Why should I donate?
Donating to a charity shop has a significant impact in helping support the charity, but also in preventing perfectly wearable clothes and other goods going to landfill as waste.
Donate one 10kg bag of Clothes
|To a Charity Shop||To a Commercial Textile Merchant|
|€50 – €70 will for to an Irish Charity||€2-€4 will go to the charity partner|
|Funding community services here or abroad||The clothing will be exported losing the value to the Irish economy and possibly causing oversupply in other countries|
|Good quality clothes at affordable prices are made available for people who have limited disposable income||The textile merchant will benefit from the true value of the clothes.|
|Provide local employment|
Please donate directly to your local charity shop or clothing banks that are 100% for charity.
For more information about the Impact of Charity Retail, visit our page on it here.
HOW TO DONATE: SHOPS
So you’ve done a clear out and have loads of things you don’t like/want anymore. They’re too good to throw away but you don’t know what to do.
Here is all you need to know about how and what to donate to a charity shop.
Do I take it to the shop, or will they collect it?
All charity shops will take donations in the shop. Just bring your donation along with a strong bag, carrier or cardboard box.
Sometimes charity shops can be overwhelmed with donations and can’t take anymore. Please contact your local charity shop and check that they can accept your donations before you bring your donations along. You can find the contact information of your local charity shop here.
Please do not leave donations outside the charity shop when the shop is closed. In typical Irish weather donations get damaged and have to be thrown away. Donations left on the street outside shops also pose a hazard to other people using the street. The charity can also be fined by the litter warden for goods left outside their shop so please wait for the shop to open to hand your donations in.
Some shops offer a collection service, especially for larger items such as furniture, so give your local shop a call to find out if they do. You can find the contact information of your local shop in our charity shop directory here.
What Goods do Charity Shops Take?
Please make sure your donations are clean, and unbroken. Dirty, broken or items beyond repair will be a cost to the charity shop to dispose of. If in doubt give your local charity shop a call.
Most charity shops will accept donations of the following:
- Clothing: Men’s, Women’s and children’s
- Small home and kitchen items
- Household textiles (but no pillows or duvets)
- Books, CDs, vinyl, videos and games
- Toys (but usually not soft toys)
There are also charity shops that specialise in certain types of goods.
Bridal and special occasion shops will accept donations or pre-loved bridal, debs, evening and special occasion wear.
Book shops will accept all types of books as well as CD’s, vinyl, DVDs and games.
Furniture Shops accept donations of large and small items of furniture. Most will offer a collection and delivery service, sometimes at an extra charge.
Mattresses, duvets and pillows are not accepted by charity shops for health and safety reasons
Mattresses are accepted by some civic amenity sites for recycling Check our mywaste.ie for more information here.
Some charity shops are able to collect clothing that is not fit to be resold, and sell it on to a textile recycler to be recycled or exported to overseas markets. If you have unsaleable clothing it is best to call the shop first and check if they can take clothes for recycling before bringing your donation to the shop. It’s helpful if you put them in a separate bag.
HOW TO DONATE: CLOTHING BANKS
Clothing banks can be found all over the country, mainly in car parks or local centres. Donations placed in charity clothing banks are collected and sorted in distribution centres before sent out to charity shops across the country.
You can donate to a clothing bank at any time of day or night, so if you’re pressed for time and can’t wait for a charity shop to open you can pop it into a clothing bank. If a clothing bank is full however please do not leave your donations next to the bank as they will get damaged in the typical Irish weather. Ring the number on the bank to notify the charity that the bank is full and wait until it has been emptied before adding your own donations.
There are lots of clothing banks nationwide where not all the proceeds from the clothing bank goes to the charity it is said to be supporting. Charity Retail Ireland members who operate clothing banks guarantee that all proceeds go to the charity.
Our members are:
- Enable Ireland
- Liberty Recycling
- Oxfam Ireland
- Society of St. Vincent de Paul (SVP)
To find a clothing bank near you click here
HOW TO SHOP
Charity shops have moved on from the cluttered, untidy and sometimes a little whiffy places they used to be. Today charity shops look and feel more like upmarket boutiques and are professional, clean and creative spaces to work in. They are also a treasure trove for beautiful unique pieces.
Charity Shops are not just physical stores now, many of them are also online with online stores through Thriftify, Ebay and also social media accounts.
Top Tips for shopping in a Charity Shop:
Keep an open mind
This is so important as you never know what you might find. Charity shops are full of fun and different clothes and every garment is unique. This means that rather than having a specific style or fashion piece in mind, it is better to keep an open mind and try on lots of different things, you will be surprised what might look average on the hangar but killer when you try it on.
This means you will never miss a new haul of donations. Donations come into charity shops all the time. To make sure you never miss a fashion gem it’s important to visit your local charity shops regularly
Patience is a virtue
You might not find something instantly but there is always something for everyone. Unlike conventional retail stores, where there is one outfit or style, it can take a few more minutes of browsing to find something to your taste. A great little shortcut is to get to know the volunteers in the store who will be delighted to help you find something.
Donate your unwanted clothes
Donate your unwanted clothes when you’re changing up your wardrobe. Charity shops work on donations so this is so important as you never know if something doesn’t fit you anymore, it might fit someone else. As the saying goes, ‘one person’s trash is another’s treasure’
Share your finds with us
Share your finds! We love to see your charity shop gems so don’t forget to tag us or use the hashtag: #charityretailireland and you might just inspire someone else to shop in their local charity shop.