Every day, hundreds of damaged and soiled items are making their way to charities. And every year, charities spend millions of dollars disposing of these unusable donations.

Personal stylist Anna Mabin helps to sort through garments and identify the most suitable donations. After working in events and beauty therapy for 10 years and a stint in Central Queensland working alongside her dad, Anna returned to Brisbane hoping to find a dream job that would include fashion and working with people.

While studying Advanced Styling, Anna worked full time in events and communications and began to grow her own business, Anna Mabin Styling. But she felt a calling to do something for the community in Central Queensland as well.

“I can’t make it rain for the farmers, but I thought perhaps I could do something that would bring a smile to the face of women who are budgeting carefully to afford essentials for their families, and maybe haven’t had the luxury of a new outfit for themselves in a while,” she said.

Personal stylist Anna Mabin (left) and her donated wardrobe (right).

Personal stylist Anna Mabin (left) and her donated wardrobe (right).

If you look at donating to charity as a way to get rid of your old junk, stop and think about who might benefit from the donation. Anna has been collecting preloved clothes from the wardrobes of her clients in a bid to create new and exciting outfits for women in areas affected by drought.

When spring cleaning rolls around, if your donation falls into one of these categories, it might be time to reconsider. Here are the things charities wish you would stop donating:

Unwearable Clothes

Unless your holey shirts and jeans came from the latest Yeezy Season 3 collection, they are not suitable for donation. Every donated piece of clothing is inspected and more often than not, the garments have to be cleaned or disposed of as they are deemed unwearable. Would you give a friend a t-shirt that wasn’t clean?

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Medical Equipment

We know your heart is in the right place, but no one wants your expired paracetamol or used creams and ointments. These items need to go straight to the throw away pile!

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Damaged Goods

Whether it’s a scratched DVD, a broken vacuum or a teapot missing a spout, there’s a very simple rule of thumb: if you wouldn’t gift these items to someone you know, charities cannot sell them. Disposing of these damaged goods can create more work for the volunteers sorting through the donations.

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50 Shades of Grey

As much as they appreciate your donations, charities have so many copies of the EL James novel that they can build their own paperback fort!

50 Shades of Grey

Via Goldstone Books

Lingerie

More than likely donated along with each copy of 50 Shades of Grey, used lingerie has had its day. Everyone has the right to feel special in something a little racy, but if you no longer want to wear it, chances are no one else will want to either. Especially if there are suspicious stains.

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Mismatched Shoes

Shoes are welcome! Especially if they’re in good condition. But when you’re doing that mass wardrobe cull, remember to keep your pairs together. Once a shoe loses its friend, it is no longer a pair.

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The clothes Anna Mabin has collected will be sold in Ilfracombe’s Pre-Loved Clothing Boutique, just in time for the Ilfracombe Picnic Races on July 9. All money raised will go to non-profit organisation, Drought Angels.

For more information, go to annamabinstyling.com.au/drought-support. Drought Angels are unable to accept clothing donations, however cash donations can be made here.

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