Charity shops are a critical funding stream for many charities and you are supporting a social enterprise. Donating to a charity shop also stops reusable goods from going to landfill as waste. Giving your goods to a charity shop also extends their lifespan and is a significant carbon saving. You are also helping a great cause. Find out more about the impact of charity retail
What can I donate to a charity shop?
All charity shops take donations in the shop. Bring them in a strong bag, carrier or cardboard box. Before dropping off your donations, contact your local charity shop to check that theyb accept the goods that you wish to donate Find your local charity shop here
Our listings give the charity shops location, opening times, contact information and more.
- Make sure your donations are clean and unbroken
- Dirty, broken or items beyond repair will cost the charity shop to dispose of
- If in doubt, ask your local charity shop
Most charity shops will accept donations of the following:
- Clothing: Men’s, Women’s & Children’s
- Small home and kitchen items
- Household textiles (no pillows or duvets)
- Books, CDs, vinyl, videos and games
- Toys (sometimes not soft toys)
There are charity shops that specialise in specific goods:
- Bridal and special occasion shops accept bridal, debs, evening and special occasion wear.
- Book shops will accept all types of books, CDs, vinyl, DVDs and games.
- Furniture shops accept donations of large and small items of furniture. Most offer a collection and delivery service, sometimes at an extra charge.
For health and safety reasons, charity shops do not accept mattresses, duvets or pillows. Some civic amenity sites do accept mattresses for recycling. Check out mywaste.ie for more information.
Most charity shops collect clothing not fit to be resold. They can sell them to a textile recycler. Contact your local shop first to check if they can take clothes for recycling. It’s helpful if you put them in a separate bag.
Some shops offer a collection service for items such as furniture. Contact your local shop to find out more. You can find the contact information of your local shop in our charity shop directory.
Do not leave donations outside a charity shop that is closed
- In typical Irish weather, they get damaged and thrown away.
- Donations left on the streets outside shops also pose a hazard to other people on the path.
- The litter warden may then fine the charity shop.
- Please wait for the shop to open to hand your donations in.
5 Top Tips for Charity Shopping
Charity shops are no longer cluttered, untidy and sometimes whiffy places they used to be. Charity shops today are more like upmarket boutiques: professional, clean and creative spaces. They are a treasure trove for beautiful and unique pieces. Charity Shops are not only physical stores now. Many sell items online through Thriftify, Haru, eBay, Facebook, Instagram and more.
1. Keep an Open Mind
This is so important as you never know what you might find. Charity shops are full of fun, different clothes. Every garment is unique. Rather than having a specific style or fashion piece in mind, keep an open mind and try on lots of items. You might surprise yourself with a fabulous new look.
2. Patience is a Virtue
You might not find something instantly, but there is always something for everyone. Unlike conventional retail stores, with racks of the same items, it takes 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 happy to help you find something.
3. Visit Frequently
Donations come into charity shops all the time. Make sure you never miss a fashion gem and visit your local charity shops regularly.
4. Donate your Unwanted Clothes
Donate your unwanted clothes when you no longer wear them. Charity shops rely on donations; they cannot operate without them. It also frees up space in your wardrobe for all your charity shop finds.
5. Share your Finds
We love to see your charity shop gems. Tag us or use the hashtag #charityretailireland and inspire others to go charity shopping.
You will find Charity Retail Ireland Member clothing banks nationwide, many located in car parks or local centres. Donations from clothing banks are sorted and distributed to charity shops. You can donate to a clothing bank at any time. If a clothing bank is full, do not leave your donations next to the bank as they will get damaged. Notify the charity that the bank is full and wait until it has been emptied before adding your donations. Our members who operate clothing banks are:
- Enable Ireland
- Oxfam Ireland
- Society of St. Vincent de Paul (SVP – Vincent’s)
To find a clothing bank near you, click here.
Charity Retail Ireland members who operate clothing banks guarantee that all proceeds go to the charity.
Donating to a commercial clothing bank with a charity partner
Many commercial clothing banks partner with registered charities but give a small percentage to the charity partner.
Give a 10kg bag to a commercial textile merchant through a clothing bank:
- About €4 will go to the charity partner
- The clothing will be exported losing the value to the Irish economy
- The textile merchant will benefit from the true value of the clothes
By donating directly to commercial textile recyclers through clothing banks, the clothing and their value is exported. The clothing is not available for re-use here in Ireland. And the Irish charity sector, who fund services in your community, does not benefit from the potential income.
Donate the same 10kg bag of clothes to an Charity Retail Ireland member clothing bank or a charity shop:
- €50 to €70 will go to an Irish charity
- This helps to fund community services in Ireland and internationally
- Good quality clothes at affordable prices are made available for people who:
- want to support slow, sustainable fashion
- or have limited disposable income, or both!