Where to bring used clothes: the OSF Collection Centre in Milan.

IMPORTANTE: al momento il Centro Raccolta di OSF accetta e ritira solo ed esclusivamente abbigliamento maschile.

Lots of people like to donate used clothes: some get rid of garments when the season changes, others unfortunately find that they have to remove the memories attached to the clothes of loved ones who have passed on. Lots of donors come to the Opera San Francesco Clothes Collection Centre every day, as many as a hundred in some periods of the year.

Opera San Francesco has a used clothes collection centre in Milan open Monday to Friday from 9:00 to 12:30 and from 14:00 to 17:30. Those who come to see us have decided to make the generous gesture of giving clothes to the poor. Donors are always greeted by an Opera San Francesco volunteer specially trained for this delicate role. In fact, it is often difficult to make this choice. Some are looking to get rid of something they don’t need or wear anymore, which takes up space at home. However, for others it is difficult to give away clothes that once belonged to a loved one. This is why all visitors are treated with the greatest of respect.

The path of an item of clothing: what happens to things OSF receives.

All clothes that arrive at the Collection Centre undergo various processes at the hands of our volunteers. During Covid times, the first step is sanitisation. After this, they check whether the garment is suitable. It must be clean and in good condition. Just like we would never wear a dirty or shabby garment, neither should we think that somebody in need would want to either. They must receive something dignified that they like.

If the garment passes this first step, it is then measured and sorted according to size and, if it needs a few touch-ups, is passed onto volunteer dressmakers who can attach a few buttons, repair broken stitching and carry out little jobs of this type. What is carried out just before it is stored in the warehouse is perhaps the most important step: its digital registration. In fact, by cataloguing everything it receives, the Collection Centre can easily interact with the Wardrobe Service.

Clothes that have been accepted and stored will then be taken to the Wardrobe Service when that particular type of garment is in short supply.

The possibility of choosing what to wear

When a shirt, a pair of trousers, a suit, a coat or a jumper finally arrive at the Wardrobe Service of Opera San Francesco, it is available to all users of this service. Often the men that arrive here (there is no female wardrobe) have just had a shower at the adjacent service and complete the “process” by choosing a change of clothes from top to toe. Guests can use this service once every 4 weeks and are helped by a volunteer, who suggests different solutions to meet their needs. Even if they are poor and disadvantaged, these people have a right to choose what they will wear.

A long chain of assistance, therefore, which begins with the generous gesture of the donor and continues with the work of the volunteers before coming to the guest of Opera San Francesco.

All materials not distributed by the services of Opera San Francesco per i Poveri or the organisations it collaborates with are collected by two companies involved in the wholesale trading of used clothes. In this way, the donations received are in any case put to good use and enable OSF to purchase clothes, underwear and new shoes to distribute to those who need them.

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