It is no secret that the textile industry is one of the biggest and most popular in the world. Everyone needs clothes to wear, and often, luxury or designer clothes are manufactured in huge numbers, and novelty clothes and accessories are made, too. But when these purchased clothes wear out or go out of fashion, they often end up in someone’s closet for years, or get thrown away and end up in landfills. Instead, owners of many old clothes could instead send donations of clothing to charity organizations that need them. Today, in the age of abundance, many tons of old clothes can be diverted from landfills to charity foundations that send these garments to those in need.
Production and Waste
A lot of clothes are made every year, but they do not always end up on someone’s back. Many millions of tons of textiles are manufactured every year, but American citizens don’t always recycle or donate them as often as needed. In fact, it is estimated that only 15% of all clothes purchased will be recycled, and of those recycled clothes, around 45% end up being worn as second-hand clothing. Around 10.5 million tons of old, unwanted clothes are sent to the landfill every year, and other discarded clothes end up cut apart to make industrial rags or are shredded to make furniture stuffing. And with Americans buying twice as many garments on average as opposed to 20 years ago, there are plenty of excess clothes in people’s closets and wardrobes, and they don’t always end up where they should go.
Trends of Charity
The good news is that plenty of clothes do end up being given to used clothing donations, and donations of clothing often go toward needy veterans or low income families, especially those with kids. Donations of clothes can also go to second hand stores that sell them at low prices, and this route of charity also prevents too many garments from ending up in landfills. In 2006 alone, for example, some 2.5 billion pounds of fabric was saved from going to landfills due to purchases of used clothing, and every year, nearly 4.7 billion pounds of clothing were donated by American citizens, and if more citizens redirect their old clothes from the trash can to recycling, donations of clothing could easily grow and this figure would rise. Charities could always use more clothes, and second hand stores often welcome donations around the clock.
Donations of Clothing and You
The average American is bound to have plenty of clothes that can be donated to local charities or second hand stores. A person can gather all of his or her clothes and sort them into piles to keep or donate based on condition, fashion, and the available room in the closet. This not only makes it easy to see which clothes should be given away, but it clears up room in the person’s closet and armoire and makes their clothing collection easier to manage.
Once a “donate” pile is assembled, a person can find local charities through the phone book or looking up “where to donate clothes” into an Internet search. The search should yield local charity drop off points and second hand stores, and the person can even get directions to the address. Once there, a person can deposit bags of clothes into the charity’s collection box, and sometimes, there may be guidelines about quantity or type of clothes and items accepted, so a charitable citizen may want to keep that in mind, too. Donations of clothing can be split up into several trips if need be, and this can prevent the collection box from becoming overstuffed.