11 places to donate clothes, books and food in Hong Kong
Run by married couple Richard Bowsie and Mavis Lui Kit-kan since 2006, 2nd Chance offers a platform for people to buy and sell second-hand furniture and accessories at bargain prices. The pair saw a large amount of good furniture being thrown away each week and were determined to do something that would reduce this waste and help the environment. So skip Ikea and come here next time you need a new wardrobe. The organisation believes in giving back to the community, which is why five percent of all money received from items in the ‘Antiques & Collectables’ section goes towards other charities like Children’s Heart Foundation and Po Leung Kuk. And if you’re selling items to 2nd Chance, it encourages individuals to donate the money to supporting charities too.
Trying to unload stacks of books to make way for more space at home? Moved passed your history phase or just want to get rid of your embarrasing Twilight collection? BooksMart might be your saviour. Recently moved to a new venue in Kwai Fong, the secondhand bookshop will resell any donated English-language books at inexpensive prices, with genres spanning from best-selling fictions and obscure titles to old (but still useful) cookbooks. We strongly advise on emailing the operators beforehand to tell them what books you’ll be bringing in.
Christian Action’s mission is to serve the poor, displaced, abandoned and the disadvantaged throughout Hong Kong and China. Christian Action accepts all sorts of donations (via pick-up service, no less) from books to used clothing. Your donated toys, shoes, bags, small household and electrical appliances will either be sold through Christian Action’s charity shops or distributed to service recipients.in Hong Kong and rural areas in China like Haixi and Guoluo. To know more about their Green Collection Programme, click here for more details.
The hidden gem of a secondhand book store has been in business since 1997. A bibliophile’s dream, Flow Bookshop houses hundreds of old and sometimes new tomes in its cosy den. The staff are happy to take any old books and even music (CDs, Vinyl, the works) off your hands. The donated paperbacks and hardbacks are then sold back to the public. Your old favourite novel might just find a new home.
It’s no secret Hong Kong has a food-waste and hunger problem. And Food Angel, one of the city’s pioneering food charities, is here to take any surplus food from households and food companies, and to feed those in need with their meal delivery services. The NGO has got a great food rescue programme where it accepts any dry food and drinks (with packaging intact), fresh fruits and vegetables, oils and seasonings, frozen food, bakery items and any edibles that are two weeks or more from the expiry date. There are three major food collection points: Lai Chi Kok, Sham Shui Po and Chai Wan, and food collection boxes located at LINK shopping malls. Click here to see what and where you can donate.
The hugely popular fashion retailer H&M has been making efforts to address issues of sustainability and has even set up a worldwide recycling initiative where customers can drop off and donate any unwanted clothes – from any brand, not just H&M – at the garment collection boxes in stores. The collected clothing will then be sorted to be recycled or downcycled into cleaning cloths.
Meaning to pick up or pack in Cantonese, JupYeah is a great online platform to swap things. That means any surplus or undamaged clothes, shoes, electronics and anything else you can think of, can go up the website. And likewise, you can just “jup” any items that have caught your eye. There’s no money transaction, and it’s a great tool to share useful goods as a means of reducing waste and overconsumption. Plus you might make a friend or two. jupyeah.com
The thing with children’s clothing is that kids grow out of it easily in only a short span of time. It’s especially wasteful and tragic to throw out something that’s only been worn half a dozen times. That’s where Retykle comes in. It’s an online website for secondhand designer kids’ clothes, pre-loved maternity clothes and nursery goods. Retykle offers services to collect unwanted clothing, clean and deliver outfits you pick online. For any successful sell, you can either take cash or credit to buy other stuff on the website. Should your donated goods not quite meet its standards, Retykle will provide them to local charity HandsOn Hong Kong. retykle.com
Unlike the UK, charity shops are rather uncommon in Hong Kong and Salvation Army Family Stores are among the few. Its recycling programme welcomes any donation of clothing, shoes, bags, books, toys, DVDs and VCDs (if they still exist) and any small home electrical appliances in working order and in good condition. All the goods would then be sorted, distributed and sold in its charity shops across Hong Kong and Macau, which help fund The Salvation Army’s community programmes. Some goods will even go directly to the homeless, former prisoners and elderly folks living alone.
Operated under St James’ Settlement, a local Christian charitable organsation, The People’s Food Bank is always happy to accept any dry food like rice, noodles and canned food that will contribute to their meal services to the homeless and eldery. Other goods like oats, milk poweder and biscuits are great as well. You can drop them off at any of its 32 food collection points including the headquarters on Stone Nullah Lane, Wan Chai.
A non-profit organisation that’s been actively combating waste in the fashion industry, Redress makes it easy for busy Hongkongers to get rid of their clothes thanks for their collection boxes at any Zara and Pizza Express outlets. The bulk of the donated clothes goes directly to local charities while the top-self outfits and items would be re-sold at Redress’ biannual pop-up shops and clothing drive to raise funds for its projects and educational programmes. Feel free to throw in any ripped or stained clothes anyway, Redress will sort them towards recycling organisations to help turn old clothes into usable textiles.