take in: Clothes (men, women, and children), books & toys, bags & accessories, shoes in new or used condition. Please do not send wet or mouldy items. Kindly donate clean, laundered items.
Instagram | Facebook | Website

5. Uplift Project

Uplift Project is a volunteer-run organization that provides communities of disadvantaged women an opportunity to own bras. In overseas communities such as the Solomon Islands and Fiji, bras are highly unattainable for these women, which is why Uplift aims to provide them with these necessities at their request. Find out how to donate here!

What they take in: Bras of any brand, that are in good condition, ranging from sizes A to DD. Nursing bras that are able to catch leaks, mastectomy bras and breast prostheses, and new underpants are welcome. Please do not send wet or mouldy items.
Website

6. Wacoal

Recycle any of your old or damaged bras with Wacoal. Their Bra Recycle programme aims to gather old bras and turn them into eventual products that will benefit the environment. From 25 Wacoal outlets, you can get a Bra Recycling Bag to store your old bras, and drop the package off into their bra recycling bin. Keep your eye on their Facebook page to learn about their next collection drive.

What they take in: Bras of any brand or size, can be old or damaged.
Facebook 

ten feet tall donate recycle shoes singapore

7. Ten Feet Tall

Consider dropping off your old school or sports shoes to Ten Feet Tall’s shoe bank. They polish and pack every pair with a handwritten note from one child to the next wearer to schools in Indonesia, Cambodia, Thailand and India. The shoes continue to help prevent disease but they will also allow children to attend schools and receive an education, and provide a path to employment for many who cannot afford a pair of shoes. All while keeping shoes out of landfills too!

What they take in: Any kind of shoes (adults and children’s) in good condition.
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8. Visio Optical

If you have a few pairs of glasses laying about, untouched and neglected, consider donating them for a good cause. Visio Optical runs a spectacle collection programme, where you can donate old or unused eyeglasses. The initiative focuses on providing eyewear to people in nursing homes, day-care centres, underprivileged families and anyone in need. They also offer on-site eye tests, along with the cleaned and prepared glasses. 

What they take in: Old or unused spectacles and sunglasses (even if they don’t have lenses).
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9. Humanitarian Organization for Migration Economics (HOME)

HOME or Humanitarian Organization for Migration Economics is dedicated to supporting and empowering migrant workers who suffer abuse and exploitation. Among medical treatment and legal aid, they also provide clothing, shelter and social support for all vulnerable domestic workers in Singapore. 

What they take in: Men’s and women’s clothes, unopened food or toiletries to the shelter are welcome. They accept craft items such as sewing machines and paints, too.
Website

See Also
Sustainable sandals by Nisolo, as featured on ZERRIN

10. Dress for Success by Image Mission

Here’s a great option to donate your old office attire, shoes, or any professional and formal clothes you don’t need anymore. Dress for Success Singapore by Image Mission is an affiliate of an international non-profit organisation of the same name, and is an agency that helps individuals prepare for a job. Only clients who are referred by charities, non-profit organisations and employment agencies are provided with assistance. Before the job interview, those in need will be professionally styled for a suitable outfit; upon gaining employment, continued support is given with more suitable work attire. Note: Due to overwhelming response, the organisation is currently only accepting plus-sized clothing.

Not accepting any clothing donations until June 1st 2021.

What they take in: Interview and work-appropriate dresses, suits, blouses, jackets, pants, skirts, shoes, bags and accessories, all in good condition.
Instagram | Facebook | Website

11. Facebook Groups

There are many Facebook groups available where you can donate your old belongings to needy families. Simply post a photo of your items and then choose whom to donate them to. This way you know your preloved items are going to actual people in need, and won’t sit obscured in a donation bin. So, here’s some groups you can join.

  1. Blessing of Items For Low-Income Families 
  2. Give away/donate item FOC for those who might need
  3. Blessings Only Singapore
  4. Singapore Second Hand Clothing Sales

What they take in: Clothes (men, women, and children), books & toys, bags & accessories, shoes in new or used condition. You can also donate other items as per necessary. Please do not send wet or mouldy items. Kindly donate clean, laundered items. 

greensquare recycle old clothes textiles singapore

Recycle

12. Greensquare

Greensquare provides free textile recycling services to households and organisations in Singapore. They emphasize on promoting awareness of the 3Rs (reduce, reuse, recycle) through engaging youths in schools, and increase the number of recycled textiles in Singapore. Clean clothes, shoes and household linen (bedsheets, quilts, curtains, etc) are sorted, then good quality items are sold to secondhand textile importers in developing countries. They also recycle any worn and damaged textiles and sell them as industrial cleaning cloths. Additionally, Greensquare donates 5% of their annual profits to a local children’s charity organization.

What they take in: Clothes (men, women, and children), household linens, bags, belts & accessories, shoes in new or used condition. Please do not send wet or mouldy items. Kindly donate clean, laundered items.
Instagram | Facebook | Website

13. Uniqlo 

UNIQLO has launched a new initiative encouraging customers to participate in giving their unwanted clothing a new life. The ‘re’ in RE.UNIQLO is focused on recycling, reusing and reducing, so waste, carbon dioxide emissions, and resource consumption are reduced throughout product life cycles. Their recycled down initiative was a success, where they took in preloved UNIQLO down garments to redistribute and recycle. By partnering with the United Nations Refugee Agency, they also provided down jackets to refugees, disaster victims, and recycled the rest.  

What they take in: All UNIQLO clothes. Please do not send wet or mouldy items. Kindly donate clean, laundered items.
Instagram | Facebook | Website

14. Wing Tai Retail

Wing Tai Retail, known to house brands such as Dorothy Perkins, Topshop, or Warehouse, has collaborated with World Wide Fund For Nature Singapore (WWF-Singapore), to repurpose used garments and reduce textile waste. They also send their clothes to families in need and full proceeds will be donated to support WWF-Singapore’s festival for nature, Earth Hour. 

What they take in: Clothes (men, women, and children), belts & accessories, shoes in new or used condition. Please do not send wet or mouldy items. Kindly donate clean, laundered items.
Instagram | Facebook | Website

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