So you finally read that Marie Kondo book and went on a decluttering spree. Now, you’re left with a ton of unwanted clothes, books, furniture, electronics and those Hello Kitty plush toys you begged your parents to queue up for at McDonald’s decades ago.
Sure, you could toss everything down the rubbish chute, but you’d be creating so much waste when there are people out there who would find these items useful.
Other than trying to sell your items on the second hand market (think Carousell), or donating blindly to The Salvation Army Singapore, donate old items to more specialised places so that they can reach real people in need.
Watch: 10 Alternatives to Salvation Army For Your Secondhand Stuff in Singapore
Where to donate old clothes and shoes in Singapore
Fast fashion creates tons of waste in the form of unwanted clothing. Did you know? A third of Singaporeans throw away clothing after wearing it just once. If you’re guilty of that, PLEASE STOP.
But if you really do have too many clothes that are still in good condition, here’s where you can pass them on to someone else:
New2U Thrift Shop
New2U Thrift Shop accepts used clothes and accessories as well as household items and books. They then sell donated items at their Waterloo St shopfront. The proceeds go towards Star Shelter and other Singapore Council of Women’s Organisations initiatives.
Donate old clothes to MINDS, or Movement for the Intellectually Disabled of Singapore. The organisation operates thrift stores that sell clothes, furniture, homeware and others at Margaret Drive, Woodlands Ring Road, Rosyth Road and Redhill Road. Their shops also serve as training grounds for intellectually disabled people to learn how to interact with customers.
If you have accumulated too many bras at those attractive Victoria Secret sales (or Cotton On, we won’t tell), you can donate secondhand bras you no longer need to the Uplift Project. The organisation will then send them to disadvantaged communities.
H&M Garment Collection Program
Fast fashion store H&M ironically runs a Garment Collection Program where you can donate unwanted clothing and get vouchers for your next purchase. All textiles are welcome, and apparently they will be sorted out by hand at the next recycling plant. But as fast fashion is the exact root of the textile waste problem, we’re not sure if donating your clothes to get a voucher so that you can spend more on fast fashion is the best way forward.
ActiveSG shoe collection drive
From now until 31 May 2019, ActiveSG is collecting used sport shoes. The usable parts that can be recycled will be used to make jogging lanes at upcoming sports facilities. You can drop off shoes at the below drop off points:
- ActiveSG Sport Centres (Heartbeat @ Bedok, Jurong West Sport Centre, Sengkang Sport Centre, Toa Payoh Sport Centre, Yio Chu Kang Sport Centre)
- Decathlon stores
- Sport Singapore at 3 Stadium Drive (Mon to Fri 8.30am to 5.30pm)
- Dow Office at The Heeren 260 Orchard Road #18-00 (Mon to Fri 8.30 am to 5.30pm)
Where to donate used books in Singapore
Books continue to be useful no matter how old they get so long as their pages remain intact, so it is extremely wasteful to throw them away. The following places accept second hand books:
Dignity Mama Stall
Dignity Mama Stall is an online bookstore selling secondhand books and other items. They accept English and Chinese books, Archie Comics, and issues of National Geographic, Readers’ Digest and Young Scientist. The books can be dropped off at three locations.
Textbooks are often used for one school year, but can usually last for many. If you have some old ones in good condition, donate them to the Share-A-Textbook initiative by FairPrice.
Or, you can also donate secondhand fiction books at school libraries. Bear in mind that primary schools might only accept books targeted at children and youths. (Please do not offer your Fifty Shades of Grey)! Contact the school (perhaps your alma mater?) directly to ask.
National Library Board
Some of the National Library branches (Ang Mo Kio, Bedok, Bishan, Bukit Merah, Central, Geylang East, Jurong Regional, Jurong West, Queenstown, Toa Payoh, Woodlands Regional) have a book exchange corner where you can drop off unwanted books for other people who wish to give them a new home.
Where to donate secondhand electronics in Singapore
If your iPad or smartphone has gone kaput, please dispose of it responsibly by taking it to one of NEA’s e-waste drop-off points. But if it’s still in good working order, donate it to one of these organisations instead:
Blessing in a Bag
Admit it, many of us change our phones even when our current handset is well-functioning. Blessing in a Bag helps to “matchmake” your used electronics, including phones, to people who need them. They are currently looking for laptops, tablets, USB power sockets, USB power adaptors and HDMI cables.
Pass It On
Pass It On is a non-profit project through which you can pass on your electronic and home appliances to the needy.
Singapore Freecycle Network
Freecycling is a movement that plays on the words “free” and “recycling”. Freecyclers basically believe in buying less new items and only using secondhand goods. This generates less waste as a whole.
You can donate secondhand-anything to fellow freecyclers via Facebook groups such as sgfreecycle, or at events like Singapore Really Really Free Market. The event is held every few months and it’s free to participate in. Just lay a blanket or mat on the ground and display what you want to give away. Electronics are especially high in demand.
Where to donate old furniture in Singapore
Compared to other developed countries, Singapore does not have an active secondhand market since young people do not rent or move house as often, and most people furnish only when they have bought their own home.
Still, there are some places where you can donate used furniture to people who need it more. You can donate furniture through The Salvation Army, the Singapore Freecycle Network, Pass It On, and MINDS Shop.
Where to donate everything else
You can give virtually anything else away by doing the following:
“Bless” items on Carousell
That’s just a fancy way of giving them away free on the Carousell mobile app. This means that you list your used items as $0 with the title starting with “To bless”. People commonly bless used baby items, school bags, clothes and shoes.
Post them on Freecycle
Again, you can give away anything via the freecycle network via the sgfreecycle Facebook group. Things do get snatched up pretty quickly, which means a higher chance that your used items will actually go to someone in need.
Something Old Something New (SOSN)
If you live in the east, specifically far east, you can donate your used but still useable items to Something Old Something New at Simei. It is a thrift shop within Singapore Anglican Community Services that provides training and employment opportunities to people suffering from psychiatric conditions. The shop will train them logistics and retail skills so they gain work experience.
The Salvation Army
If you just need to offload something quickly, The Salvation Army is there for you.
However, the organisation receives 10 tonnes of donated items daily, meaning that there is a smaller chance of your item actually going to someone who needs it. In fact, Salvation Army revealed that only 8 to 10% of what they receive eventually get displayed for sale at their Family Stores.
Not a very good option in our opinion, but it is a convenient one. You can drop your donations off at one of their many drop off points.
Where else can Singaporeans donate old and used items? Tell us in the comments!