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where to donate your old clothing in toronto

winter is coming, and that means closet clean outs of your summer clothes, and going through your old knit sweaters and jackets. whether you are downsizing your closet or upgrading your wardrobe, donating clothing to a reputable charity in the community can be a great way to ensure your clothes don't get wasted, and they are used by someone who needs them. 

value village and the salvation army are great places to find cheap finds. but, if you want to make more of an impact in the community, choose to donate to a place that will give your clothing and gently used items to people in need for free. 

the sad truth is that "about 80 to 90 per cent of donated clothing isn't being resold in canada." most value villages and clothing donation bins only sell 1/3 of what is donated. some of the discarded clothing is repurposed into rags, car seat fillings, etc. a lot of it is resold overseas, and the rest ends up in a landfill. it's important to donate to a place that will give your old clothing to someone new, free of charge, or, will give it a new life. 

  1. new circles

new circles is a charity in toronto located at eglinton and bermondsey. they provide lower income families in the area with clothing, used household goods, toys, and more. 

2. jessie's centre

jessie's centre is an organization for pregnant teens or young moms that provides parenting assistance, counselling, education services, health services and much more. they accept donations of gently used clothing for young women, maternity, baby clothing and toys, and other basic household items. they ask that you email them to donate at: swap@jessiescentre.org

scott's mission is another charity that welcomes clothing donations, especially winter clothing, as they help clothe homeless people around toronto. they also have a food bank you can bring some canned goods to. 

3. camh - suits me fine 

camh's free clothing store provides professional and business clothing to clients for job interviews, court appearances, special events, etc. they also provide necessary clothing for those who come to camh with the clothes on their back. new clothing provides a sense of confidence and helps reintegration back into society. you can donate monday-thursday between 11p.m.-3p.m. our store is located next to 101 stokes street adjacent to the day care center at the queen street site.

4. diabetes canada 

diabetes canada offers a pick up service for your donations, meaning they come right to your door and load it into the truck. each year, the program diverts more than 100 million lbs. of clothing and household items from landfill sites across canada. the tricky part is that they have a partnership with value village, so value village pays diabetes canada for the pick up and drop off to stores. though, this is for a good cause because the funds generated raises on average $5 million annually (net), where proceeds raised support diabetes research, education, programs, services & advocacy.

5. h&m's garment collecting program 

did you know that one of the worlds biggest clothing retailers has a clothing repurposing program? neither did we. take a your bag of used clothing to an h&m register and receive a voucher to shop in store. their partner i:co sorts your donation into either rewear, recycle, or repurpose.

if the clothes or textiles are not suitable for rewear, they’re turned into other products, such as remake collections or cleaning cloths. all other clothes and textiles are shredded into textile fibers and used to make, for example, insulation materials.

you can also upcycle old clothing yourself! shred old shirts to make a braided throw rug, use them as rags, there are so many ways to get created and reuse your old clothing.

investing in smaller amounts of high quality and sustainable clothing, or buying vintage or pre-owned items, is the sure fire way to have more of what you love with much less waste. 

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