Donating Business Clothing

Parent Q&A

  • I would like to donate some very nice and very lightly used women's clothing. The items are mostly professional. Ideally, they would go to a battered women's shelter or an organization that helps low-income women prepare for the workforce or something like that. I know of the many non-profit thrift stores in the area, but I am looking for an option where the items go directly to those in need. I also use Freecycle, but this is a rather different circumstance, though Freecycle will be my default if I cannot find an appropriate venue for their donation. Thanks for your suggestions.

    Beyond Emancipation accepts professional clothes to support young people transitioning out of the foster care system.

    I'd like to recommend the White Pony Express Free General Store. They only take donations of clothing in very good condition--the standard is "Is this of a quality you would give to a friend or your own children?" They distribute clothing and other items throughout Contra Costa County in Mobile Boutiques "where a crew of dozens of volunteers create a special store-like shopping experience right in the heart of the communities most in need."  Interview and work attire is a priority, and they also have a Cold Weather Clothing Program. More info:

    Oakland Elizabeth House is a wonderful charity that provides housing and assistance to women who have experienced homelessness, violence and drug addiction.  

Parent Reviews

The Alameda Food Bank (in the city of Alameda) takes small donations of food.

I think there are organizations that help homeless and low-income women with professional clothing. Not sure about the details though. If you don't find one, Out of the Closet is a good place to donate. Also some chapters of the International Rescue Committee accept clothing donations. I don't know if the Oakland office does or not.

Opened packages of diapers and car seats you can probably give away on Freecycle. 

There is an AMAZING recycling center in El Cerrito. They take textiles, among many other things (plastic bags and bubble wrap! electronics!). Check them out:


Thank you for doing things responsibly! Here's what I've learned in our recent purge: 1) If the food's expiration date is at least 3 months away, you can drop it off at an Alameda County Food Bank collection point - Berkeley Bowl and other locations have permanent barrels out where you can leave donations. (Side tip: That's what I do with our earthquake kit supplies when I rotate them out.) See list of locations here: If the expiration date is coming up, I've had good luck giving things away on BPN/Craigslist/Freecycle/Buy Nothing Facebook group. 2) The IRC helps re-settle refugees and can usually use professional clothes - their space is limited, though, so they don't take other clothing. More info here: I'll bet someone else on this list knows a church or other organization helping local refugee families that could use clothing. 3) Outdated textbooks are pretty much just recycling - hopefully someone will have a better idea, but that's my experience sorting book donations for the library. You can also leave books at the re-use area at the El Cerrito recycling facility. 4) Opened diapers/used car seats are probably a good choice for Freecycle/etc., unless someplace like Bananas wants them. 5) You can take worn-out textiles to any H&M store for recycling: Good luck with the move!

Archived Q&A and Reviews

​August 2012

I would like to donate my business wardrobe to an organization that helps battered women. Any recommendations? Time to clean the closet

Check out Wardrobe for Opportunity: R.K.

October 2006

I would like to donate some business clothes to a women's charitable organization for single working moms or women who are in need that are starting out or getting their life together. Thanks! Anon

Wardrobe for Opportunity in Oakland provides employment preparation such as resume workshops, interview coaching, job search assistance, as well as clothing for interviewing and working. ''Clothing and career support to low-income job seekers in the Bay Area.'' 570 14th Street, Suite 5, Oakland, CA 94612 | ph. 510.463.4100 | fax 510.452.4502 Through my work I've met lots of people who got jobs with their help. They're great! Stacie

I need to donate my business clothing as well. I contacted Dress for Success in San Francsisco. (Take a look at their website). Their next drop-off is from 10AM - 12 Noon on Saturday Nov. 18 at the Old St. Mary's Church 660 California Street (at Grant) San Francisco, CA 94108. They require all donations to be in excellent condition, clean and pressed on hangers. Erika

There is an organization in the Bay Area called Wardrobe for Opportunity. It is a volunteer-based, nonprofit organization that provides professional clothing and career support to low- income jobseekers in the Bay Area so they can secure employment and become economically self-sufficient. See their website at

You can donate women's (and men's) business clothing to a nonprofit ''Wardrobe for Opportunity'' It's an amazing organization that really helps people who are trying to get into the workforce.

