Do­ing good

This Malaysian so­cial en­ter­prise sells sec­ond hand clothes and chan­nels the pro­ceeds to causes that cre­ate value.

The Star Malaysia - Star2 - - Trends - By BERVIN CHEONG star2@thes­tar.com.my

RE­CY­CLING or do­nat­ing your un­wanted clothes may not be the ul­ti­mate so­lu­tion for our earth’s long list of en­vi­ron­men­tal is­sues, but it cer­tainly does play a part in help­ing.

Re­cy­clothes, an on­line fash­ion bou­tique based in Malaysia, is tak­ing the act of do­ing good a step fur­ther. It sells sec­ond hand women’s clothes and uses the money raised to give back to so­ci­ety.

Ac­cord­ing to co-founder Re­bekah Yeoh, most peo­ple give their clothes away blindly, or rather, “dump” them with dif­fer­ent char­i­ties just to make room in their wardrobes for new clothes.

What Re­cy­clothes does is act as an in­ter­me­di­ate by fil­ter­ing those clothes – wash­ing them, ex­er­cis­ing qual­ity con­trol and sell­ing the ones that are mar­ketable. The money is then chan­nelled to causes that cre­ate value.

“From col­lect­ing the clothes to dis­sem­i­nat­ing pro­ceeds raised, we ex­er­cise del­i­cate care in cu­rat­ing the sec­ond hand clothes to be sold. We are also sell­ing them at very af­ford­able prices,” she points out.

One of the ben­e­fi­cia­ries so far is Dig­nity For Chil­dren, a foun­da­tion based in Sen­tul that works to­wards pro­vid­ing un­der­priv­i­leged chil­dren long term qual­ity ed­u­ca­tion and care in a se­cure en­vi­ron­ment.

In this case, the money raised by Re­cy­clothes is “re­cy­cled” into buy­ing brand new uni­forms for ill-fi­nanced kids whose fam­i­lies can­not af­ford to pay for uni­form re­place­ments.

“We be­lieve ev­ery small ac­tion does make a dif­fer­ence and there are count­less ways we call chal­lenge our­selves to make con­scious choices, lead­ing to more eth­i­cal and re­spon­si­ble fash­ion choices,” states Re­bekah’s sis­ter, Ruth.

Re­bekah and Ruth, to­gether with their friends Melissa Yang and Yi Ping Teo, are not only the founders of Re­cy­clothes, they also form the back­bone of the day-to­day op­er­a­tions team.

“We run the op­er­a­tions – wash­ing, in­spec­tion, fine-tun­ing, lo­gis­tics, pack­ag­ing and de­liv­ery. Our team also runs events, mar­kets the clothes our­selves and of­fers new items on the web­site as fre­quently as we can,” ex­plains Re­bekah.

Mov­ing for­ward, Re­cy­clothes aims to make it pos­si­ble for both donors and cus­tomers to pick spe­cific ben­e­fi­cia­ries. This will then al­low them to sup­port causes they hold close to their hearts.

“There are also plans to ex­pand our range to in­clude men, chil­dren, shoes, ac­ces­sories and even home ware. We have had good feed­back from the public. Our cus­tomers be­lieve in what we are do­ing as re­spon­si­ble cit­i­zens,” adds Ruth.

Those who are in­ter­ested to do­nate sec­ond hand clothes can con­tact Re­cy­clothes via Face­book (re­cy­clothes­group) or through email. For more in­for­ma­tion, visit re­cy­clothes­group.com.

— Re­cy­clothes

Re­cy­clothes is a not-for-profit en­tity with a mis­sion, to raise aware­ness on sus­tain­able fash­ion and fund­ing good causes.

The founders (L-R: Ruth, Yang, Yi and Re­bekah) be­lieve in pro­mot­ing the idea of ‘fash­ion with a con­science’.

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