Career & do Good

How to Donate Your Pre-loved Work Clothes to Help Boss Up Another Woman’s Life

Helen Wallace
Want to know how you can do your bit for others? The answer might be in your cupboard! Here’s how to donate your gently-worn clothes to help other women

Is it just me or are we all guilty of holding onto clothes and accessories we don't wear for far too long? But, instead of hoarding your unwanted threads, why not donate them to a charity so that someone else can benefit from them? Because it feels good to do good!

Mzansi is home to loads of great initiatives that provide clothing for the less fortunate. There are even some that collect and donate work clothes to help South Africans feel confident in interviews and in a corporate environment. So if your cupboard needs a clean-up and you discover any gently-worn work clothes you no longer wear, here’s how to get organised and give back at the same time.

1. Do a Donation Drive

Gathering and donating just your own pre-loved work clothing is great. But getting your friends, family and even your wider network involved is even better! No doubt their wardrobes could also do with a detox, and the bigger your donation is, the more women will be able to level-up their workplace style. Just one way you can help to #spreadtheshine!

2. Select the Right Type of Clothing

Think about the type of outfit you would wear to a job interview or your first day at a new job. Keep that in mind when you are choosing professional attire to donate to your charity of choice. This means that your old halter tops, ripped jeans and matric hoodie won’t make the cut, so stick to garments that are workplace appropriate. Some popular and sought-after choices include:

  • Smart pants and slacks
  • Two-piece suits
  • Blazers Shirts
  • Midi skirts
  • Sensible, heeled shoes
  • Neat, flat shoes/pumps
shine club wine donate clothes woman clothes rack

3. Check That Items are Clean and Intact

This should go without saying but if you are donating to a charity that deals in pre-loved professional attire, the clothing needs to be in good condition, as well as being clean. This means that you shouldn’t donate items that are very worn, tatty, broken or filled with holes as they would go down well in a job interview (or give the wearer that much-needed confidence boost).

4. Pack Your Bags Properly

So things got a little out of hand and now you have a literal mountain of clothing to donate? Amazing! But it’s important to organise them properly to make life easier for the hard-working staff and volunteers handling your generous donation. Pack similar items together and label each bag to give an indication of what’s inside, making it easier for storage and distribution.

Where To Take Your Clothing Donation

All packed up and ready to go? The next step is to choose your charity. There are several initiatives in SA that donate pre-worn clothing to help people boss-up their working lives. If you are in Cape Town, contact Dress for Success at If you are based in Jo’burg, Durban, Pretoria, East London or Port Elizabeth visit Harambee Youth Employment Accelerator at to locate your nearest drop-off point.

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