Charity shops

They seem to be noticeable by their absence. Where can one dispose of perfectly usable items?My wife has a fair few clothes to give away plus we have lots of books, jigsaws, etc in general the sort of stuff one would find in a charity shop in the UK?

You should not post sites such as this. If my wife had her way we would be overrun with such creatures, bless 'em.

If you are near Bergerac, there is an English animal charity called Phoenix that takes books.


Thanks for the reply. Just looked on the Emmaus site and the nearest one is 29km away! Hardly an incentive to donate. Need to keep the items to one side and make a specific trip.

Emmaüs is a good place to donate all sort of items, the income from the sale is used for housing, feeding and giving employment to people who have fallen on hard time ( alcohol, former prisoners, ) they have very good results in keeping people away from returning to bad habits.

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I don't know where you are but here in the Tarn lots of big white boxes have appeared with the word Relais written on the side. These are to donate your old clothes and shoes. You just put your things in them the same way as you do the recycling bins. Alternatively there is Emmaus which buy and sells all sorts of things for charity. Here is their website.

The last post on this thread was ages ago so I’m rather hoping that things might have changed!
Although I have been in France for quite a few years now, I have still not managed to find an outlet for the sorts of things that wouldgo to charity shops in the UK. That hasn’t been a real problem until now as I was making monthly brief trips to the UK in order to keep an eye on our business there. Now that the business has folded and Ihave (finally!) managed to sell my old house there, everything that was in the UK is now here, including things like desks from the office and all the normal stuff from a house. A lot of it is junk,of course, but quite a bit isn’t and I haveno intention of returning to the UK to dispose of it!

I noticed the other day that some sort of local body was selling second hand childrens’ clothes and they must have come from somewhere. Do churches and other institutions do things like jumble sales? I haven’t noticed any. The nearest Emmaus is quite a long way away.

I live in Manche - if anyone has any ideas at all (short of having a stall at a local vide-grenier - I can’t face it) I would be very grateful. What does everyone else do?

@ Angela - perhaps ask at your local Mairie as they should be able to advise on charity organizations willing to take pre-loved items.

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Surprised to hear this - there are several near us here in Brittany in addition to Emmaüs (which in fact itself has 2 shops in our nearest town) - eg. Ti Récup -

As well as charity shops there are a number of Depot Vente’s that allow you to sell your tat in their warehouses for a small commission.

These days there are also “bins” and containers at decheteries which take clothing, furniture, small electricals and the like.

Three suggestions (based on getting rid of stuff as opposed to ‘selling on’ stuff)

Suggestion 1. The Dechetterie system is usually excellent as you can (domestically) get rid of anything including,garden rubbish! You will be required to use the correct containers ‘Furniture’, Clothes, Electrical goods, etc., but it costs you nothing. If you don’t have trailer or use of one, then ;-

Suggestion 2 I am advised there are ‘triporters’ who will also collect and remove stuff at no charge. Good for things like books etc.

Suggestion 3 Look up House clearances in Le Bon Coin ( website) or offer stuff for sale in the free ads.

Making money? Hard, but a Vide Maison could work, but you would need to put signs up at good points, and be prepared to sit it out with time wasters to make very little (the same with Vides Greniers in my opinion)
You have already excluded Emmaus, which I would have added.

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We have local associations that do the french equivalent of jumble sales a few times a year, and happily accept donations. And one shop that is entraide sociale. Also look in pages jaunes for bric a brac, Association humanitaire, d’entraide sociale, Déchets ménagers, assimilés, collecte, recyclage, valorisation and other words like that.

We do have a local charitable Association which collects and stores almost everything you can think of. This is then given freely to folk in dire need, low incomes, asylum seekers, folk who have lost everything through fire (as an example)…

Some folk are glad to find a couple of rooms and if the Association can then help them with clothes/furnishings/whatever… they are over the moon…

In our village we have a very active assos’. We collect second hand clothes all year and then three times a year do a big ‘fripperie’ - great way to recycle clothing. I pass on all the kids clothes and often buy as well (have ended up with designer leather handbags and clothes as well!). All proceeds go to keeping the association alive which in turn gives life to our village! I would always choose to give closest to home.
ETA - we now rent a space where we run activities so there is even a small permanent stall.

As others have said there are often the big white bins for more ‘chain’ charity collections, I’ve seen them at bin areas, side of roads and in supermarket carparks!

Croix Rouge has charity shops in a lot of towns and villages and are always happy to take donations of clothes, shoes and house hold goods.
I work there as a volunteer now, we had a lot of immigrants coming to our area with only the clothes on their back. Managed to acquire furniture donations to set up their housing and enough clothes to see them trough a few months. They are now regulars at the ‘shop’, learning french, swapping stories, helping out…
Emmeaus is a wonderful organisation, we ‘donated’ the contents of our newly purchased house. Loads of furniture etc. left by the previous owners… Emmeaus came with 3 lorries and 8 helpers and cleared the lot.

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Here the moved theme all to the decheteries because some people were trying to steal from them

Has Emmeaus stopped coming and picking up stuff?

Sorry folks - I was out all day and only just caught up!

Thank you all so much for the ideas, many of which I’d not come across at all, so much appreciated. I am going into the Mairie anyway this week so will certainly ask for help there.

I’d heard of Le BonCoin but didn’t realise quite what it was, so that is useful too. I was hoping to find associations or the like which would take things for people without very much so you have encouraged me to look harder at find them. (You wouldn’t believe quite how many duvets I seem to have acquired over thepast 20 years or so…!)
The white bins at the dechetteries here are all sealed up at the moment so other outlets are a good idea. Emmaus doesn’t seem to collect in this area (and I’m a bit nervous about selling through depot ventes even though I love buying through them. Will have a word with themost local one though.)

You have given me a lot of encouragement and I am very grateful. I shall report back!

If you really are giving the duvets away and don’t mind how they get used, animal rescue places will always take them, especially coming into autumn / winter.