A Frank Conversation About Clothing Donation


Clothing donation

If you’re throwing a single item of clothing away, you’re wasting valuable resources. Whether it’s a designer handbag you just don’t like anymore or a literal garage rag, there is some way for the world to benefit from your clothing donation.
1. “Really? Isn’t it rude to donate things that are in poor condition?”
This is a common misconception. While it is true that nearly half of clothing donations are re-worn by people who purchase it second hand, nearly 100% of donated textiles can be used for some purpose. A lot of times, these used textiles are broken down to make pillow stuffing and insulation materials. At the very least, your clothes donation will keep that textile out of the landfill, and therefore you will be helping to mitigate the over 10 million tons of clothes clogging up these areas per a year.
2. “Alright alright you’ve convinced me, but how exactly do I donate clothes?”
A quick Google search will probably glean dozens of clothing drop off locations. Clothing drop off locations are convenient because they provide you with a convenient, fast way to divest yourself of those piles of sweaters that have been sitting at the back of your closet for the last year. Clothing drop off locations also usually belong to reputable charities that are established enough to afford the box rental.
3. “How do I really know where I’m donating is reputable?”
This is a valid concern that a lot of people who want to give to charity have. For this information we again encourage you to turn to the internet. Compare the Salvation Army, Goodwill, Purple Heart, Plato’s Closet, and anyone else in your area and see how they match up. What are their organizational goals? Are they expanding or contracting as an organization? If you want to get really fancy, you can investigate how much they’re spending on overhead and how much of your donations will go directly to needy consumers.
Ultimately, this is a matter where you need to use your best judgement. The good news is at this point, donating anywhere is better than not donating at all. As of today, only 15% of used clothing gets donated, making the resource waste in this case a matter of urgency.