At SCR Group, being honest and transparent is a part of our core values. We invite the public to send through any questions they may have about us to firstname.lastname@example.org.
How did SCR Group start?
SCR Group purchased its first network of clothing bins in 2008 from the Brotherhood of St Laurence – a not-for-profit charity that sold the donated-clothes in its op shops as a source of revenue for its work. Like other charities, the Brotherhood was finding the management and up-keep of clothing bins had become too costly; and that much of the clothing donated to them was low-quality and difficult to sell. When the Brotherhood decided to sell its bin network, SCR Group pioneered a new way of managing the business of clothing collection, offering charities the quality items they wanted, and finding new markets overseas for everything else. It means people overseas can access low-cost clothes they need, and what can’t be re-worn is turned into wiper cloths, or converted to energy. Almost everything you contribute to an SCR Group clothing drop-off hub gets a second life. Read more about us.
So are you a charity or a business?
SCR Group is a registered Australian company. Through our social partnership business model, we work with charities and social enterprises to provide social benefits such as sustainable funding and employment, to support their charitable programs. Our business model is a first for our industry in Australia, and we’re proud of how we deliver positive environmental, social and economic outcomes through our work.
Does that mean you make a profit?
Yes. The nature of this industry is that charities and NGOs often struggle to be able to deliver on their mission – they simply don’t have the money. By operating this business self-sufficiently, we ensure that rather than using up valuable charity assistance funding we instead pay taxes and contribute ethically – as all businesses should.
How does the environment benefit?
There are many benefits to the environment! By choosing to drop-off your unwanted things with us, you are reducing waste to landfill and preserving valuable natural resources in our world. For every 1kg of cotton t-shirts diverted from landfill for reuse and recycling, you are saving 200Litres of water: enough energy to power a house-grade light bulb for 9 months. Read more about our impact.
How does the community benefit?
We provide work for disadvantaged people here and overseas, support for charities, and an environmentally responsible way for people to get rid of the clothes and homewares they no longer need. To service and maintain our drop-off hubs, we partner with Australian Disability Enterprises (ADEs), creating jobs for people with disabilities, who would otherwise have difficulty finding work. We’ve created hundreds of jobs for people with disabilities and young people at-risk, who might otherwise struggle to find ongoing work. Hundreds of people have found safe-ethical employment in our Australian-owned sorting facility in Malaysia. Through our charity partnerships, we’ve contributed $900,000 in social procurement and in support for their causes, and helped them raise awareness by providing advertising opportunities on our hubs. Our current charity partners include The Australian Red Cross, Save the Children, The Smith Family and Bully Zero Australia. All this is in addition to the resources we save by giving unwanted things a second life, and reducing the need for new things, protecting our environment. Read more about our impact.
Do you compete with charities for second-hand clothing?
We never compete with charities. In fact, we often partner with charities, providing all the leg-work behind the scenes, saving them on running costs, and providing them with first-pick on the goods donated, so they can sell them in their op shops.
Giving things a second life
What type of things can I take to your clothing drop-off hubs?
We can give a second life to your clothes and accessories, non-breakable homewares and toys.
What can I drop off to your hubs?
- All clothing
- Mobile Phones
- Grass clippings
- Tree branches
- Large stuffed toys
- Large speakers
Are you able to accept torn and worn materials?
Yes, we take items that are torn and worn. These things more often than not don’t meet the quality standards to be resold in op shops but they are still able to be reused. We give them a second life by turning them into something new: for example, often torn fabrics became industrial rags.
How much of what is collected is saved from going to landfill?
About 95% of what SCR Group collects is given a second life, instead of ending-up in landfill. 60% of these items are then reused, 30% are recycled and 10% is converted to energy.
How can I find a clothing drop-off hub or electrical drop-off hub near me?
Use our online clothing drop-off hub finder to locate your nearest site. Or call us, free 24 –hours a day, on 1300 687 261 and our staff will tell you where your nearest hub is located.
I accidentally forgot to take out valuables from my pockets before I put my old clothes in a clothing drop-off hub. Can I get these things back?
Unfortunately this can happen. Our advice is to check your items for any valuables that may be hidden inside. Also, keep your car keys away from your hands when opening and closing the lids on our clothing drop-off hubs. If you notice valuables that may have been dropped into one of our clothing drop-off hubs within 24 hours, there is a good chance you will be reunited with them. Our hubs are serviced frequently, so the earlier you call, the better. Please call us on 1300 687 261 (24-hours a day) as soon as you can, and we will do our best to return your valuables to you.
If I have larger household items that don’t fit in the clothing drop-off hubs, where can I drop these off?
We only accept items that fit inside our clothing drop-off hubs. It is an offence to leave anything (even if you think you’re doing the right thing) beside our hubs as it can pose a hazard to others and encourages looters.
Call your local council and ask if they participate in our Pop-Up Drive Thru Recycling Day program, where we do accept larger things. If they do, you will be able to drop off these unwanted items for free on an allocated Saturday in drive-thru style where you won’t have to lift a finger – our workers do all the work for you! Or you can check our directory for other organisations who might be able to help.
Is it ok to leave my items around the clothing drop-off hubs?
It’s never ok to leave anything around the clothing drop-off hubs. Under law, this is classified as illegal dumping and hefty fines apply. We take pride in keeping our drop-off hubs clean and tidy, and leaving things around them poses hazard to others trying to do the right thing. Most sites are under 24 hour surveillance and are serviced at all times of the day, so chances are, the people who do leave unwanted things around our hubs will be caught. If you see someone doing this, you can report it by calling 1300 EPA VIC (1300 372 842).
About Our Partners
What are Australian Disability Enterprises?
These are organisations set-up for two primary purposes.
- To provide paid jobs for people with disabilities who struggle to get work in the open job market
- To operate a sustainable business as a social enterprise (reinvesting its profits back into its mission)
There are more than 400 ADEs across Australia. We partner with 14 of them, providing ongoing work to more than 110 people.
If you are an ADE and want to partner with us, email us at email@example.com.
Why do you partner with ADEs?
Our partnerships with ADEs is part of our social partnership business model that provides local employment and funding to Australian social enterprises and charities for the benefit of local communities and economies.
The people employed through our partner ADEs love their work, and we see this as the main benefit to our partnerships: creating jobs for people who need them and enjoy the opportunity to work. Many tell us about the positive impact these jobs have had on their lives; both the regular income, and the pride of having work.
How ethical is your partner sorting facility in Malaysia in the employment of overseas workers?
Our partner Malaysian sorting facility uses a labour hire firm to ensure international ethical standards are met and adhered to so all workers are treated well, work in safe premises and are paid fairly. We also meet any religious and cultural needs of the employees through the provision of facilities such as prayer rooms.
How can my organisation partner with you?
About how it works
How often are the clothing drop-off hubs serviced?
We want to make it easy and safe for people to contribute their things to our hubs, so we have them serviced weekly, or if they are particularly busy, even daily, to keep them tidy and clean. People can call us free 24-hours a day on 1300 687 261, so we can respond quickly if we receive any reports of hubs that are full or if people have left things around the hubs illegally.
Where does everything go?
Some of what we collect is sold by charities across Australia, to help raise funds for their causes. But they find only about 5-10% of what people contribute is easily able to be resold. We take the remaining 90-95% of the clothes and homewares collected, and distribute it to people who need it overseas.
My company needs to report where the materials we contribute end up. Can you provide this?
Yes we have a quality management system in place linked to an ethical supply chain that is an auditable process that can track an item to its end market anywhere around the world.