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Where to donate clothes, books and food in Hong Kong

Put your unwanted items to good use

Written by
Time Out Hong Kong
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Whether you’re looking to do a bit of spring cleaning with the arrival of Chinese New Year or want to get rid of things that you've been hoarding for way too long, we often find ourselves faced with a mountain of unwanted odds and ends after a cleanup. The sustainable way to discard unwanted goods is to give them another life by donating to those in need. There are many worthy charities and non-profit organisations in Hong Kong that can help redistribute unwanted goods to street sleepers and low-income families. Secondhand bookstores and shopping platforms can also collect and resell without wasting resources. So, if you're planning to clear out your wardrobes and cupboards, here are some of the best places you can donate to in Hong Kong.

RECOMMENDED: Best zero waste stores in Hong Kong, Best thrift stores and vintage shops in Hong Kong

Places you can donate to in Hong Kong

  • Shopping
  • Second-hand shops
  • Tuen Mun

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 decor 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. 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 support charities too. 

  • Shopping
  • Second-hand shops
  • Kwai Chung

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 embarrassing Twilight collection? BooksMart might be your saviour. Tucked away in an industrial building in Kwai Fong, the secondhand bookshop will resell new and used English-language books at inexpensive prices, with genres spanning from best-selling fiction and obscure titles to old (but still useful) cookbooks. 

Their website is also very easy to use, so whether you are buying or selling, you can access their directory to find what you are looking for as their store may not hold everything in their collection. And if you want to visit the store to find a particular book or author, be sure to call them up in advance as the shop is a tight space!

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Christian Action
Photograph: Facebook/ChristianActionHK

Christian Action

Christian Action’s mission is to serve the poor, displaced, abandoned and disadvantaged throughout Hong Kong and China. Christian Action accepts all sorts of donations (via pick-up service, no less) including brand new or used clothing, accessories, toys, shoes, handbags, books, small appliances and housewares. The items will then either be sold through Christian Action’s Community Sales Outlets 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.

  • Things to do
  • Sheung Wan

The hidden gem of a secondhand bookstore 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 off your hands. The donated paperbacks and hardbacks are then sold back to the public, so your old textbooks and novels might just find a new home.

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  • Things to do
  • Cheung Sha Wan

Food Angel, one of the city’s pioneering food charities, takes any surplus food from households and food companies to feed those in need with their meal delivery services. The NGO has 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. Currently, Food Angel has three major food collection points – Lai Chi Kok, Sham Shui Po and Chai Wan – along with food collection boxes located at Link shopping malls to make it easy and convenient for drop off. Click here to see what and where you can donate. 

JupYeah
Photograph: Facebook/jupyeah

JupYeah

JupYeah – which means to pick up or pack something – 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. 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. JupYeah often holds physical on-ground events and pop-ups too, so keep an eye out on their Facebook page.

Visit jupyeah.com for more info

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Retykle
Photograph: John McGrane

Retykle

Kids grow out of their clothes very quickly, so 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; an online platform for those seeking 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 sale, 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. 

Visit retykle.com for more info

The Salvation Army Family Store
Photograph: Facebook/recyclingprogramme

The Salvation Army Family Store

Compared to 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 at 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. Click here for a full list of collection points.

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  • Shopping
  • Sham Shui Po

A non-profit organisation that actively combats waste in the fashion industry, Redress makes it easy for busy Hongkongers to donate their clothes by offering numerous collection boxes across the city. The bulk of the donated clothes goes directly to local charities while the top-self outfits and items would be re-sold at Redress' physical store in Sham Shui Po. Feel free to throw in any ripped or stained clothes, Redress will sort them towards recycling organisations to help turn old clothes into usable textiles.

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