June 13th, 2023
GIVIT’s platform helps meet societal needs in an environmentally sustainable way, connecting good quality household items with vulnerable communities.
To date, GIVIT have facilitated the donation of eight million essential items to communities and people in need.
The GIVIT platform works with around 4,500 support organisations to execute its mission.
Across Australia there are vulnerable communities and people devoid of basic household items due to factors including natural disasters, increasing costs of living and other hardships.
In response to this situation, Aussie not-for-profit GIVIT has developed a method to help meet the needs of these communities in an environmentally sustainable and circular way. They identified the opportunity to move away from the concept of donating clothes and household items by ‘getting rid’ of them to charity shops and instead use people’s goodwill and best intentions to ensure the donation of items people need, when and where they are needed.
We spoke with Kate Fisher, PR and Communications Manager at GIVIT, about how they are using their platform to move towards a just, equitable and circular economy.
“GIVIT is a national not-for-profit donation platform that facilitates the donation of essential items to people in need. We work with more than 4,500 support organisations to ensure people get what they need when they need it most – whether recovering from an emergency event or experiencing hardship due to domestic and family violence, homelessness, disability and mental health.
“GIVIT is a perfect example of the circular economy in action – a person has a quality item they no longer want or need and the GIVIT platform matches that item with a person who needs it – thus keeping stuff out of the waste stream and simultaneously filling the social need.”
“GIVIT’s vision is to meet society’s needs in an environmentally sustainable way. We know that many Australians are experiencing compounding issues; escalating rates of domestic and family violence, high rates of economic insecurity and financial hardship because of the rising cost of living. GIVIT provides a sustainable way of helping fellow Australians by diverting usable goods from the waste stream and into the hands of the people that need them.
We hope to inspire individuals to think more consciously about the items they own and consider the life cycle of a product when they purchase it. We also understand that it is important reputationally for many businesses, especially in the retail space, to have a transparent end-of-life plan for their unused stock. GIVIT provides that solution.
“GIVIT is here to bridge the gap between the demand and excess of items in the most sustainable ways possible, and we do this in three different ways:
For individuals - by diverting pre-loved items from the waste stream to give to those in need through GIVIT.org.au.
For councils and local governments - by collaborating on their bulky waste or kerbside collection programs to divert those resources directly into the hands of vulnerable Aussies.
For corporate organisations - by diverting slow-moving or obsolete stock from the waste stream to people in need.
Through givit.org.au people can choose to either give items if they have them, or directly fund those items to be purchased."
“We have partnered with the ACT Government and Suez Bulky Waste Collection initiative, meaning ACT residents can book bulky waste collections in their suburb and all quality items collected are sorted and offered to GIVIT registered charities. A Bike Library was also established in 2019 to offer disadvantaged people the opportunity to have free and easy access to transport on the city fringes."
“While we try and maximise the opportunity that we have created, our biggest challenge remains the logistics of transporting donations to requesting charities. GIVIT could divert many more items from landfill if we could transport them easily to the requesting charity and then on to the recipient on behalf of the charity.
Most of our partner charities are small and under-resourced and not able to collect items, particularly bulky items such as white goods or large furniture. We don’t handle or store any donations and don’t have transport options available to us. Unless the donor is willing to deliver the item themselves, we are often unable to re-home them.”
“To date, GIVIT has facilitated the donation of eight million essential items to people in need. In the past 12 months alone, we have facilitated the donation of almost four million items.
“Since the roll-out of the partnership with the ACT Government and Suez Bulky Waste Collection initiative commenced, GIVIT has re-homed hundreds of items – in particular, large volumes of bikes restored by a local community group and made available through the GIVIT Bike Library.
“Hanes has been a corporate partner of GIVIT since 2017. Since this time, they have diverted over 1.5 million items to GIVIT to support people in need, including 77,000 items for people impacted by floods in parts of Queensland and New South Wales in 2022. Some of this stock includes Sheridan bed linen, Bonds clothes and underwear. In 2021, 22,000 items of Sheridan stock were distributed to remote First Nations communities including bed linen, towels and loungewear through one of our charity partners.
“Some of these communities are many hours away from the nearest shop and many families sleep on a mattress on the floor. The impact of donations like these on communities cannot be underestimated. Everyone wins when these items are kept out of landfill and go to communities that desperately need these everyday comforts that we all take for granted.”
“Go to GIVIT.org.au to match reusable household items with people in need.”