Note: I worked at HK Magazine from December 2015 to April 2016 as an editorial writer. This article was published in the January 2016 issue of The List.
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Declutter your life
In your attempt to become the new knowledgeable you for the new year, you’ve accidentally requested books as gifts for Christmas… and now you have no motivation to tackle the tower of books next to your bed. Take away some of your guilt by donating them to BooksMart. This Sai Ying Pun bookstore sells new and used books at discounted prices with an online catalogue that you can browse through (and there’s even home delivery for the lazy ones). Or, if you’re strapped for cash, BooksMart also does consignments for your unwanted reads. For now, this service is suspended but check back on their website for updates and rules.
Flat 212, 11/F, Glorious Commercial Building, 210-212 Des Voeux Road West, Sai Ying Pun, 2620-5035, booksmarthk.com
Taking it to the next step of convenience, Carousell is a lifestyle mobile marketplace app where you can sell your unwanted goods in a snap of a photo straight from your phone. This means that you don’t even have to be at home or have access to a computer in order to do your post-holiday cleanup – you can do it right here, right now. What’s more, Carousell is currently available in 17 countries with more being added, which means that you can reach out to potential buyers internationally as well. Signing up only takes a second and the app is freely available for iOS and android, so what are you waiting for? Start decluttering!
‘Secondhand clothes’ doesn’t always spell ‘last season’ – in fact, with newly launched Hong Kong start up The Closeteur, it could be more fashionable than any items in your current wardrobe. The online shopping destination is lead by celebrities, fashion influencers and professionals in a range of industries who offer their preloved items for sale. Love celebrity mom Nicole Cheung Young’s style? With The Closeteur, you can now own a piece of her wardrobe! Aiming to reduce fashion waste, proceeds from the sales of specified closets are donated to Aquameridian Conservation & Education Foundation and also 1% for the Planet, which means that you can look like a superstar and contribute to giving back to the environment at the same time. And if you’re still unsure of details surrounding fashion waste, check out their free digital magazine that combines information about the environment along with the latest lifestyle trends for all your inspirational needs.
One of the most well-known places in Hong Kong to donate goods to those in need, Crossroads Foundation was founded with the intention to connect the valuable resources we have in Hong Kong with those in need around the world. Currently they’re in urgent need of bunk beds, baby cots, and other household furniture and essentials: send photos of your items to Crossroads through their easy-to-use online form, and they’ll get back to you on whether they’ll accept them and the next steps to proceed.
Building 40, Crossroads Village, 2 Castle Peak Road, Tuen Mun, New Territories, 2984-9309, crossroads.org.hk
Let’s face it, that zombie apocalypse is never going to come… and your copious cans of sardines will never be finished before the expiry date. Waste not by donating to Food Angel, a food assistance program launched by Bo Charity Foundation. The program collects edible surplus food from the food industry and is then prepared in the organization’s kitchens to feed the underprivileged across Hong Kong. So part with your beloved spam and fresh foods that you’ll never be able to finish and reduce waste and relieve poverty.
3/F, Fung Sing Building, 235 Hai Tan Street, Sham Shui Po, Kowloon, 3118-2348, foodangel.org.hk
Did you know that H&M was the first fashion company to launch a garment collection initiative? The company gladly takes in your old clothes as a part of their sustainability movement. You don’t have to walk away empty-handed either, because in exchange for your garments, H&M gives you a discount voucher to be used the next time you purchase anything from their stores. The items you donate don’t even have to be of their brand, and there is no limit on how much you can bring in. The service is available at every H&M store city-wide.
Various branches including G/F-3/F Hang Lung Centre, 2-20 Paterson St., Causeway Bay, 3973-7123, hm.com/hk
Hong Kong Salvation Army
Serving Hong Kong for 85 years, Christian church and charity The Salvation Army is always looking for unwanted goods, from secondhand clothes in good condition to electrical appliances and more. Your donations will either be directly helping people in need, such as the elderly or homeless, or sold in the charity’s Family Stores with the proceeds going back into The Salvation Army’s community programs. Donation bins are dotted throughout Hong Kong and Macau.
Various collection points, including 11 Wing Sing Lane, Yau Ma Tei, salvationarmy.org.hk
JupYeah means both “tidying up” and “taking stuff” in Cantonese and that’s exactly what the group is about: Giving away stuff you may not need and taking useful things you want in exchange. Founded in 2011 by three girls, JupYeah has grown exponentially and has taken Hong Kong by storm with regular citywide swap meets—each of which gets attendance from over a thousand juppers! Head on to their website to browse through the things on for offer, and keep an eye out for the next swap party.
Oxfam Hong Kong
Cull your unwanted Christmas presents by donating them to The Oxfam Shop, which runs as a retail outlet that sells goods donated from the public and uses the proceeds in their community projects. They have a list of what’s needed and what’s not on their website, so make sure to check it out before you lug your entire old VHS collection out onto the streets. As of now they are simply looking for small items such as books, clothes, houseware or accessories.
Shop LG8, LG/F, Jardine House, 1 Connaught Place, Central, 2522-1765, oxfam.org.hk
Japanese fashion brand Uniqlo implemented their All-Product Recycling Initiative in 2006 with the goal of recycling material to be used back in the textile industry. However, they discovered that most of the donations were still in good condition and could be worn, and instead, the company began to send them to people in need of clothing worldwide. If you want to reach out to refugees, disaster survivors, the homeless and women in need, then you can head on over to any store to donate your used Uniqlo clothes.
Various branches including G/F, B1-B2/F, Lee Theatre, 99 Percival St., Causeway Bay, 2577-5811, uniqlo.com/hk
Xchange: Social Gastronomy
Fortress Hill’s Oi! Street Art Space is housing the Xchange: Social Gastronomy project through to summer 2016. This experimental project explores sustainability through a design-based and social viewpoint. The public can drop by Oi! any time and donate their unwanted kitchenware to promote the idea of giving new life to old but otherwise still functional cutlery. The pots and pans are then used during the weekends where public cooking demos are hosted by international volunteer chefs. The food cooked is free so you can have a fulfilling meal and new insight into another country’s cuisine for nothing at all.
12 Oil Street, North Point, 2512-3000, facebook.com/Xchange.socialgastronomy