Where to Donate Clothing on the UWS

Now that the frosty days of winter are upon us, we’ve been hearing from many Upper West Siders wondering where to make clothing donations. Here is a comprehensive list of places that accept new and preloved clothing (some accept textiles and accessories).

Clothing Closet at the Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine

The Clothing Closet distributes clothing to people in need and provides appropriate outfits for individuals returning to the workforce. According to the site, it is currently accepting fall and winter clothing, in addition to underwear (new and in the package), sneakers, ties, and hygiene products.

Donations are accepted Monday-Friday from 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. The Community Cares office is located at 1047 Amsterdam Ave., directly opposite the guard booth adjacent to the cathedral (on the driveway between 111th and 112th streets). For more info, call (212) 316-7583 or visit this site.

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Ford Hall Food Pantry and Clothes Closet at Columbia University

Provides clothing and housewares to neighborhood families, homeless individuals and the elderly. Bring donations to Columbia University, Ford Hall, 616 W. 114th Street (between Broadway and Riverside). Open Monday, Wednesday and Thursday from 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. Call (212) 854-6310 or visit this page.

Housing Works

Housing Works’ thrift stores raise money to fight homelessness and AIDS. They welcome clothing and much more (refer to this webpage to find out what is accepted). Their UWS shops are located at:

  • 2569 Broadway (between 96th and 97th streets). Donations accepted during business hours: Monday-Saturday from 11am-7pm, and Sunday from 12-5pm. (212) 222-3550.
  • 306 Columbus Ave. (between 74th and 75th streets). Donations accepted Monday-Saturday from 11am-7pm, and Sunday 12-5pm. (212) 579-7566.

New York Cares Coat Drive

The 35th annual New York Cares Coat Drive runs through the end of February. There are two collection points on the West Side, according to the drop-off map. Check the map for updates.

    • Fire Department, Battalion 11, 145 W. 100th Street. Drop off coats any day between 8a-5p. Please ring bell or knock on door and wait for an employee. The department notes that if the staff is deployed in the community, you should return at a later time.
    • The New York Institute of Technology, 33 W. 60th Street (third floor). The drop box is near Room 321. Hours are 10a-5p Monday-Friday.

The Coat Drive also accepts online donations. And individuals and organizations can set up coat collection events or start their own fund-raisers. (212) 228-5000.

Saint Francis Thrift Store / Holy Name of Jesus – St. Gregory the Great Parish

This thrift store offers inexpensive clothing to the community and uses the proceeds to help provide programs and services. See the website to find out what is accepted.

202 W. 97th Street between Broadway and Amsterdam. Donations accepted during store hours: Wednesday-Sunday, 11 a.m – 6 p.m. For more info call (212) 749-0276 or visit this site.

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Stop ’N’ Swap

Free events organized by GrowNYC where people can find new homes for clothes (as well as books, shoes, toys, housewares) or take items they can use. See the website to find out if one is being held in your area. If not, host your own (for info, email swap@grownyc,org; call (212) 788-7900, ext: 291; or refer to this DIY guide).

Swappable items: Clean, reusable, portable items such as clothing, housewares, electronics, books, and toys.

Unique Boutique

The proceeds from this thrift store benefit Saints Union Deliverance Church, a Pentecostal religious institution in Jamaica, Queens. The Upper West Side location can be found at 487 Columbus Avenue (between 83rd and 84th streets). Donations are accepted every day from 11 a.m. – 8 p.m. Learn more by calling (212) 362-8877.

Wearable Collections at Greenmarkets

Wearable Collections aims to recover usable clothing for distribution to second-hand markets. Material that is not suitable for reuse goes to recycling markets for use as wiping rags or shredded for products such as insulation.

Accepted: Clean and dry clothing, paired shoes, linens, handbags, belts, and other reusable textiles.

Not accepted: fabric rolls or scraps of any size, rugs, carpeting, pillows, comforters or luggage.

There are two UWS locations that accept donations (on Sundays from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.):

  • Columbus Avenue Greenmarket between 77th and 81st streets.
  • Columbia University Greenmarket: Broadway between 114th and 116th streets.

Learn more at grownyc.org/clothing

In cases of severe weather, markets may close early or be cancelled. For updates, check grownyc.org/blog/schedule-changes.

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ALSO CHECK OUT: 

DonateNYC

This NYC site has a searchable, citywide directory of thrift stores and charities, as well as private businesses that accept donations.

refashionNYC

Refashion partners with Housing Works and the city to provide a donation and recycling service to residential buildings with more than 10 units, office buildings, commercial enterprises, schools and nonprofits. Bins are installed at your location to collect clothing, including ripped or damaged garments; household textiles such as linens and clean rags; and accessories such as shoes, hats, purses, scarves, belts and gloves. The items are either reused or sold for reprocessing. Submit an application to enroll your building.

Retail Take-back Programs

Various stores accept donations of clothing, from Eileen Fisher and Zara to H&M and Patagonia. See this map that shows participating locations, and check their sites for specifics.

Many stores accept only clothing made by their own brand. But Madewell, for one, has a more expansive recycling program. The stores (the UWS branch is at 211-217 Columbus Ave.) accept denim clothing from any brand, and for every pair of denim jeans you bring in, you’ll get a $20 voucher for full-price denim at the store. Donated denim is either resold on the Madewell Forever site or turned into housing insulation.

Madewell also accepts donations by mail of women’s clothing, handbags, shoes and accessories (any brand). For each pair of jeans, you’ll get a $20 credit, and shopping credit for other clothing that sells within a certain timeframe. Learn more here.


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