Plenty of people know not to throw away their old clothing, but the real question is “Why?” Clothing is one of the easiest materials on the planet to salvage and recycle, yet around 12 to 13 million tons of it go to landfills each year. In addition to these conservation efforts, clothing that is still in fair condition can be reused and donated rather than thrown away. Yet still many people throw this clothing out when 99% of it could have been reused in some way, and worse is that only 15.3% of these textiles are recovered in order to be repurposed.
If these figures shock you, then you’re not alone. The United States produces more trash than any other country and about 1/3 of the world’s waste, despite only being home to less than 5% of the world’s population. The time to be less wasteful is now, and one of the simplest ways to do so is to donate clothes to local charity organizations.
What are the best charities to donate to? There isn’t a single answer to this question, as charities can vary based on town, city, or region. Here are a few different options for giving gently used clothing donations to help those in need:
- Clothing Drives: Many charities will host singular events in order to benefit the surrounding community, and they may collect everything from clothing donations to household goods. If you have items to give to local organizations, this is a great time to take part or to work with a local organization to start one yourself.
- Donation Pick Ups: Some charities will show up right at your door and take away the items you no longer need. Some are also associated with specific causes, such as Purple Heart donation pick ups that benefit veterans and military families. In addition to Purple Heart donation pick ups, you may also be able to find other charities that will pick up clothing donations or other household goods.
- Clothing Recycling Programs: If you don’t have items that are quite worth salvaging, you may still be able to donate them to a greater cause. Many areas now have clothing recycling companies that will help take back any items that can’t be reused. Clothing recycling helps to eliminate waste in landfills, and today new items and synthetic fabrics are now created from recycled garments.
Want more creative ways to donate? Leave a comment below.