If your wardrobe is bursting open, the quiet, hot summer months are the perfect time to have a clear-out. And Ramadan is the perfect time to donate clothes to charity. You can also sell or swap – or even have a swishing party…

Basket of donated clothes

My friend recently held a Swish party (made famous in Sex and the City). A what, now? Swishing is defined as ‘rustling clothes from your friends’. So 12 of us got together and bartered for each other’s clothes. So much more fun than it first sounded!

I came away with a fine haul – a silver thumb ring, two maxi dresses, two winter coats, one jacket, three smart dresses, a T-shirt and a pair of new evening heels. I spent 100 AED on vouchers which I then used to bargain with those friends (hard) to get some of the items, and did straightforward ‘swishes’ for others. All while quaffing grape and munching some rather lovely cupcakes. Yes, some items need alteration or mending but the tailors are, after all, very affordable here in the Gulf.

If this sounds like too much effort – there are actually plenty of other ways to sell, recycle or donate. You may not be aware of all the places you can do this in the UAE…

  • TakemyjunkUAE.com – This amazing Ajman company will take almost anything at all from you from early to very late and to the exact time they promise you (based on my friends’ experience), so a great service if you’re clearing out and moving house. They’ll take and fix broken items too and items either go directly to, or the proceeds will benefit, the labor camps. Their service is free although they request donations for the journey and removal efforts. They might even pay you for good stuff.
  • Bras – Juliana Kagugube runs Bras4SocialCrime and takes old bras (200kg so far) and gives them to women in rural Uganda for whom owning even one bra is a privilege.
  • Donate at malls – During Ramadan the malls and some of the Ramadan tents at mosques open up recycling areas, mostly for clothes and books.
  • Flea market – The Dubai flea markets run all year round, at night in the summer, at day the rest of the year, in Safa Park, Uptown Mirdiff and Ibn Battuta, with a stall costing 250 – 270 AED.
  • Sell the good stuff – Sign up to sell your secondhand outfits at a My Ex Wardrobe pop-up event. If you have some high-end branded handbags, shoes or clothes, you could try selling them to Vintage Closet, Garderobe or Reem’s Closet. Then there’s always Dubizzle and Souq.com.
  • Donate to thrift shopsHoly Trinity Thrift Centre in Oud Metha, Dubai, or the Al Noor Charity Thrift Shop (04 397 9989) in Al Barsha, Dubai.
  • Recycling bins – you’ll often find a materials and clothes recycling bin near the glass, plastic, metal, cardboard and paper recycling units.

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