Donating clothes to charity, Sydney

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I come from a family that saves things. Anything that’s useful should never, ever be thrown away.

However, of my three brothers, I’m the one who’s the clothes horse. So, it’s important that I get rid of clothes once in a while.

A few different thoughts have helped me to do this:

  • First of all, I had to find a charity that I liked. I just don’t like the religious charity shops scattered throughout Sydney. Too much of a long history with too much homophobia. Charity bins, as I hope you know, are even worse: just random business-people who collect clothes, in the name of charity, but may not give much of a donation IMG_4167 (1)at all. Then, I wanted to find a store that would get a good price for something that was in good condition. There are a number of shops that are so rundown that they’re not likely to either get much for an item of clothes, or recognise better quality pieces and charge more!
  • So, voila! The Australian Red Cross in Paddington sells nicer clothes and charges more, and seems to have a well-chosen selection of men’s clothes. I really like their work.
  • Now, I haven’t read Marie Kondo’s book about tidying up but I did like her philosophy: ask whether something brings you joy.
  • Other advice is: have you worn it in the last season? Or: have you worn it in the last year?
  • For me, a good question, and one demanding an honest answer was: do I feel great wearing this piece of clothes? Not uncommonly, I would buy something and there IMG_4166would always be something that bothered me a little about it: the shape of a collar, the colour, the fit. I was much worse when I was younger in buying things BECAUSE THEY WERE ON SALE and then figuring out that they were too large, or not quite right.
  • Another good way for me to look at my clothes is as a consumable good. Now, I know an ecological mindset hates fast fashion, and how disposable it is. But it did help me to think that if I spent the same amount on a shirt, say, as a meal, and that I’d enjoyed wearing that shirt a few times, it is NOT necessary for me to keep it forever, just because it is still wearable.
  • Finally, as a writer, it amused me to write down what I gave away in a little bulleted list in my online journal. Kind of way of ticking them off a list.

Armed with all of these techniques, I managed to fill up two large bags of clothes (thirty items, I counted!) and bring them to the Australian Red Cross on Sunday and… Boy, I feel happy to have done so.

Have you cleaned out your closet lately?


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