Australians are sitting on $12.8 billion worth of pre-loved clothes that could be donated to charity 

Uber and Red Cross’ Clothing Drive is back.

The organisations are calling on Aussies to generously donate any unused clothing to support critical disaster responses and lifesaving humanitarian projects. 

On Saturday, 19 November, between 10am and 4pm local time in Sydney, Adelaide, Brisbane, Melbourne and Perth, Uber users can book an Uber Package trip to have their donated items delivered to their local Red Cross Shop free of charge.

New research commissioned by Uber, in partnership with the Australian Red Cross, has revealed the average Australian adult has 20 items of clothing that they haven’t worn in the past 12 months, worth an estimated value of $678.

The Cost of Giving Report reveals that as a nation, Australians are sitting on a goldmine of pre-loved clothes, worth an estimated value of $12.8 billion, which could be donated to raise valuable funds to support people and communities through disasters and crises. 

The research was conducted by Censuswide with 1000 consumers in Australia in October.

Richard Wood, Head of Retail at the Australian Red Cross, said that disasters are becoming more frequent and intense in Australia.

“It’s so important that we are ready to respond.

“By donating high quality, clean clothing and accessories via the Uber and Red Cross Clothing Drive, people in Australia can help Red Cross to support people and communities in vulnerable situations,” Mr Wood added.  

Almost two-thirds – 63 per cent – of Aussies say there are barriers to donating their clothes to charity, such as finding it emotionally challenging to part with their clothes, not being bothered to donate, or a lack of transport to op shops.

Aussies also have a tendency to put off delivering pre-loved items to ops shops, with the average Aussie holding onto those items for another 24 days – over 3 weeks – on average. 

Margarita Peker, Director of Rider Operations, Uber ANZ, said: “When we launched the Uber and Red Cross Clothing Drive prior to the pandemic, Aussies got behind the campaign wholeheartedly, with an incredible 43,500 kilos donated, worth an estimated $800,000.

“Following a challenging couple of years, we’re calling on Australians to get behind Red Cross humanitarian programs again, with a bolder ambition of donating 55,000 kilograms of quality clothing,” Ms Peker said.   

Furthermore, the Cost of Giving Report found that four in five Aussies – 82 per cent – agree that donating to a good cause makes them feel happy.

79 per cent agree that donating to worthwhile causes is now more important than ever.

Despite this, almost two-thirds (61 per cent) say they wish they donated to charity more. 

With the cost of living rising rapidly, almost two-thirds or 63 per cent of Aussies say they are likely to go clothes shopping in their local op shop in the near future.

We’re proud to be partnering with Red Cross again to remove some of the barriers preventing Aussies from donating for one day, making it easier than ever for them to donate quality clothing from their doorstep,” Ms Peker, Director of Rider Operations, Uber ANZ, said.

“By simply booking an Uber Package trip, Aussies can donate pre-loved items gathering dust in their wardrobe with a tap of a button.

“They can watch in real time as the delivery person transports them to temporary Red Cross drop-off locations,” Ms Peker added.

Here’s how to donate: 

1.    Shift it to thrift it: Be realistic with your wardrobe clear out – if you haven’t worn it in years, or if it doesn’t fit, but it’s still in great quality, shift it to thrift it.

Red Cross is looking for quality, saleable clothing and accessories in particular, but does not accept homewares, underwear, worn out and/ or dirty clothing. If it’s good enough quality to give to a friend, then it’s something Red Cross would love!.

2.    Package up the pre-love: Gather your pre-loved items into a bag or box, no heavier than 20kg, so it comfortably sits in the boot of a midsize car. 

3.    Push for pick up: Open the Uber app between 10:00 to 16:00 local time  on 19 November 2022, and navigate to the “Package” option. Click “Send a package”, enter “Red Cross Clothing Drive” as the destination, and select one of the “Red Cross Clothing Drive” locations shown. You may also see a banner in the app relating to the Clothing Drive, which, when clicked on, will allow you to select one of Red Cross Clothing Drive locations shown.  

Remember, you need to be located in Adelaide, Brisbane, Melbourne, Perth or Sydney to redeem the free delivery, and it is only redeemable once. Eligible customers will see a $0 amount payable when they book an Uber Package with the drop-off location set to one of the Red Cross Clothing Drive Drop off locations. 

4.    Donate from your doorstep: You’ll have real-time tracking of the delivery person’s arrival in the Uber app, so you can easily meet them at your doorstep or curbside to hand over your donation. You can also follow the trip status live once the delivery person picks it up and enjoy that feel-good buzz of donating as they transport it to Red Cross sorting centres.

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Ryan Fritz

Ryan Fritz started The Advocate in 2014 to provide not-for-profits and charities with another media platform to tell their worthwhile hard news stories and opinion pieces effortlessly. In 2020, Ryan formed a team of volunteer journalists to help spread even more high-quality stories from the third sector. He also has over 10 years of experience as a media and communications professional for not-for-profits and charities.

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