There have been plenty of criticisms about the “fast fashion” that’s emerged — cheap clothing that encourages bulk buying and a swift discard months later. And while it may have been good for bargain hunters at thrift stores, it’s not so great for landfills. The average American woman owns an average of 30 outfits — and that number is ticking ever steadily upwards. On average, we toss over 80 pounds of textile waste annually and about 10.5 million tons of used clothing hits the landfills every year. The saddest part? Almost 100% of textile waste is actually recyclable. So if you’re purging your closet, what can you do with your clothing? Clothing donations are often sought by charitable organizations. You can organize a clothing swap party with friends or hand them down to younger relatives. If your clothes are pretty worn out, consider repurposing them into rags, or if you’re crafty, into a quilt.
How Can Clothing Donations Make a Difference?
Even if you don’t wear that third pair of winter boots you bought on major sale last year, there might be someone out there who severely needs a new pair of winter boots. By the simple act of donating clothing to charity, you could be making a huge difference in someone’s life.
Victims of natural disasters like floods and fires often find that all their possessions are swept away or ruined and must totally start over. A clothes donation can help them start getting back on their feet and give them a clean change or two of clothes as they piece their lives back together.
The old adage, “look good, feel good” has some merit to it. Whether it’s someone who’s down on their luck and needs a new outfit to nail a job interview or a family struggling to make ends meet, but has growing kids who all need warm clothes for winter, your clothing donation can make a real impact on the lives of others.
What are the Benefits of Donating My Clothes?
A charitable donation of your clothes doesn’t just benefit others, it can also benefit you! Cleaning out your closet can often make you feel much lighter and prove to be very satisfying. Finally, you have enough hangers! Finally, you know exactly what’s in your closet!
You may also be eligible for a tax break, depending on what you donate and if the charity is a tax-deductible organizations. For example, men’s overcoats and suits can be eligible for as much as $60 in tax write-offs. Doing good has never felt so good!
By making a clothes donation, you’re also keeping those clothes from ending up in the landfill and taking up unnecessary space. Being conscious of where your clothes end up is also being conscious about the environment you live in.
Furthermore, if you want to give back in some way but don’t have the funds to make a financial gift, donating your gently used clothes can be a great way to still be charitable and give back.
What Should I Be Aware of When Donating Clothes?
Clothing donations aren’t just handed out to the needy. Some charitable organizations use them as funding for programs they run, by selling them at a highly discounted price. About 80% of all donated clothing in the United States is used as donations and funding. If it’s important to you that your donation reaches the needy, then you’ll want to make sure that the organization you’re donating to isn’t one that also resells the clothing.
You also want to pay special attention to the clothing you’re donating. Clothing donations should be freshly washed and not be ripped, stained, shrunk, or stretched out. Missing buttons or zippers need to be replaced or rethought before donating. You want to donate pieces of clothing that others will feel good wearing.
If you’re interested in finding other ways to give back, looking into clothing donations is a great way to do so. It not only benefits others, but it helps you and the environment to boot!