The textiles industry is a large one around the world today, bigger than it has ever been. This industry is responsible for making the world’s clothing, bedding, and linens, and after all, everyone needs clothes to wear, from everyday clothes to work and military uniforms. The United States, in particular, is the world’s largest consumer and producer of clothes alike, and this already-massive American clothing industry is growing each year. In fact, the average American consumer buys twice as many clothes as they did just 20 years ago, and the typical American woman today owns one outfit for every day of the month, compared to just nine in 1930.
Many Americans, in fact, have more clothing and shoes than they intend to wear, and they are always encouraged to make some used clothing donations and donate old clothing to the likes of American Red Cross. To donate clothes to Red Cross is to take part in a broader humanitarian effort, and many people choose to donate clothes to Red Cross every year, especially during the winter holiday time such as Christmas and Hanukkah. Most cities and towns have at least a few charity pickup sites where a person may donate clothes to Red Cross, and these sites tend to be open 24 hours a day, every day of the year. This makes it quite convenient and easy for guests to donate clothed to Red Cross at their leisure. What is there to know about clothing and charity?
Donations or Landfills
Unfortunately, the textiles industry’s reclamation rate compares poorly to other industries such as steel, wood, paper, plastic, and glass. Estimates say that so far in the 2010s, textiles are reclaimed at only a 15% rate, only a minority of all bedding or clothes or linens that are produced. The numbers show that millions of old clothes are simply discarded every year rather than donated to charitable causes, and these old clothes end up in landfills where they don’t do anyone any good. This figures out to the average American discarding some 70 pounds of textiles (of all kinds) per year. Some of these reclaimed clothes are shredded to make industrial rags or furniture stuffing, but many would say that it’s a better idea to donate them to Red Cross and the like, to help the needy.
It’s not all bad news, though. Although many clothe are discarded, many others are indeed donated, and every year, over 95% of Americans take part in charitable giving of some sort or other. Americans are always donating clothes, food, furniture, kids’ toys, and even a percentage of their incomes to charitable causes, and millions of pounds of old clothes are donated like this per year. What is more, some of these old clothes are in fact shipped overseas to assist needy communities abroad. This suggests that boosting and improving the textiles industry’s poor reclamation rate is simply a matter of further pushing this existing charitable spirit to new heights. Americans show that they’re willing to give already. What might happen if they give a little more?
Donations Made Easy
Most American households, if they’re not the ones receiving donations, may find it easy to make those donations. As mentioned earlier, many Americans own more clothes and shoes than they ever wear, so they can be donated. To begin this process, everyone in a household can gather all clothes and personal accessories from across the house and gather it all into a single, large pile. This creates a convenient, all-in-one inventory. Now, with everything together, the household’s members can start sorting through the clothes and determine what they want to keep vs what can be donated. Old clothe that are worn out, out of fashion, redundant, or otherwise unwanted can be sorted into boxes or bags for easy transport. When this is finished, the donor can look up local charity sites so they can donate clothes to Red Cross and the like. They may then visit these sites and hand over all their donated clothes to the volunteer staff there, and the donation is complete. The donor may even receive a tax exemption form based on the total value of the items that they donated. Something similar might happen when donating housewares, too.