Space in Hong Kong is limited. Our closets are bursting with clothes as we buy new ones each season. We realise that it is time to cull out the clutter... The rule says we should get rid of the clothes we haven't worn in over a year but what should we do with these clothes we once adored?
Shocking but true, according to an article titled “Wall of Waste” written recently by the Hong Kong based NGO Redress which promotes environmental sustainability, an average of 217 tonnes of textiles are dumped into Hong Kong’s landfills each day!
Each and every one of us can make a difference by being conscious of our actions. In this article, we have gathered 5 eco-friendly destinations operating on HK Island, where we can donate used clothing or buy second-hand ones (in great condition, quite often some high-end fashion).
Also, it is worth noting that clothing brands such as Uniqlo, Zara and H&M have launched second hand collection and recycling initiatives, where you can donate your old textiles at their outlets - no matter brand or condition.
1. Salvation Army Family Stores @ Kennedy Town, Wan Chai, Tin Hau and North Point
The Salvation Army Family Store is a classic! In our neighbourhood there are 4 stores: in Kennedy Town, Wan Chai, Tin Hau and North Point. You can find there an ever-changing variety of second-hand clothing, books, and other knick knacks. Prices are about the same as your typical H&M, but you can greatly reduce waste and find more unique items by buying second-hand. The stores also operate as collection points for old clothes, so you can shop sustainably, and also make room for all your new clothes!
Address: 26 Belcher’s St, Kennedy Town
G/F &1/ F, Tiffan Tower, 199 Wan Chai Road, Wan Chai
G/F., No. 29 Wing Hing Street, Tin Hau
G/F., Fok Ying Building, 379-381 King's Road, North
Contact: Kennedy Town (852) 29740882, Wan Chai 2836 6246, Tin Hau 2887 5577, North Point 2570 0138
2. Green Ladies @ Sai Ying Pun
Here’s a fashionable one just for the ladies! Green Ladies is a social enterprise clothing chain that supports the employment of middle-aged women and promotes sustainable fashion habits by offering consignment services. Simply put, this means that you can make some extra cash and support an eco-friendly business. The price range is somewhat higher than your typical thrift store, but you’re likely to find more high-quality pieces here. We loved an Emporio Armani lavender top or a Diane von Furstenberg colourful dress which were a steal 😊
Address: G/F, No. 168, Queen‘s Road West, Sai Ying Pun
Contact: (852) 21103482
3. Castaways Charity Shop @ Central
Not all that’s castaway is wasted!
Tucked away in the corner of St John’s Cathedral, Castaways is a charity shop that hopes to bring new life to all your old items. If you have clothes and accessories that are still in good condition, they accept donations every Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays from 12.00 noon till 2.00pm (right now they are accepting only Summer Clothing, Handbags, Shoes, and Household Linen). Alternatively, office workers in the area can swing by their shop during lunch hour for a quick, guilt-free shopping spree.
Address: Castaways Charity Shop, St John’s Cathedral, 4-8 Garden Road, Central
Contact: (852) 2523 4157 (for further information regarding donations kindly Whatsapp: Ellen on 6271 1777)
4. Mee & Gee @ Central, Wan Chai
Who says second-hand can’t be trendy? Mee & Gee was my favourite of all the stores, and also the most affordable. If you’re patient and willing to scrounge around the many racks, you will definitely find some great items at low prices. While they do not accept clothing donations, if you’re looking for a blazer for work or some funky clothes for a costume party, Mee & Gee definitely has them - somewhere.
Address: 9 Li Yuen St W, Central
3 Tai Yuen Street, Wan Chai
Contact: (852) 2975 0077, 2153 0393
5. Friends of the Earth (FoE) @ Hong Kong
This last one may not be a shop, but if you are looking for a place to recycle used clothes, Friends of the Earth is definitely your best option. They are a HK based charity that collects used clothing and redistributes them to the needy, and their clothes collection banks are conveniently located all around our neighbourhood. There are currently 15 such recycling bins in the Central and Western district, 13 in Wan Chai district and 13 in Eastern district. #FoE Used Clothes Recycling Bins are also placed within 59 apartment buildings on Hong Kong Island (only for estate’s residents)! Keep an eye out for them as you roam the streets or visit their website for the exact address – it might be just at your doorstep 😊
Contact: (852) 2528 5588