Wardrobe for Opportunity a nonprofit org. in Oakland and Walnut Creek, provides business clothing to low-income job seekers. Qualified clients visit their ''showroom'', set up like a store, and meet with a volunteer wardrobe advisor who helps select appropriate outfits for interviews and work. Clothing, shoes and accessories are free. See their website at

June 2005

I and others I know have professional men's clothing to donate and I cannot find a men's equivalent of the non-profit Dress for Success (see ) Does anyone know where I can donate men's business clothing? Stephen

Try Wardrobe for Opportunity. Their Oakland branch serves both men and women. Check them out at Good luck. anon

Wardrobe for Opportunity'' in Oakland is starting a Men's program soon and may be happy to hear from you. the address is 570 14th st. Oakland CA 94612, Suite 4, 2nd floor. The number is 510-463-4100 Robert

Try BOSS (Building Opportunities for Self-Sufficency), 510-649-1930. I know they used to accept those items. R.K.

September 2001

I took the opportunity of the long weekend to do a little closet purging -- all those things that, quite honestly, after two kids, will NEVER fit this body again. Among the things that need to find a new home are some very nice, classic style, women's suits.... I was thinking that I'd like to give these to some sort of women's 'support' group, but I'm not sure how to go about finding them?? Any suggestions?? Thanks! Leslie

I have heard nothing but good things about Wardrobe for Opportunity ( ), which has a number of convenient drop off sites around the Bay Area. They specifically take business clothing for low income women to help them back into the work force with clothing that helps them be confident in the business world. Claire

Both Elizabeth House in Oakland and San Leandro Women's Shelter accept (and greatly appreciate!) Women's business clothing. Many of the women in these houses come to them with nothing but the clothes on their back (some escaping from abusive situations) and really need clothes to go to work in. Both shelters also provide job training and interview skills training and prep, but the clients do need clothes! Cathy

Try an organization called Wardrobe for Opportunity. Their website is Lizette

Donating Women's Business Clothes- You should check with the Women's Refuge. In the past I know they needed women's business clothes for clients for job interviews. Their phone number is: 547-4663. Lori

I've donated business clothing to Wardrobe for Opportunity, a non-profit organization that helps low-income women successfully transition into the workforce. For more info, see: - Lisa

Wardrobe for Opportunity accepts donations of womens' business clothing and accessories for low-income women who ae seeking employment. They're a wonderful organization and provide a wide range of services for their clients. Donations can be dropped off in Oakland and Walnut Creek; for complete information, visit their website at or call them at 925-935-2146. Lee

If you live near Broadway Plaza (or frequent there) in Walnut Creek, they have an Information Office on the back side of the mall, along the promenade, by Macy's. In there, they take women's business clothes (suits, shoes, etc ...) and donate them to a program which helps women on welfare get jobs in the business world. The women can come in and try on business suits for their new jobs. Wish I could remember the name of the program, but it is a well known one! Trish

Wardrobe for Opportunity is a non-profit organization that helps low-income women successfully transition into the workforce. Their goal is to help low-income women in Contra Costa and Alameda Counties improve their image and self-esteem by providing them with quality business clothing appropriate for job interviews and the professional workplace as well as career development support. Information is at . They are very selective as to what they will take, and you must drop off, but it's a good organization that is providing an important service to low income women. Jane

Wardrobe for Opportunity accepts women's business attire at the following drop-off locations. They ask that you bring them clean and on hangers. Broadway Plaza Concierge Desk (outside next to Yogurt Park) in Walnut Creek. 10am-5pm Seven days. J. Malnick, 3751 East 14th Street, Oakland. Monday-Saturday 10am-6pm. Union Bank of CA, 617 San Ramon Valley Blvd. in Danville. Monday-Wednesday 8-8, Thuresday &.Friday 9-5. Cal Fed Bank, 3614 Mt. Diablo Blvd. Lafayette. Monday-Friday 10-5, Saturday 10-1. I recently dropped off some clothes at Broadway Plaza and it was convenient and easy. Laura

The city of Oakland has two programs that would benefit from a donation of women's professional attire. ASSETS Senior Employment Opportunities gives women 55 and older the training and resources to re-enter the job market or expand existing skills. The Oakland Welfare-to-Work program assists families in getting off of welfare and into the job market. Please bring items to the Dalziel Building 4th floor, 150 Frank H. Ogawa Plaza at the corner of 14th and Broadway in Oakland. For more information about ASSETS please call Brendalynn Goodall at 238-6137, for information about Oakland's Welfare-to-Work prgrams contact Edna Davis at 239-3646. t j

I donate women's business clothing to Wardrobe for Opportunity which even has a website - -- and lots of drop-off options. Paula

Your idea is contact a shelter or women's rehabilitation/transition organization like A Safe Place. They, like other similar organizations, are usually receptive to these types of donations. Good Luck! Rue