Where to donate or recycle your old clothes in Singapore

  • 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

Where to donate your clothes in Singapore

1. SSVP Shop (Society of Saint Vincent de Paul)

The SSVP Shop is a social enterprise project by the Society of Saint Vincent de Paul, located seven-minutes away from Aljunied MRT. The items in the store are secondhand items such as clothes, bags, kitchenware and household items that were donated. Donation drop-offs are by appointment only and a maximum of two shopping bags are accepted due to manpower and storage constraints. All the proceeds from the shop go towards helping the less fortunate. 

What they take in: Please refer to their website for their ‘Wishlist’ items, which includes clothes, accessories, bags, electronics, household items, all in good condition.

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2. Metta (Metta Welfare Association)

It is a non-profit organisation that provides social service programmes to the community. Metta collects donated preloved clothing in collaboration with a local socially responsible recycling organisation. The organisation will then decide which donated items to use and distribute to their beneficiaries or centres once they have been accepted. Donations can be deposited in the recycle bin at their Simei office.

What they take in: Clothes, electronics, IT equipment, groceries. 

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3. The Barn

Managed by volunteers, The Barn is a thrift shop under Cornerstone Community Services with outlets in Katong, Ang Mo Kio and Penjuru. The store sells preloved consumer goods from the community e.g. accessories, clothes, shoes, household appliances, toys and other miscellaneous items. The Barn also collaborates with social service agencies monthly to visit selected housing estates and offer their products to the residents there. Donations can be made during the opening hours of each respective outlet. 

What they take in: Clothing, accessories, bags, electronics, toys, sports equipment, household items, all in good and working condition.

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4. 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.

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5. 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.

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6. 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

7. 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.

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8. 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. 

Presently, their Bra Recycling programme is not accepting any donations but you can follow their socials to be in the loop about future programmes.

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

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ten feet tall donate recycle shoes singapore

9. 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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10. 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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11. 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.

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12. 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 presently not accepting donations due to space constraints.

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

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13. Pass It On

Pass-It-On, a project managed by The Helping Hand, a Christian halfway house founded in 1987, helps in the rehabilitation of former drug addicts. The project seeks to provide a meaningful way to distribute unwanted, albeit useful items to benefit the needy (home appliances, home furniture, medical aids, mobility aids, learning aids & etc). With Pass-It-On, your used item can be given a new lease of life, and to better the lives of the needy!

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What they take in: Please refer to their website for their ‘Wishlist’ items, which includes clothes, shoes, sanitary care, all in good condition.

Website

14. Blessings in a Bag

This award-winning globally recognised community organisation supports children from Singapore’s most vulnerable areas to be themselves in a safe space. They accept donations and have their own ‘Wishlist’ items that can be used for their community programmes.

What they take in: Please refer to their website for their ‘Wishlist’ items. If you have items, please email helloblessings@gmail.com details of your donations with photos and descriptions. They only accept items in ‘like new’ condition, i.e. items you would lovingly present to a friend or to your own children.

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15. 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

Where to recycle your clothes in Singapore

16. Cloop

Cloop is a start-up initiative by Jasmine Tan and Yin Ling Tan that collects reusable clothing and other textiles through recycling bins around the island in partnership with Life Line Clothing. After collection, the textiles are transported to a facility run by Life Line Clothing located in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia and sorted for reuse and resale where possible. Some of the clothes are also donated to migrant workers at Sprout Hub, MINDS, Bread and Butter, FB freecycle groups as well as to people in the community who need it. 

What they take in: Clothes, bags, shoes, accessories, belts, hats and caps, plush toys and pillow linens deposited in any dry condition.

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17. ActiveSG

ActiveSG is building a shoe waste collection ecosystem by collecting used school shoes, sports shoes, and other rubberised footwear. You can donate your shoes at over 120 collection bins located throughout Singapore in sports centres, community centres, and Decathlon stores. Your shoes will then be recycled into infrastructure materials for sports facilities.

What they take in: All rubberised shoes such as sports shoes, school shoes and football boots (without metal studs) and rubberised slippers and sandals without metal parts. Shoes will need to be dry and clean when dropped off.

Website

18. 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.

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19. 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.

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20. 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.

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