This was a question posed by a reader previously. I thought we would share it here to provide our readers some ideas and options of where you might want to drop your old clothes.
I had previously shared that textile waste is becoming a worldwide problem, especially with the proliferation of fast fashion – people are buying more and discarding more, and it has almost become an environmental hazard.
As we are also more mindful of our consumption process, we haven’t been buying much clothes this year, even for Ally. It helps that she doesn’t outgrow her clothes as fast nowadays and that we receive hands me down from my cousin.
However, during our initial decluttering process, collectively, we decluttered about 12-15 bags of clothes. These were mainly Dave and mine. So where does it end up?
Well, we actually donated it to H&M.
For those of you who are not aware, H&M has a clothing recycling initiative which they have also introduced in Singapore a few years ago. In addition, for every bag of clothes that you donate, they will also provide you with a discount voucher which you can use to offset your next purchase.
Dave and I don’t normally use the vouchers but we give it away to friends and family who does shop there often.
So what about Ally’s clothing?
As for Ally, they are mainly baby or toddler clothing, I pass them on to friends. But the main bulk of them, I donated them away. An acquaintance that I know visits the local orphanages in Philippines pretty often. I’ll pass her the clothing which Ally has outgrown and she will bring it over. One thing she remarked made a deep impression on me. “Singaporean kids are too privilege, not all parents will accept hands-me-down. You should see the look on the orphans’ faces when I brought them these stuff”. She showed me the pictures of the orphans and yes you could certainly see how those faces brightened up when they saw the “gifts”.
Other places where I am aware of where people drop off their old clothes include The Salvation Army, Red Cross, various thrift shops. HoneykidsAsia published a pretty useful article previously on where you could donate your items.
However, I think one important thing to note when we are donating clothes to others, is to be mindful of the condition of the clothes. The individuals at the receiving end are not beggars. So if the condition if your clothing is extremely worn out, with holes or soiled and dirty, please exercise some civic mindedness and don’t include this in the mix.
I have read and seen documentaries about how some individuals donate their broken heels, sexy lingerie, soiled clothes when the Red Cross was running a relief effort in some parts of the world that were facing natural disasters. The volunteers have to spend time to separate the items and discard those that couldn’t be used. It was quite surprising when I watched that.
On a side note, aside from donating old clothing, I have also heard and know of individuals who recycle their items or even upcycle them. There are some really cool sites out there which provide ideas on how to DIY these items and some of them are really impressive!
What about you? How do you get rid of your old clothing? Would love to hear other options as well.