Hong Kong charity Crossroads Foundation has recently launched an upcycling phone app and complementary online platform GoodCity, which allow users to donate and request unwanted goods. The app, funded by the Hong Kong Jockey Charities Trust, will make it much faster for Hong Kongers to rehouse and redistribute their preloved items.
Crossroads Foundation is an NGO based in Hong Kong that collects and redistributes quality excess and second hand items to those in need within the city and around the world. Crossroads also supports local employment through their social enterprise cafe/store and run interactive experience programmes to educate Hong Kongers about global issues, including their popular Global X-perience Simulations during which participants can experience 24 hours of life as a refugee. Their work not only supports under-resourced communities, but also helps to tackle Hong Kong’s monumental waste problem. They have recently launched the GoodCity app to make the upcycling system much more efficient, with Crossroads now able to process goods 90% faster than traditional donation channels.
To use GoodCity, donating users can log onto the website or phone app and upload photos of their preloved goods. After approval, users can arrange a delivery to Crossroads, and once the goods are delivered, other organisations can browse them and choose items that they wish to pick up from the Crossroads warehouse. Since the soft-launch of GoodCity in 2016, 95 different bodies have already used the platform to request goods, saving 21.5 tonnes of goods from ending up in landfills and have benefited over 400 local charities and clients.
Commenting on the step forward for upcycling in Hong Kong, Crossroads Director of Strategy Matt Gow said: “Hong Kong is a generous city. People want to see their goods re-used, not trashed, but they don’t always know who needs them. [GoodCity] has literally reduced our turnaround time tenfold.”
Upcycling apps such as these are much needed in Hong Kong, a city where resources in good condition are often thrown out to rot in landfills or left to pollute our oceans and waterways. Hong Kong alone produces a whopping 10,733 tonnes of rubbish every single day, according to data from the Environmental Protection Department.
Hong Kong is also uniquely positioned to have an efficient recycling and upcycling system with its relative wealth and well organised transportation system. The charity hopes that this initiative will continue to develop, and expand to cover more types of goods being donated and handled across the city.
Lead image courtesy of Crossroads Foundation.