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5 Things That Might Happen to Your Clothing Donation


What happens to your donations of clothing? Have you ever loved an article of clothing so much did you actually thought of it as having a personality? It can be hard to give away a beloved shirt, jacket, or pair of pants, even when we know that we have grown too large or lost too much weight to wear it anymore. Maybe you need more room for other clothes or are downsizing as you move to a smaller home and trying to reduce your waste. Whatever your reason, you’ve got clothes, you’re thinking about donating them to charity organizations, but you wonder what will happen to them.

  • They might be sold again in a new market. They could go to stores that will sell your donations of clothing. In that case, your clothes will go towards helping families in need, helping disabled veterans, or helping anyone who lacks the money to buy quality clothing items at market prices. Your donations of clothing could end up helping someone else get a job. They could end up giving someone else’s child a new warm winter coat. They could end up giving a child the self-confidence to keep on at school.
  • They might have a new life as something else. Some used clothing donations can’t be sold for a variety of reasons. These clothes can go on to have a brand-new life as something else entirely. They could be shredded and made into sofa stuffing. They could be cut up and made into rags that can be attached to inexpensive mops. They could be re-absorbed and re-woven to become fresh fiber for a brand-new textile. They might even become somebody’s fun sock monkey!
  • Your donations of clothing could go on an international adventure. Clothes that can’t be sold or used in the United States are often sent abroad. When those clothes arrive in their new home, they have to be unloaded, sorted, transported, and resold. All of these vital steps provide jobs for people in developing countries. In fact, there are some towns whose local economy depends almost entirely on imported clothing. The clothing sold abroad is generally sold at greatly discounted prices, allowing families and individuals who otherwise could not afford it to clothe themselves in quality items.
  • They could be sold to support a charitable cause. A charity that accepts clothes donations may or may not actually use the clothing in its own store. It may sell them, but however the clothes are disposed of, the funds raised through the clothes can be used to fund the charity. The charity can then turn around and use funds raised from donations of clothing to support all their necessary charitable works, providing emergency funds, food, shelter, and other necessaries and emergency supplies to people in need.
  • Whatever happens, your clothes will stay out of the landfill. Whatever else happens to your donations of clothing, you can at least be sure that you’re keeping them out of our landfills. Back in 2006, for example, used clothing purchases kept 2.5 billion pounds of textiles and used clothes out of our landfills. Almost 100% of textiles and clothes from the home can be recycled, even if they are in bad condition. And yet many of them are still casually tossed away and go to rot in landfills where they create greenhouse gases that do damage to our environment. If you donate your clothes and home textiles, you can at least be sure you’re not contributing to this problem.

The average American today is buying twice as many articles of clothing as Americans did two decades ago. We’re each throwing away 70 pounds of clothing and other textiles every year. Instead of throwing all that away, why not arrange a clothing drop off or donation pick up and give your beloved articles of clothing a new life doing someone else some good.

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