What to do with your pre-loved gems

You’ve done a de-clutter and you have lots of beloved clothes, furniture, homewares and books that you don’t need any more.

You want to find a good home for them so what do you do?

Donate your pre-loved gems to one of our members’ charity shops displaying this membership badge. 

Why?

Charity shops are a critical funding stream for many charities.

Donating to a charity shop also stops reusable goods from going to landfill as waste.

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.

Sometimes charity shops have too many donations and cannot take anymore.

Before dropping off your donations, contact your local charity shop to check.

Find your local charity shop here

Our listings will give your 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 
  • Footwear 
  • 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.

Unsaleable clothing

Some 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.

Collection Service

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. 

Top Tips for Shopping in a Charity Shop 

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 anymore either. Many sell items online through Thriftify, Haru, eBay, Facebook, Instagram and more. 

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.

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.

Patience is a Virtue

You might not find something instantly, but there is always something for everyone. Unlike conventional retail stores, with only one style, 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.

Donate your Unwanted Clothes 

Donate your unwanted clothes when you no longer wear them. Charity shops work on donations; they cannot operate without them. It also frees up space in your wardrobe for all your charity shop finds. 

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. 

Clothing Banks 

There are Charity Retail Ireland Member clothing banks all over the country, many located in car parks or local centres. Donations from clothing banks are sorted and distributed to charity shops across the country. 

You can donate to a clothing bank at any time of day or night. 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
  • Liberty Recycling
  • NCBI 
  • Oxfam Ireland 
  • Society of St. Vincent de Paul (SVP) 

To find a clothing bank near you, click here.

Charity Retail Ireland members operating clothing banks guarantee 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

  • €2 to €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

If you donate directly to commercial textile recyclers through clothing banks then the clothing and their value is exported. They are not available to the Irish general public for re-use. 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
  • Funding community services here or abroad
  • Good quality clothes at affordable prices are made available for people who have limited disposable income and/or who want to support sustainable fashion.