Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Old Clothes for Good Causes

Every now and then, ever so slowly, I am starting to clear things out for my move to Australia in... oh my... less than four months. I have to confess, I'm a hoarder with way too many clothes! There is a lot of work to get done in those four months.

One reason I am a hoarder is that I hate to throw out things that are still, or could be again, functional. I love buying new things, but hate throwing out the old. Well that's all got to change.

I've been separating my clothes into two lots. Lot 1 - the I still wear or can't bear to part with, and Lot 2 - has to go somewhere. It's the "where" that I haven't decided yet. Some I would love to remake, but know I don't have the time before I leave. I've talked about it before, but it's not as easy to donate clothes (or anything for that matter) to charity in Japan. Clothes get bundles and go out on recycling day. I like to think they they then go to charity, but am not so sure.

Today however, I have found one charity for items that I never thought of giving away before - pre-loved bras. Before moving to Japan, bras were one thing I really stocked up on, knowing that hell would freeze over before I could buy one here in my size. I know have many that, well... um.... no longer fit.

Uplift is a charity organisation that ships pre-loved bras to Fuji for women in need over there.

They say;

Disadvantaged Fijians get much of their
clothing from second hand Australian clothes shops. Bras are rare in these
shops, particularly in sizes to suit the indigenous Fijian build. A new bra
costs $40, and wages range from $1.50- $4.50/hour, for the indigenous people who have jobs.
In heat and humidity, rashes, fungal/thrush infections and
abscesses (intertrigo) occur between the breast and the chest wall. Bras will
help by allowing air circulation. Nursing mums everywhere leak, and bras allow
the dignity of a dry shirt, and the comfort of support. A thrush rash on a
mother's skin may spread to her baby's mouth, and then back into the breast
itself, a very painful infection. In some regions the lack of a bra is a badge
of poverty, and women appreciate the common dignity of wearing one, particularly
to church, business or social occasions.


If you're in Australia or New Zealand, there are many postal or drop off points. As I'm already posting internationally, I'm sending directly to Fiji.


I now have to decide what to do with the rest of my clothing that I'm not taking back. A decent portion of it is good work clothes. I read of an organisation once that helped support disadvantaged women returning to the workforce. Does anyone have any suggestions?

8 comments:

nanboring said...

I know how you feel about not being able to donate clothes here. I have been looking for some place for years and have just about given up. I usually take the old stuff to the US and donate it there (then buy more new stuff and bring it home...solving none of my space issues).

BTW I've been reading your blog for a few months and as a crafty person living in Japan, I really enjoy it.

A Spoonful Of Sugar said...

Thanks for the info on Uplift and the plight of the Fijian women. Such a worthwhile cause.

Jenny said...

This is sure a worthwhile cause. One of the parents in our school community organised the exact same thing at our school and the response was excellent. Good luck with all the sorting!

CurlyPops said...

Hi Melanie
There is a place in Melbourne called Fitted for Work.
http://www.fittedforwork.org/
I'm not sure if you wanted to send things all that way or not.
We have a local lady in my suburb collecting bras for Uplift Fiji which is fantastic. I really need to clean out my drawer and donate some...thanks for the reminder!

Tamakikat said...

I'll take them:) I can give them to me LOL (-that's if you don't mind) and if they don't fit there are charity boxes at the Kyoto YWCA.

Hoppo Bumpo said...

Thanks for the link to Uplift. What a wonderful idea!

Anonymous said...

Hi, I know what you mean about throwing away clothes that are still in wearable condition. This might help you http://www.two-hands.net/shop/31.html It is a 2nd hand clothes shop. I usually go to the one in Imaike, Nagoya but I noticed they have one in Gifu city as well. You can take your old clothes there and they will actually buy them from you (I took a huge bag of clothes and got 1000 yen). I was just happy to get rid of them regardless of the money, and happy to see them be reused. Actually, they sell the clothes again at the shop for 300 or 500 yen. Check the website. If you have any questions let me know.

Fuji Mama said...

What an awesome organization! Thanks for letting us know! I hear ya, getting rid of clothes in Japan can be near impossible. SO frustrating!

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