Donate, Trade & Exchange

Happy clothes swapper at a Big Aussie Swap © Zo Zhou

There are many ways to donate, trade and exchange - to give your unwanted stuff a new home, or to get new stuff that doesn't cost the earth. Examples include community recycling programs, charity op shops, swap parties and online exchange services.

Environmental Benefits of Donating, Trading & Exchanging

By passing your unwanted items on to others, you're diverting materials from landfill and allowing them to be reused. By reusing or sharing a product rather than buying a new one, you're reducing the demand for water, energy and raw materials. Reusing items protects our environment by conserving valuable resources and reducing overall consumption, waste and greenhouse gas emissions.

Here is a summary of different ways you can donate, trade and exchange second-hand items, along with a few examples.

Donating and Exchanging


  • Charity op shops can resell your unwanted items, with the profits going towards the charity's aims. Search for a charity near you. Remember to ask them what types of items they accept.
  • FittedForWork and Dress For Success are both clothing re-use programs that support disadvantaged women returning to the workforce.
  • Services like Freecycle, Zillch and ReuseMoose act not only as a forum to give away items you don't want but also to find second-hand items that you want.
  • Yours2Take- don’t throw it away, give it away to someone who can use it! This free site allows users who want to give items away to link up with someone who wants to take the unwanted items.
  • For international clothes swapping with 'designer brands' online, visit

Re-Use and Recycling Events

Events are a fun way to reduce, reuse or recycle. They help to get people motivated together, have a good time and meet other people in their community. Recycling and re-use events can be held between a group of friends or work colleagues, schools or neighbourhood areas.


  • Swap Parties
    Hold a party with a group of friends, at your work or publicly to swap certain items - from clothes to toys, DVDs to sports equipment. Planet Ark's Swap Guide makes it easy to host your own party. Visit the Swap Party Guide page for more information.
  • Swishing
    Public clothing & accessories swap parties are a great place to pick up fancy frock for free! Visit
  • Second Hand Saturday
    Neighbourhood-wide garage sales organised for the same day, often arranged by the local council. Why not arrange one for your street?
  • No Waste Wednesday
    A day at work or school where you all minimize the waste you discard from lunch. Bring re-usable containers and recycle cans and bottles!
  • Workplace or Community Recycling Collections
    Hold a collection for corks, mobile phones, batteries, eye glasses or other items that can be recycled. Check out to find a list of items you can recycle and where you can drop them off.
  • Compacting
    Set yourself a challenge with some friends not to buy anything new for a certain period. Check out

Recycling & Refurbishment Options

For larger, bulkier or unusual items there are a range of ways to ensure re-use. Furniture can be donated to charities or re-use centres, or sold to second hand furniture stores. Items such as floor tiles, material offcuts, stage props and industrial products are often valuable to community arts projects or renovators.


  • Charity op shops and 'tip shops' are widespread. Search for organisations near you.
  • The Bower (NSW) - Provides a referral service for finding new owners for unusual or bulky items. Also refurbishes donated items for re-use.
  • Reverse Garbage (NSW) is a re-use centre that sells industrial discards to the public for creative and practical projects, reducing the waste going to landfill.
  • Bike workshops eg. The Cycle Re-Cycle Club (aka The Nunnery) in Sydney and the BikeShed in Melbourne provide tool lending and assistance with refurbishing old bikes. 

Community Trading and Sharing Services


  • LETS (Local Energy Trading Systems) - alternative trading networks made up of individuals who trade goods and services within their community.
  • Car sharing - there are many businesses organising car sharing in cities, such as GoGet and GreenCarShare 
  • Ride sharing can be arranged through websites like, or
  • helps small to medium businesses to grow by facilitating a trade and exchange network.

Buying and Selling

There are many easy options to buy and sell your pre-loved goods from a local to wider level. Listings can be placed in your local classifieds or in a plethora of commercial or community websites.


  • The Trading Post facilitates buy, selling and trading for new and used products as a paper and website (
  • is a network and listings site available for many cities in Australia.
  • eBay is an online auction and vendor marketplace for local or global purchases.