If you’ve accumulated clothing that you never wear, why not donate it to a charity so that other people can get use from it?
Clothing you don’t wear anymore can’t always be upcycled into cleaning cloths and the like – if it’s still in great condition, it makes the most sense to donate it.
Are there downsides to donating your clothing? The issue of donating clothing can sometimes be a bit complicated – for example, where do your donations really end up?
This is something that you need to know before you donate.
With that in mind, let’s look at how you should go about donating your old clothing so that you prevent potential drawbacks while ensuring that the people who really need the clothing get it.
We’ll start by looking at where you should donate your old clothing.
- 1 Where To Donate Clothing
- 2 Where Does Your Donated Clothing Really Go?
- 3 Five Benefits Of Donating Your Old Clothes
- 4 In What Condition Should Donated Clothing Be?
- 5 Related Questions
- 6 Conclusion
Where To Donate Clothing
There are many places that will accept your old clothing. These include the following:
American Red Cross
When you donate your clothing to the American Red Cross, the proceeds from the money received from selling these items will help the Red Cross fund its important initiatives and help people in need.
You can organize for your donations to be picked up via the Go Green Drop website.
Dress For Success
Women who are unemployed and have low incomes often battle to purchase professional clothing that they need.
Dress for Success supplies donated clothing to these women so they can wear them to job interviews.
Conveniently, the Dress for Success website lists drop-off points where you can bring your clothing.
Money that’s gained from these purchases will provide employment training as well as job placement services for members of the community.
Where Else You Can Donate Old Clothing
Besides for the above-mentioned organizations, you can also donate your old clothing to the following places in your area.
- Homeless shelters. Donating during the cold season is especially important to help people stay warm.
- Second-hand thrift stores. These stores can help to provide low-income families with clothing they need.
- Community outreach centers. You’ll be able to donate your clothing and it will be given to families in need in your area.
Don’t forget that you can also donate clothing to people you know. If you know people in your area who could use the clothing, why not ask them if they’d like it?
Sometimes helping people in this way can go a long way to ensuring that the clothing gets to the people who really need it.
Even if the person you’re choosing to donate clothing to doesn’t want it, they might know someone in their family or community who would love nothing more than to receive them.
Where Does Your Donated Clothing Really Go?
It might surprise you to learn that a large amount of donated clothing that’s given to charities is sent to textile recyclers who then have to figure out what they should do with the items.
Approximately half of clothing donations are exported where they are sold in developing countries and the rest are recycled into household insulation or rags.
As Nylon reports, just 20 percent of donated clothing is actually resold by the charities themselves.
The reason for this is that there’s a lot of clothing that’s not easy to sell by charities and often these organizations are overwhelmed by the amount of donations that they receive.
So, what can you do?
Just because it happens that charities can send away items you’ve donated, it doesn’t mean you should stop donating your old clothes. You just have to be a bit smarter about it.
- It’s a good idea to donate clothing to a local shelter or hospice that requests specific items. This will prevent you from donating items that won’t be useful.
- It’s important to know what the final destination for your donations will be to be sure that your donations will be doing a good thing. Some organizations, such as charities, battle to give away or sell some of the items they receive. These items can end up going to landfills, and that defeats the whole point of donating your old clothing.
- It’s also important to be more mindful about the clothing you purchase. You might not think that this has anything to do with donating clothing, but it does play a significant part in the donation cycle. To help prevent the piles of unwanted clothing at charities from ending up in landfills, try to be smarter about the clothing you buy so you can prevent waste. Focus on high-quality items that you won’t tire of after a season. If the clothing is made of low-quality material, it will suffer wear and tear really quickly and you won’t even be able to donate it then anyway!
- Don’t drop your clothes off at roadside donation bins. The sad news about these is that they’re usually run by for-profit texting recycling companies that pretend to be charities, as Reader’s Digest reports.
- You should avoid store take-back clothing programs. Although some big-name and popular retailers sometimes encourage customers to bring in old items of clothing so that they can be recycled into new items, the drawback of this type of process is that recycling old garments into new ones actually weakens their fibers. In the U.S., less than one percent of clothing gets recycled into new items, as the technology that’s required for this process is still lagging, as Reader’s Digest reports.
Five Benefits Of Donating Your Old Clothes
Don’t let the truth behind clothing donations derail your efforts or make you feel disheartened!
As long as you donate clothing by following the previously-mentioned tips in this article, donating your old clothes can have many advantages.
Here are some to consider.
It Prevents The New Purchase Of Clothes
When your clothing donations go to charity thrift stores where people can purchase them, this helps to increase the lifespan of your clothes while preventing people from buying new items, which require a lot of natural resources in order to be produced.
For example, it takes approximately 700 gallons of water to make just one T-shirt, and there are two billion t-shirts that are made globally every year, as the Huffington Post reports.
It Helps People Who Need Specific Items
If your local charity needs professional clothing donations that will help young people get jobs, or prom dresses for young women in the area, meeting that need by donating your old suits and other items can help you to feel you’re making a real difference in other people’s lives.
It Can Assist People Affected By Natural Disasters
When a storm or other natural disaster affects a community, it can result in people losing many things and not having the money to buy clothes for themselves and their families.
This is where your charitable donations can come in to the rescue, helping to make a difference in those people’s lives in a practical, direct way.
This is sure to make you feel you’re doing something good for those less fortunate than you.
It Prevents Waste
While you might be able to turn some items of clothing you don’t want into rags and other cleaning cloths, or transform them into DIY projects, such as to make cushion covers, if the original items were in good condition it does feel like a pity for them to go to waste.
Even though they’re being repurposed creatively, you might feel it would have been better for them to be used by people who really need them for their intended purposes.
Just imagine: that woolly jersey you don’t like to wear but want to turn into a cushion cover could actually help a homeless person to stay warm in the cold winter!
It Eliminates Clutter
There’s nothing worse than letting old clothing you don’t even wear take up space in your wardrobe.
Choosing to simplify your space will help you to make better use of it and avoid clutter that can make you feel stressed out whenever you see it.
Clutter can also prevent you from seeing what you really have in your closet, thus causing you to neglect items instead of getting your money’s worth from purchasing them by wearing them.
In What Condition Should Donated Clothing Be?
Just because you want to donate “old” clothing, that doesn’t mean that any old item will do.
Generally, organizations will accept clothing that’s in good condition.
What does this mean?
- You should avoid donating clothing items that have holes in them.
- Ditto for items with stains on them. You could try removing the stain yourself or get it professionally cleaned, but if that doesn’t work it’s best to find other uses for it, such as by cutting up an old T-shirt and using it as cleaning rags around the home.
- Clothing that you want to donate should have all its zippers in good working condition and still have all its buttons, and it shouldn’t have any frayed edges.
Do you have to clean clothes before donating them?
Cleaning your clothes before you donate them is a must. Wouldn’t you want to receive nice-smelling and hygienic clothing?
What organizations sell a lot of the clothing they receive?
If you’re worried about your clothing donations ending up in landfills, it’s a good idea to send your unwanted clothing to The Salvation Army and Goodwill as they’re said to sell more than the average 20 percent of clothing that such organizations receive, as Newsweek reports.
Even though sometimes donating clothing to charities and other organizations can be fraught with concerns, donating your clothing that’s in good condition is still a valuable thing you should do to prevent the clothing from ending up going to waste.
Why should it when it can benefit someone in need?
In this article, we’ve looked at what you need to know about donating your old clothing as well as how to go about it so your donations can make the most positive impact.