Used, secondhand, pre-loved—we're talking about baby clothing that your little munchkin has worn and grown out of, but isn't ready for the dumpster or the textile recycling plant just yet. So what can you do with such items?
Sell on Secondhand Platforms
In this piece, we listed a few sites where expecting parents can buy secondhand baby clothing. Naturally, you can also use these sites to sell baby clothing instead. If selling isn't your cup of tea (I, for one, don't really enjoy negotiating prices), but you still want these clothes to get a second lease of life, consider donating them instead.
An Important Note on Donations
In our fast fashion economy, many treat donating as a last resort, or as a means of getting rid of old(er) clothing so that they can purchase more clothing. Unfortunately, this means that charities often receive low quality, sometimes unwearable, clothing in much greater quantities than they could possibly have storage space for.
Much of this clothing ends up in the landfill. Charities also end up having to spend extra effort and time sorting through the piles of clothing and footing the bill for clothing disposal. With this in mind, we want to suggest ways and places to donate clothing to increase the chances that the clothes you give away are actually reused.
What to Consider When Donating
When it comes to donating used clothing to a charity, first check their website to see if they have specific instructions for donations-in-kind.
If they don't, a good rule of thumb is to think about whether you would put it on your little bub if you received the piece from someone else. Only donate clothing that you think passes this test!
Now that we've talked about how best to donate clothing, here are some avenues that you can consider:
Places to Donate Baby Clothing
Friends, Family & Colleagues
Ask around to see if friends, extended family members or colleagues (and their family) are interested. If you have someone in your personal or work circles who is expecting, they are likely more than happy to inherit the clothes your baby has grown out of. Knowing the source of their secondhand clothing is also likely to make them feel more comfortable receiving it.
We're really grateful to have received lots of queries from generous parents asking if we would like to have the clothes that no longer fit their children. As a business committed to sustainability, we are more than happy to extend the lifespan of the clothing we receive!
If you would like to donate your clothing to us, please take a look at the guidelines on this page. These guidelines help us ensure that the clothing received by our subscribing parents and worn by their little one every month is of good quality!
Mummybay is a marketplace for parents, set up to solve the aforementioned storage problem charities face. It connects donors directly with recipients so that charities don't have to play the role of middleman. As a donor, you can sign up for an account and list your baby items (not limited to clothes) on the platform.
Mummybay also allows individuals to sell, rather than donate, their items. This is a function you may want to try out on big ticket items such as strollers or baby carriers. That said, a good number of high quality items in great condition are listed as donations on the site. The chances of someone willing to pay for your item when they can get a similar one for free is likely to be low.
Pass-It-On is a directory that matches donors with VWOs whose beneficiaries are in need of specific items. You can check out the Grant-A-Wish page on a regular basis, which lists items needed, to understand if there are any beneficiaries who would like what you can provide.
The site does not restrict itself to baby and children's items, so you may want to consider checking out other categories where you can give as well.
Olio is a sharing app with a mission to eradicate waste. It is designed to connect individuals who wish to give and receive items for free. Unless it is handmade crafts or homemade food, users are strictly prohibited from selling on their listings. The app is not specific to parents, and you can list anything from food to household items.
Unless you are a premium user, this app works based on location. Users see listings from those who live within a 5 km radius. This could either be a boon or a bane, depending on whether you live close to other parents.
Charities and Non-Profits
We have listed these last, not because they are the least important, but because most charities today really don't need any more donations-in-kind. This means that your baby clothing is either not going to be accepted, or stands a low chance of being reused, even if it is.
If you still wish to donate, please remember to check the organisation's website to understand their needs before doing so!
Babes—Babes is an organisation that provides support to teen mothers. As of the time of writing, they are not accepting donations-in-kind due to limited storage. You can subscribe to their newsletter to keep updated on the status of their needs.
Chen Su Lan Methodist Children's Home—CSLMCH provides care for children from disadvantaged families. They accept donations-in-kind, but request that you place a call before heading down to check what are in need of.
Children's Aid Society—The Children's Aid Society provides a range of services from residential care to psychological services for vulnerable children. They upload a specific list of necessities every month, which largely comprises food items. They do sometimes require clothing as well.
Jamiyah Singapore—Jamiyah is a home for children from disadvantaged backgrounds. The home accepts donations-in-kind, but for hygiene purposes, requests that only new clothing is donated. They also ask that donors call in advance to let them know of their intentions to donate.
SCWO's New2U Thrift Shop—The Singapore Council of Women's Organisations runs a thrift shop that accepts secondhand children's clothing. They have recently set up an online store that allows buyers to make purchases without having to step out of their houses. The thrift shop is also not accepting donations as of the time of writing.
Singapore Children's Society—The Singapore Children's Society, which works with vulnerable children and youth, accepts donations-in-kind specific to their needs at the moment. You may check out their updated Carousell page, which lists the items their beneficiaries need, to see if you have what they require.
Willing Hearts Orphanage—Willing Hearts is a non-profit organisation set up by a domestic helper and her previous employer that works with young children from the Philippines. In Singapore, you can head down to their thrift shop, St. Isidore Centre, to donate your pre-loved items.
Are you part of an organisation that accepts pre-loved children's and baby clothing? Let us know in the comments and we'll add you to the list!