Keep Your Gently Used Clothing From the Landfill by Donating It to Charity!

Used clothing pick up

If you’re trying to teach your children to give back, one great way to do so by letting them start donating clothing to charity. It’s something simple that they can do and may even get great pleasure out of imagining other children wearing a favorite or treasured piece of clothing that they no longer fit into. Hopefully this smaller act of philanthropy will instill a sense of giving and foster a philanthropic spirit within them that will continue as they get older. Donating clothing to charity as an adult is also a great way to help clear out your own closet and provide someone else with the clothes they may desperately need. Gently used winter coats and boots and professional clothing can often be a lifesaver for individuals or families in need. Unlike with money, where it’s often uncertain exactly how much goes to those in need, a clothes donation goes directly to help someone. Donating clothing can also help us live more minimally and reduce waste by not simply throwing clothes out when we’re finished wearing them, even if they’re in mint condition.
What’s So Great About Donating Clothing to Charity?
As mentioned before, when you donate clothing to charity, you know exactly where it’s going. You can track its usefulness and know that someone is getting real and tangible use out of what you’v donated. Perhaps a child can start school in September with a new wardrobe built from items you’ve donated or the business clothing you no longer use is getting new life in someone else’s closet who really needed it. Additionally, clothing can often be useful to charities in terms of money as well. Some charities run discounted stores and sell clothes, shoes, or household items for low prices, and that money goes to fund other programs that charity may run. (And “thrifting” has become very hip in recent years, so your skirt from the 60s might be vintage chic for a young person today!) These discounted stores can also be great for people who make enough to not count for charitable donations, but for whom money is still tight, and new clothing is put on the back burner in terms of expenses.
Why Else Should I Consider Donating Clothes to Charity?
For one thing, we all probably have too many pieces of clothing in our wardrobes, chests of drawers, and closets. Collectively, we buy almost 20 billion pieces of clothing every year — broken down per person, that means everyone buys 68 pieces of clothes and 7 pairs of shoes every year, or at least one item a week! We can only wear so many clothes in a day and many items inevitably end up consigned to the back of our closet and only see the light of day if it’s laundry day and we have nothing else to wear, or during a frantic spring cleaning purge. Instead of throwing those items out, consider donating them! You’ll make room in your closet and be able to feel good that you also gave back.
Not throwing out clothes you no longer want and wear can help save space in landfills too. The Environmental Protection Agency reports that around ten pounds of clothing are thrown out by each person in the United States every year, which adds up to around 12 million tons every year! In 2006, three million pounds of clothing were saved from the landfill simply by repurposing them as secondhand goods. In 2011, it was sadly estimated that around 90% of the clothing and textiles that got thrown out could have been recycled or reused in some other way.
In 2007, almost $6 billion of clothing donations were made to charity foundations in the US. Be part of that change and let’s make the number even bigger every year by donating clothing to charity! It’s a simple act, one that doesn’t take very much from you, and yet can make such a huge difference in someone else’s life. Some charities may even have easy drop-off locations for you or do scheduled pick-ups — inquire about those if you can’t drop off your donation yourself.